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[dinosaur] Tongtianlong, new oviraptorid from Late Cretaceous of China (free pdf)





Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper in open access:

Junchang Lü, Rongjun Chen, Stephen L. Brusatte, Yangxiao Zhu & Caizhi Shen (2016)
A Late Cretaceous diversification of Asian oviraptorid dinosaurs: evidence from a new species preserved in an unusual posture
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 35780 
doi:10.1038/srep35780
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep35780



Oviraptorosaurs are a bizarre group of bird-like theropod dinosaurs, the derived forms of which have shortened, toothless skulls, and which diverged from close relatives by developing peculiar feeding adaptations. Although once among the most mysterious of dinosaurs, oviraptorosaurs are becoming better understood with the discovery of many new fossils in Asia and North America. The Ganzhou area of southern China is emerging as a hotspot of oviraptorosaur discoveries, as over the past half decade five new monotypic genera have been found in the latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) deposits of this region. We here report a sixth diagnostic oviraptorosaur from Ganzhou, Tongtianlong limosus gen. et sp. nov., represented by a remarkably well-preserved specimen in an unusual splayed-limb and raised-head posture. Tongtianlong is a derived oviraptorid oviraptorosaur, differentiated from other species by its unique dome-like skull roof, highly convex premaxilla, and other features of the skull. The large number of oviraptorosaurs from Ganzhou, which often differ in cranial morphologies related to feeding, document an evolutionary radiation of these dinosaurs during the very latest Cretaceous of Asia, which helped establish one of the last diverse dinosaur faunas before the end-Cretaceous extinction.

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News:


http://phys.org/news/2016-11-dinosaur-discovery-flurry-animals-evolution.html


https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-11/uoe-ddc110816.php

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/nov/10/new-species-of-weird-bird-like-dinosaur-discovered-in-china-tongtianlong-limosus


http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mud-dragon-dinosaur-fossil-uncovered-chinese-dynamite-explosion-remains-largely-intact-1590923