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Elmisaurine (Oviraptorosauria) fossils from North America

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Gregory F. Funston, Philip J. Currie, and Michael E. Burns (2015)
New elmisaurine specimens from North America and their relationship to
the Mongolian Elmisaurus rarus.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press)

New specimens from Canada confirm the presence of elmisaurines in
North America and shed light on the relationship of Leptorhynchos
elegans to Mongolian forms. These specimens have hindlimb elements
previously unknown from elmisaurines in the Dinosaur Park Formation,
including tibiae and pedal phalanges. Metatarsal anatomy is
sufficiently different to merit a generic distinction from Elmisaurus
rarus, and both can be distinguished from Caenagnathus collinsi
Sternberg, 1940 and Chirostenotes pergracilis. Differences between
these taxa include body size, degree of coossification of the
tarsometatarsus, and development of cruciate ridges of the third
metatarsal. Histological analysis confirms that these differences are
not correlated with ontogenetic age of the specimens. The results
support the informal separation of caenagnathids based on metatarsal
structure, and allow comments on paleobiological differences between
caenagnathids and oviraptorids.