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Ankylosaurian paleoenvironmental associations from extirpation, sea-level fluctuation, and geodispersal.



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:

Victoria M. Arbour, Lindsay E. Zanno & Terry Gates (2016)
Ankylosaurian dinosaur palaeoenvironmental associations were
influenced by extirpation, sea-level fluctuation, and geodispersal.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (advance onlinen publication)
doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.02.033
http: // www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018216001073


Highlights

Ankylosaur remains are unevenly distributed in marine and terrestrial
environments.
Only in North America and Asia is this distribution statistically significant.
In North America, this distribution is only significant in the
Albian-Cenomanian.

Abstract

More species of nodosaurid ankylosaurians than ankylosaurid
ankylosaurians have been found in marine sediments, and some previous
quantitative studies of global dinosaur occurrences provide support
for an association between nodosaurids and marine depositional
environments. We compiled a dataset of global ankylosaurian
occurrences and found that the geographic distribution of marine
ankylosaurian occurrences is regionally biased with 54% of records
stemming from western North America in the Cretaceous—a time of
regional highstands in sea level and epicontinental flooding, coupled
with differential extirpation of ankylosaurian subclades inhabiting
the Western Interior Basin (WIB). Within the Western Interior Basin,
we found little statistical support for an association between
ankylosaurian subclades and palaeoenvironment in a chronological
context. Only the Albian-Cenomanian transgressive-regressive cycle had
statistical support for an overabundance of nodosaurids in marine
environments compared to ankylosaurids. The apparent overabundance of
nodosaurids relative to ankylosaurids in marine sediments in the
Western Interior Basin overall cannot be decoupled from the
extirpation of North American ankylosaurids during the Cenomanian and
the subsequent absence of ankylosaurids in North America during the
Turonian to early Campanian prior to the immigration of Asian
ankylosaurine ankylosaurids. The North American ankylosaurian record
highlights the difficulty in interpreting habitat preferences in the
context of a shifting seaway, regional extinctions, and
intercontinental dispersals.