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First pachycephalosaurid from Frenchman Formation of Saskatchewan, Canada



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:

Jordan C. Mallon, David C. Evans, Tim T. Tokaryk, Margaret L. Currie
First pachycephalosaurid (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Frenchman
Formation (upper Maastrichtian) of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Cretaceous Research 56: 426–431
doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.06.005
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667115300094

Highlights

We report on the first occurrence of a pachycephalosaurid from
Saskatchewan, Canada.
This marks a probable northern range extension for Sphaerotholus buchholtzae.
S. buchholtzae occurs within the final 300,000 years of the Cretaceous.
Our findings support the hypothesis of low beta diversity in North
America during the late Maastrichtian.


Abstract

Compared to earlier representatives of the family, pachycephalosaurids
are less well known from upper Maastrichtian deposits around the
world. Here, we report on a nearly complete left postorbital
attributable to the pachycephalosaurid Sphaerotholus cf. Sphaerotholus
buchholtzae from the upper Maastrichtian Frenchman Formation of
Saskatchewan. This marks a probable northern range extension for the
species into Canada, and the first occurrence of a pachycephalosaurid
from this formation. We further demonstrate the taxonomic distinction
between Stegoceras edmontonense and S. buchholtzae, which has been
debated, based on postorbital sutural proportions. The northerly
occurrence of Sphaerotholus cf. S. buchholtzae is consistent with the
hypothesis of low beta diversity during the late Maastrichtian of
North America, and its high stratigraphic incidence documents the
persistence of non-pachycephalosaurin pachycephalosaurines in a
critical interval for understanding the end-Cretaceous mass extinction
event.