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A highly pneumatic middle Cretaceous theropod from the British Lower Greensand

A highly pneumatic middle Cretaceous theropod from the British Lower Greensand
A highly pneumatic middle Cretaceous theropod from the British Lower Greensand
A series of axial elements from the Aptian Ferruginous Sands Formation of the Lower Greensand Group, discovered on the foreshore near Knock Cliff on the Isle of Wight, UK are (bar some isolated teeth and fragmentary postcranial material from the Cenomanian Cambridge Greensand) the youngest non‐avian theropod remains reported from the British Mesozoic. These specimens have the potential to shed light on a poorly known section of the European dinosaur record. Consistency in size, appearance and adhering matrix indicates that the vertebrae belong to the same individual. This was a mid‐sized tetanuran, the presence of several diagnostic characters indicating that it should be recognized as a new taxon, herein named Vectaerovenator inopinatus. The cervical and dorsal vertebrae are camerate and highly pneumatic. Tetanuran features include opisthocoelous cervicals and pneumatic foramina located within fossae; however, assigning this specimen to a specific clade is problematic. Within Tetanurae, Vectaerovenator possesses axial structures and homoplastic features seen in megalosauroids, carcharodontosaurians and certain coelurosaurs. Not only is Vectaerovenator one of the UK's youngest non‐bird dinosaurs, and one of few valid British Greensand taxa, it is also the first diagnosable theropod taxon to be named from Aptian deposits of Europe.
Aptian, Cretaceous, pneumaticity, theropod, vertebra
2056-2802
661-679
Barker, Christopher Tijani
38e55dfa-2358-4f84-9a1f-e2d0c60ea8c2
Naish, Darren
95a4ff0d-f64b-4b4b-9523-97bc97df91ff
Clarkin, Claire
05cd2a88-1127-41aa-a29b-7ac323b4f3c9
Farell, Paul
b00d5d40-4106-4308-8765-26fda8d152ea
Hulman, Gabrielle
94746522-64fe-4e85-8bff-98857cc8babe
Lockyer, James
ca14802c-4a0a-4717-abe0-e4b676e00f07
Schneider, Philipp
a810f925-4808-44e4-8a4a-a51586f9d7ad
Ward, Robin
4b30d4af-4621-4cba-be72-5dcaa934797d
Gostling, Neil J.
4840aa40-cb6c-4112-a0b9-694a869523fc
Barker, Christopher Tijani
38e55dfa-2358-4f84-9a1f-e2d0c60ea8c2
Naish, Darren
95a4ff0d-f64b-4b4b-9523-97bc97df91ff
Clarkin, Claire
05cd2a88-1127-41aa-a29b-7ac323b4f3c9
Farell, Paul
b00d5d40-4106-4308-8765-26fda8d152ea
Hulman, Gabrielle
94746522-64fe-4e85-8bff-98857cc8babe
Lockyer, James
ca14802c-4a0a-4717-abe0-e4b676e00f07
Schneider, Philipp
a810f925-4808-44e4-8a4a-a51586f9d7ad
Ward, Robin
4b30d4af-4621-4cba-be72-5dcaa934797d
Gostling, Neil J.
4840aa40-cb6c-4112-a0b9-694a869523fc

Barker, Christopher Tijani, Naish, Darren, Clarkin, Claire, Farell, Paul, Hulman, Gabrielle, Lockyer, James, Schneider, Philipp, Ward, Robin and Gostling, Neil J. (2020) A highly pneumatic middle Cretaceous theropod from the British Lower Greensand. Papers in Palaeontology, 6 (4), 661-679. (doi:10.1002/spp2.1338).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A series of axial elements from the Aptian Ferruginous Sands Formation of the Lower Greensand Group, discovered on the foreshore near Knock Cliff on the Isle of Wight, UK are (bar some isolated teeth and fragmentary postcranial material from the Cenomanian Cambridge Greensand) the youngest non‐avian theropod remains reported from the British Mesozoic. These specimens have the potential to shed light on a poorly known section of the European dinosaur record. Consistency in size, appearance and adhering matrix indicates that the vertebrae belong to the same individual. This was a mid‐sized tetanuran, the presence of several diagnostic characters indicating that it should be recognized as a new taxon, herein named Vectaerovenator inopinatus. The cervical and dorsal vertebrae are camerate and highly pneumatic. Tetanuran features include opisthocoelous cervicals and pneumatic foramina located within fossae; however, assigning this specimen to a specific clade is problematic. Within Tetanurae, Vectaerovenator possesses axial structures and homoplastic features seen in megalosauroids, carcharodontosaurians and certain coelurosaurs. Not only is Vectaerovenator one of the UK's youngest non‐bird dinosaurs, and one of few valid British Greensand taxa, it is also the first diagnosable theropod taxon to be named from Aptian deposits of Europe.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 September 2020
Published date: November 2020
Keywords: Aptian, Cretaceous, pneumaticity, theropod, vertebra

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443816
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443816
ISSN: 2056-2802
PURE UUID: 5bca9041-5da3-48ba-955c-54b369a2396e
ORCID for Philipp Schneider: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7499-3576
ORCID for Neil J. Gostling: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5960-7769

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Sep 2020 16:31
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:01

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Contributors

Author: Christopher Tijani Barker
Author: Darren Naish
Author: Claire Clarkin
Author: Paul Farell
Author: Gabrielle Hulman
Author: James Lockyer
Author: Robin Ward

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