First spinosaurid dinosaur from Australia and the cosmopolitanism of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas

Barrett, P. M. and Benson, R. B. J. and Rich, T. H. and Vickers-Rich, P. (2011) First spinosaurid dinosaur from Australia and the cosmopolitanism of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas. Biology Letters, 7. pp. 933-936. ISSN Online ISSN: 1744-957X DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0466

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Abstract

A cervical vertebra from the Early Cretaceous of Victoria represents the firstAustralian spinosaurid theropod dinosaur. This discovery significantly extends the geographical range of spinosaurids, suggesting that the clade obtained a near-global distribution before the onset of Pangaean fragmentation. The combined presence of spinosaurid, neovenatorid, tyrannosauroid and dromaeosaurid theropods in the Australian Cretaceous undermines previous suggestions that the dinosaur fauna of this region was either largely endemic or predominantly ‘Gondwanan’ in composition. Many lineages are well-represented in both Laurasia and Gondwana, and these observations suggest that Early–‘middle’ Cretaceous theropod clades possessed more cosmopolitan distributions than assumed previously, and that caution is necessary when attempting to establish palaeobiogeographic patterns on the basis of a patchily distributed fossil record.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2011AREP; IA64;
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: Biology Letters
Volume: 7
Page Range: pp. 933-936
Identification Number: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0466
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2012 14:55
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:03
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2329

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