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[dinosaur] Ornithomimosaurs from Early Cretaceous Arundel Clay in Maryland and Nedcolbertia (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper in open access:

Chase Doran Brownstein​ (2017) 
Description of Arundel Clay ornithomimosaur material and a reinterpretation of Nedcolbertia justinhofmanni as an “Ostrich Dinosaur”: biogeographic implications. 
PeerJ 5:e3110
doi: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3110

The fossil record of dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous of Eastern North America is scant, especially since a few stratigraphic units from the east are fossiliferous. Among these stratigraphic units, the Arundel Clay of the eastern seaboard has produced the best-characterized dinosaur faunas known from the Early Cretaceous of Eastern North America. The diverse dinosaur fauna of the Arundel Clay has been thoroughly discussed previously, but a few of the dinosaur species originally described from the Arundel Clay are still regarded as valid genera. Much of the Arundel material is in need of review and redescription. Among the fossils of dinosaurs from this stratigraphic unit are those referred to ornithomimosaurs. Here, the researcher describes ornithomimosaur remains from the Arundel Clay of Prince George’s County, Maryland which may be from two distinct ornithomimosaur taxa. These remains provide key information on the theropods of the Early Cretaceous of Eastern North America. Recent discoveries of small theropod material from the Arundel Clay possibly belonging to ornithomimosaurs are also reviewed and described for the first time. The description of the Arundel material herein along with recent discoveries of basal ornithomimosaurs in the past 15 years has allowed for comparisons with the coelurosaur Nedcolbertia justinhofmanni, suggesting the latter animal was a basal ornithomimosaur rather than a “generalized” coelurosaur as it was originally described. Comparisons between the Arundel ornithomimosaur material and similar Asian and European specimens suggest that both extremely basal ornithomimosaurs and more intermediate or derived forms may have coexisted throughout the northern hemisphere during the Early Cretaceous.