Friday, February 27, 2009

Dawn of the carnosaurs: Shidaisaurus

Quickly on the Goss, Italian-language blog Theropoda (love the cladistic in-joke tag line) is reporting the description of a new early tetanuran (the group containing all theropods more advanced than the ceratosaurs) from China, Shidaisaurus jina. It was found in the upper Lufeng Formation, making it early Middle Jurassic in age, a critical and poorly understood tme in dinosaur history when many familiar groups were getting their start. Analysis shows it was closely related to Monolophosaurus. It's also similar to the possible early coelurosaur Gasosaurus, and sinraptorids, showing that many major lines of carnosaurs (and one line possibly leading to coelurosaurs) had already diversified by this time.

More on this species and its implications to come, hopefully!

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