A new dinosaur paper in open access:
Lingyuanosaurus sihedangensis gen. et sp. nov.
Xi Yao, Chun-Chi Liao, Corwin Sullivan & Xing Xu (2019)
A new transitional therizinosaurian theropod from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China
Scientific Reports 9, Article number: 5026Â
Therizinosaurian theropods evolved many highly specialized osteological features in association with their bulky proportions, which were unusual in the context of the generally gracile Theropoda. Here we report a new therizinosaur, Lingyuanosaurus sihedangensis gen. et sp. nov., based on a specimen recovered from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of Lingyuan, Liaoning Province, China, which displays a combination of plesiomorphic and derived features. Most notably, the specimen is characterized by posterior dorsal vertebrae with a complex and unusual laminar structure; an ilium with a highly dorsoventrally expanded preacetabular process showing only slight lateral flaring of the ventral margin, a strongly anterodorsally inclined iliac blade, a small postacetabular process with a strongly concave dorsal margin, and a relatively robust pubic peduncle with a posteroventrally facing distal articular surface; a straight and robust femur with a small lesser trochanter; and a tibia that is longer than the femur. Phylogenetic analysis places Lingyuanosaurus in an intermediate position within Therizinosauria, i.e., between the early-branching therizinosaurs such as Falcarius, Jianchangosaurus, and Beipiaosaurus and the late-branching ones such as Alxasaurus and Therizinosaurus. This new therizinosaur sheds additional light on the evolution of major therizinosaurian characteristics, including particularly the distinctive pelvic girdle and hindlimb morphology seen in this group.