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Lesothosaurus skull digital preparation and osteology

Ben Creisler

A new paper in open access:

Laura B. Porro, Lawrence M. Witmer & Paul M. Barrett (2015)
Digital preparation and osteology of the skull of Lesothosaurus
diagnosticus (Ornithischia: Dinosauria).
PeerJ 3:e1494
doi: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1494

Several skulls of the ornithischian dinosaur Lesothosaurus
diagnosticus (Lower Jurassic, southern Africa) are known, but all are
either incomplete, deformed, or incompletely prepared. This has
hampered attempts to provide a comprehensive description of skull
osteology in this crucial early dinosaurian taxon. Using visualization
software, computed tomographic scans of the Lesothosaurus syntypes
were digitally segmented to remove matrix, and identify and separate
individual cranial and mandibular bones, revealing new anatomical
details such as sutural morphology and the presence of several
previously undescribed elements. Together with visual inspection of
exposed skull bones, these CT data enable a complete description of
skull anatomy in this taxon. Comparisons with our new data suggest
that two specimens previously identified as Lesothosaurus sp. (MNHN
LES 17 and MNHN LES 18) probably represent additional individuals of
Lesothosaurus diagnosticus.