Field of Science

New Early Middle Jurassic Tetanuran Theropod from China

Well this appears to be Jurassic week on Chinleana. Again not a Triassic specimen, but early Middle Jurassic dinosaurs tend to be rare and this one appears to be a fairly plesiomorphic tetanuran. The authors claim that it is more plesiomorphic than Sinraptor, Yangchuanosaurus, and "Szechuanosaurus", although they were not able to support this with a phylogenetic analysis at this time.

Wu, X., Currie, P.J., Dong, X., Pan, S., and T. Wang. 2009. A new theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Lufeng, Yunnan, China. Acta Geologica Sinica 83:9-24.

Abstract – A new theropod dinosaur, Shidaisaurus jinae gen. et sp. nov., has been described on the basis of an incomplete skeleton. The specimen was found near the base of the Upper Lufeng Formation (early Middle Jurassic) in Yunnan, China. It is the first theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Yunnan. Shidaisaurus jinae is distinguishable from other Jurassic theropods by certain features from the braincase, axis, and pelvic girdle. The absence of any pleurocoels in the axis or in any anterior dorsal vertebrae suggests that the new Lufeng theropod is relatively primitive and more plesiomorphic than most of the Middle to Late Jurassic theropods from China. Most Chinese taxa of Jurassic theropod dinosaurs have not been well described; a further detailed study will be necessary for us to determine their phylogenetic relationships with Shidaisaurus jinae.

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