Just out | An abelisaurid from the latest Cretaceous (late Maastrichtian) of Morocco, North Africa @ Cretaceous Research

Just out @ Cretaceous Research

An abelisaurid from the latest Cretaceous (late Maastrichtian) of Morocco, North Africa


Nicholas R. Longrich, Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola, Nour-Eddine Jalil, Fatima Khaldoune, Essaid Jourani


During the latest Cretaceous, distinct dinosaur faunas were found in Laurasia and Gondwana. Tyrannosaurids, hadrosaurids, and ceratopsians dominated in North America and Asia, while abelisaurids and titanosaurids dominated in South America, India, and Madagascar. Little is known about dinosaur faunas from the latest Cretaceous of Africa, however. Here, a new abelisaurid theropod, Chenanisaurus barbaricus, is described from the upper Maastrichtian phosphates of the Ouled Abdoun Basin in Morocco, North Africa on the basis of a partial dentary and isolated teeth. Chenanisaurus is both one of the largest abelisaurids, and one of the youngest known African dinosaurs. Along with previously reported titanosaurid remains, Chenanisaurus documents the persistence of a classic Gondwanan abelisaurid-titanosaurid fauna in mainland Africa until just prior to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. The animal is unusual both in terms of its large size and the unusually short and robust jaw. Although it resembles South American carnotaurines in having a deep, bowed mandible, phylogenetic analysis suggests that Chenanisaurus may represent a lineage of abelisaurids that is distinct from those previously described from the latest Cretaceous of South America, Indo-Madagascar, and Europe, consistent with the hypothesis that the fragmentation of Gondwana led to the evolution of endemic dinosaur faunas during the Late Cretaceous.

Keywords: Dinosauria; Theropoda; Ceratosauria; Abelisauridae; Gondwana; Biogeography

DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2017.03.021

READ IT HERE: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667116303706

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)