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[dinosaur] Ankylosaurian osteoderm from Early Cretaceous of Australia




Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com



A new paper:




Phil R. Bell, Michael E. Burns & Elizabeth T. Smith (2017)
A probable ankylosaurian (Dinosauria, Thyreophora) from the Early Cretaceous of New South Wales, Australia. 
Alcheringa (advance online publication)
doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03115518.2017.1384851   
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03115518.2017.1384851


We describe an isolated osteoderm from the Albian Griman Creek Formation where it is exposed near the town of Lightning Ridge in central-northern New South Wales, Australia. Several lines of evidence allow referral of this element to the Ankylosauria—a group that epitomises body armour and ubiquitous osteodermal coverage among dinosaurs. Despite the abundant record of fossil vertebrates from this interval, ankylosaurians have not been previously reported, although, they have been described from penecontemporaneous deposits in western Queensland and Victoria. This discovery, therefore, provides an important link between the northerly faunas (including the Griman Creek Formation) that flourished at the edge of the epeiric Eromanga Sea, with those from the sub-polar rift-valley system of Victoria during the mid-Cretaceous.


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