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Unusual theropod frontal from Upper Cretaceous of Patagonia

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Ariana Paulina-Carabajal & Rodolfo A. Coria (2015)
An unusual theropod frontal from the Upper Cretaceous of north Patagonia.
Alcheringa (advance online publication)

We report an isolated left frontal (MCF-PVPH 320) corresponding to a
medium-sized theropod dinosaur from the Portezuelo Formation
(Coniacian) of northern Patagonia. It shows a unique combination of
traits that are not present in any other known Cretaceous theropod
from South America. MCF-PVPH 320 is robust and anteroposteriorly
short, with a flat and smooth dorsal surface largely excavated by the
supratemporal fossa. Endocranially, the olfactory bulb impression is
elongate, and the olfactory tract impression is markedly shortened
anteroposteriorly. MCF-PVPH 320 differs greatly from the frontals of
Late Cretaceous theropods, such as abelisaurids, megaraptorines and
carcharodontosaurids. In contrast, character states including the
thickness of the bone, V-shaped frontoparietal suture, reduced
participation on the orbital margin and markedly short olfactory tract
impression suggest the presence of an unknown mid-sized to large
allosauroid for the Portezuelo Formation.