A Juvenile Skull of the Primitive Ornithischian Dinosaur Heterodontosaurus Tucki from the 'Stormberg' of Southern Africa

Butler, R. J. and Porro, L. B. and Norman, D. B. (2008) A Juvenile Skull of the Primitive Ornithischian Dinosaur Heterodontosaurus Tucki from the 'Stormberg' of Southern Africa. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 28 (3). pp. 702-711. DOI https://doi.org/10.1671/0272-4634(2008)28[702:AJSOTP]2.0.CO;2

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Official URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1671/0272-4634%28...


Heterodontosaurids are an enigmatic group of primitive ornithischian dinosaurs best known from the Early Jurassic of southern Africa. Because fossil material is rare and often poorly preserved, the taxonomy, systematics, and palaeobiology of this clade are controversial. Here we describe a new partial skull of a juvenile Heterodontosaurus tucki from the 'Stormberg' of South Africa. This skull provides new information on the cranial anatomy of this taxon as well as insights into cranial ontogeny, sexual dimorphism and tooth replacement in heterodontosaurids. Few ontogenetic changes in dental morphology occur in Heterodontosaurus, supporting previous suggestions that tooth characters are informative for species-level taxonomy in heterodontosaurids. Furthermore, the presence of well-developed caniniform teeth in the juvenile specimen does not support the hypothesis that these represent secondary sexual characteristics in heterodontosaurids. Computed tomography reveals that replacement teeth are absent in both juvenile and adult specimens of Heterodontosaurus; however, the difference in the absolute size of the teeth between the juvenile and adult specimens demonstrates that replacement must have occurred during ontogeny.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 08AREP; IA57;
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Volume: 28
Page Range: pp. 702-711
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1671/0272-4634(2008)28[702:AJSOTP]2.0.CO;2
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 29 May 2009 14:49
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:55
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1030

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