Bernat Vila, Albert G. Sellés & Jean-Claude Beetschen (2016)
The controversial Les Labadous eggshells: A new and peculiar dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) ootype from the Upper Cretaceous of Europe.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
The fossil record of small-sized theropods in south-western Europe is scarce and fragmentary. In absence of more direct evidence, the oological record arises as an alternative source of information to infer biodiversity. In this regard, the controversial dinosaur eggshells from the Les Labadous locality in southern France are herein re-evaluated in the light of new material and current parataxonomic information. New data and analyses reveal a new eggshell type, Montanoolithus labadousensis oosp. nov., characterized by a unique combination of characters. Additionally, the phylogenetic analysis reinforce the placement of the new oospecies as the sister taxon of the North American Montanoolithus strongorum, refusing the previous attribution of the Les Labadous remains to Elongatoolithidae. The combination of microstructural and phylogenetic results suggest that Montanoolithus labadousensis was likely produced by a dromaeosaurine dromaeosaurid, a taxonomic attribution that is consistent with the biodiversity of small-sized theropods at the latest Cretaceous of south-western Europe.