Mierasaurus bobyoungi gen. nov, sp. nov.
Rafael Royo-Torres, Paul Upchurch, James I. Kirkland, Donald D. DeBlieux, John R. Foster, Alberto Cobos & Luis Alcalá (2017)
Descendants of the Jurassic turiasaurs from Iberia found refuge in the Early Cretaceous of western USA.
Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 14311 (2017)
A new, largely complete eusauropod dinosaur with cranial and postcranial elements from two skeletons, Mierasaurus bobyoungi gen. nov., sp. nov. from the lower Yellow Cat Member (Early Cretaceous) of Utah (USA), is the first recognized member of Turiasauria from North America. Moreover, according to our phylogenetic results, Moabosaurus utahensis from the lower Yellow Cat Member of Utah (USA) is also a member of this clade. This group of non-neosauropod eusauropods, which now includes five genera (Losillasaurus, Turiasaurus, Mierasaurus, Moabosaurus and Zby), was previously known only from the Jurassic of Europe. These recent discoveries in Utah suggest that turiasaurs as a lineage survived the Jurassic-Cretaceous extinction boundary and expanded their known range, at least, into western North America. The revised spatiotemporal distribution of turiasaurs is consistent with the presence of a land connection between North America and Europe sometime during the late Tithonian to Valanginian (c.147-133 Ma). Mierasaurus and Moabosaurus are the only non-neosauropod eusauropods known from North America, despite being younger than the classic neosauropods of the Morrison Formation (c.150 Ma).