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Hadrosauroid Dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman
New on PLoS ONE:
Eric Buffetaut, Axel-Frans Hartman, Mohammed Al-Kindi & Anne S. Schulp (2015)
Hadrosauroid Dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman.
PLoS ONE 10(11): e0142692
Fragmentary post-cranial remains (femora, tibia, vertebrae) of
ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of
Oman are described and referred to hadrosauroids. The specimens come
from the Al-Khod Conglomerate, of latest Campanian to Maastrichtian
age, in the north-eastern part of the country. Although the
fragmentary condition of the fossils precludes a precise
identification, various characters, including the shape of the fourth
trochanter of the femur and the morphology of its distal end, support
an attribution to hadrosauroids. With the possible exception of a
possible phalanx from Angola, this group of ornithopod dinosaurs,
which apparently originated in Laurasia, was hitherto unreported from
the Afro-Arabian plate. From a paleobiogeographical point of view, the
presence of hadrosauroids in Oman in all likelihood is a result of
trans-Tethys dispersal from Asia or Europe, probably by way of islands
in the Tethys shown on all recent paleogeographical maps of that area.
Whether hadrosauroids were widespread on the Afro-Arabian landmass in
the latest Cretaceous, or where restricted to the « Oman island »
shown on some paleogeographical maps, remains to be determined.