Alexis M. Aranciaga Rolando, Federico BrissÃn Egli, Marcos A.F. Sales, AgustÃn G. Martinelli, Juan I. Canale & MartÃn D. Ezcurra (2017)
A supposed Gondwanan oviraptorosaur from the Albian of Brazil represents the oldest South American megaraptoran.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
A Brazilian oviraptorosaur is here reinterpreted as a megaraptoran.
The megaraptoran sacrum has a similar morphology to those of tyrannosauroids.
The oldest South American megaraptorans are Albian in age.
A specimen composed of a partial sacrum articulated to two anterior caudal vertebrae and an ilium (SMNS 58023) from the Lower Cretaceous (Albian) Santana Formation of Brazil was originally described as an oviraptorosaur, but it is here re-interpreted as the oldest megaraptoran of South America. The phylogenetic relationships of SMNS 58023 were tested quantitatively for the first time including it in the two most comprehensive phylogenetic data sets focused on non-maniraptoran theropods âincluding megaraptorans. The Brazilian specimen was consistently found as a megaraptoran in both analyses because of the presence of sacral centra longer than tall, absence of a median transverse constriction of sacral centra, and the morphology and position of sacral pleurocoels. SMNS 58023 sheds light on a region of the body that is poorly known in megaraptorans and pulls back the temporal range of the clade in South America. This re-interpretation reinforces the absence oviraptorosaurs in Gondwana.