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Tenontosaurus cranial anatomy (free pdf)



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper in open access:


D. Andrew Thomas (2015)
The cranial anatomy of Tenontosaurus tilletti Ostrom, 1970
(Dinosauria, Ornithopoda).
Palaeontologia Electronica 18.2.37A: 1-99
palaeo-electronica.org/content/2015/1178-skull-of-tenontosaurus
http://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2015/1178-skull-of-tenontosaurus

Tenontosaurus tilletti Ostrom, 1970, historically assigned to ‘basal
Iguanodontia,’ is a species of bipedal herbivore from the Lower
Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian). Previous publications on the anatomy of
the species have consisted of a cursory account of specimens collected
in the Cloverly Formation of the Bighorn Basin of Montana, as well as
a more detailed description of the postcranial skeleton by Forster
(1990). To date, the skull of T. tilletti remains poorly described due
to lack of research and poorly preserved specimens.

The present study is an attempt to rectify the situation with material
referable to Tenontosaurus tilletti, collected from southeastern
Oklahoma. In particular, an especially well-preserved skull (OMNH
58340) of T. tilletti was CT-scanned and virtually separated into its
component elements. These elements, as well as reconstructions of the
internal spaces for soft tissues, such as the endocast and cranial
nerve foramina, are herein described and illustrated in detail. This
description is used to conduct a novel systematic analysis. The
analysis strongly supports the genus Tenontosaurus, as well as its
position relative to ‘hypsilophodonts’ and iguanodontians, and largely
agrees with previous analyses.