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Dracoraptor, new basal neotheropod from Early Jurassic of Wales (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

New in PLoS ONE:

Dracoraptor hanigani Martill, Vidovic, Howells & Nudds, 2016

David M. Martill, Steven U. Vidovic, Cindy Howells & John R. Nudds (2016)
The Oldest Jurassic Dinosaur: A Basal Neotheropod from the Hettangian
of Great Britain.
PLoS ONE 11(1): e0145713.

Approximately 40% of a skeleton including cranial and postcranial
remains representing a new genus and species of basal neotheropod
dinosaur is described. It was collected from fallen blocks from a sea
cliff that exposes Late Triassic and Early Jurassic marine and quasi
marine strata on the south Wales coast near the city of Cardiff.
Matrix comparisons indicate that the specimen is from the lithological
Jurassic part of the sequence, below the first occurrence of the index
ammonite Psiloceras planorbis and above the last occurrence of the
Rhaetian conodont Chirodella verecunda. Associated fauna of
echinoderms and bivalves indicate that the specimen had drifted out to
sea, presumably from the nearby Welsh Massif and associated islands
(St David’s Archipelago). Its occurrence close to the base of the Blue
Lias Formation (Lower Jurassic, Hettangian) makes it the oldest known
Jurassic dinosaur and it represents the first dinosaur skeleton from
the Jurassic of Wales. A cladistic analysis indicates basal
neotheropodan affinities, but the specimen retains plesiomorphic
characters which it shares with Tawa and Daemonosaurus.


(This item broke the embargo by a few hours... I waited to post it.)