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Morrosaurus, new iguanodontian ornithopod from Late Cretaceous of Antarctica



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:


Sebastián Rozadilla, Federico L. Agnolin, Fernando E. Novas, Alexis M.
Aranciaga Rolando, Matías J. Motta, Juan M. Lirio & Marcelo P. Isasi
(2016) [2015]
A new ornithopod (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Upper Cretaceous
of Antarctica and its palaeobiogeographical implications.
Cretaceous Research 57: 311–324
doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.09.009
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667115300677


Highlights

New iguanodontian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian)
López de Bertodano Formation, at James Ross Island, Antarctica.
Phylogenetic analysis nests the new taxon in a monophyletic clade of
Southern Hemisphere ornithopods.
Morphological features indicate that South American and Antarctic
ornithopods exhibited adaptations for a specialized cursorial mode of
life.
Present discovery reinforces hypothesis indicating that Patagonia,
Antarctica and Australia shared a common Late Cretaceous terrestrial
fauna.

Abstract

A new ornithopod dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian)
Snow Hill Island Formation, at James Ross Island, Antarctica is here
described. This new taxon, named as Morrosaurus antarcticus gen. et
sp. nov., is represented by a fragmentary right hind limb belonging to
a medium-sized individual. Our phylogenetic analysis nests the new
taxon in a monophyletic clade of Southern Hemisphere ornithopods that
includes most Patagonian and Antarctic ornithopods. Several members of
this group share a slender and bunched foot with narrow metatarsal IV,
expanded chevrons, and bowed humerus without deltopectoral crest.
Several features indicate that these ornithopods exhibit adaptations
for a specialized cursorial mode of life. The recognition of
Patagonian and Antarctic Ornithopoda belonging to a monophyletic clade
reinforces palaeobiogeographical signals indicating that Patagonia,
Antarctica and Australia shared a common Late Cretaceous terrestrial
fauna.