Claudia Inés Serrano-Brañas, Cirene Gutiérrez-Blando, Rubén Duarte Bigurra & Carlos Manuel González-León (2017)
First occurrence of tyrannosaurid theropods from the Corral de Enmedio Formation (Upper Cretaceous) Sonora, México.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
Three unknown isolated theropod teeth were collected in the Cabullona Basin of Sonora, Mexico.
The specimens have similar characteristics that match the ones present in tyrannosaurids, probably belonging to a new taxon.
This new evidence could assess for a higher taxonomic diversity of tyrannosaurids in the Cabullona Basin.
The Cabullona Basin in the state of Sonora, Mexico is becoming recognized due to its diversity of southern Laramidian continental vertebrates, especially dinosaurs. In this study we describe and analyze three theropod teeth (ERNO specimens) that were found isolated and surface collected in the Corral de Enmedio Formation (Cabullona Group, Upper Cretaceous). The three specimens possess similar morphological characteristics that match the ones present in Late Cretaceous Laramidian tyrannosaurids, so they were referred to the Tyrannosauridae, probably belonging to a new unknown taxon. The implementation of statistical and cladistic analyses corroborated their taxonomical assignment. ERNO specimens correspond to the first record of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs in the basal Corral de Enmedio Formation, extending the stratigraphic distribution of these dinosaurs in the Cabullona Basin. Although tyrannosaurids have been previously described in the Cabullona Basin, the ERNO specimens of the Corral de Enmedio Formation seem to be different, because they possess more labiolingually compressed teeth. This new evidence could indicate a higher taxonomic diversity of the tyrannosaurid theropods that were present in the Cabullona Basin, adding more information to the Tyrannosauridae diversification on one of the most southern Laramidian regions during the Late Cretaceous.