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Saurornitholestes sullivani, new dromaeosaurid theropod from New Mexico (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper available as a free pdf in either color or b&w:

Steven E. Jasinski (2015)
A new dromaeosaurid (THEROPODA: DROMAEOSAURIDAE) from the Late
Cretaceous of New Mexico.
in Sullivan, R.M. and Lucas, S.G., eds. Fossil Record 4. New Mexico
Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 67: 79-88

Color version:


Black and white version:


A left frontal from the Upper Cretaceous Kirtland Formation (De-na-zin
Member), San Juan Basin, New Mexico, is diagnosed as Saurornitholestes
sullivani n. sp., a new species of dromaeosaurid (Theropoda:
Dromaeosauridae). The frontal is similar to Saurornitholestes
langstoni in being triangular in shape, not basined between the median
suture and the orbital rim, and having the caudal portion of the
frontal well-rounded and slightly inflated, without evidence of a
frontoparietal crest. It is distinct from S. langstoni in being more
constricted anteriorly, possessing less prominent nasal facets,
possessing a less prominent anterior projection between the nasal and
lacrimal facet regions, having a deeper and less strongly demarcated
orbital rim, possessing a deeper and more prominent olfactory bulb
surface, possessing a more pronounced and longer ventrally-directed
ridge between the olfactory bulb surface and the cerebral hemisphere
surface, possessing a more robust frontal-frontal sutural surface, and
while being slightly smaller in overall size, still being more robust
than S. langstoni. The enlarged olfactory bulb surface is believed to
convey a greater olfactory sense in this dinosaur, in particular in
comparison to S. langstoni, and may have been important for its
predatory behavior. Saurornitholestes sullivani represents the only
known dromaeosaurid from the Late Cretaceous of southern Laramidia,
and specifically the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, and shows
geographic and temporal differences between the two currently
recognized species of Saurornitholestes.


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