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European Upper Cretaceous dinosaur egg Cairanoolithus
A new online paper:
Albert G. Sellés & Àngel Galobart (2015)
Reassessing the endemic European Upper Cretaceous dinosaur egg Cairanoolithus.
Historical Biology (advance online publication)
The fossil record of dinosaur eggs and eggshells from the uppermost
Cretaceous strata of south-western Europe is composed of both
worldwide-distributed and endemic egg types. In this study, we are
reviewing the enigmatic European oogenus Cairanoolithus, which after
analysing abundant material from classic and new localities it is
reassigned to a new oofamily (Cairanoolithidae oofam. nov.) in the
light of the unique combination of structural characters. The new
oofamily includes one oogenus and two oospecies. Cairanoolithid eggs
share several features with other ornithopod egg types indeed.
Furthermore, our phylogenetic analysis places Cairanoolithus as the
sister ootaxon of the ornithopod ootaxa, being considered the most
basal ornithischian egg type known so far. Although neither embryonic
nor bones remains are known in association with cairanoolithid eggs so
far, several taxonomic attributions have been proposed for this egg
type over time. On the basis of microstructural features, phylogenetic
results and anatomical constrains, we discuss in this paper previous
taxonomic attributions and provide new evidence for suggesting a
plausible nodosaurid affinity.