A novel hypothesis of dinosaur relationships and early dinosaur evolution

Baron, Matthew G. and Norman, David B. and Barrett, Paul M. (2017) A novel hypothesis of dinosaur relationships and early dinosaur evolution. Nature, 543. pp. 501-506. ISSN 0028-0836 DOI 10.1038/nature21700

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v543/n7646/fu...

Abstract

For nearly 130 years dinosaurs have been divided into two distinct clades – Ornithischia and Saurischia. Here, we present a radical new hypothesis for the phylogenetic relationships of the major dinosaurian groups, one that challenges the current consensus concerning early dinosaur evolution and highlights problematic aspects of current cladistic definitions. Our study recovers, for the first time, a sister-group relationship between Ornithischia and Theropoda (Ornithoscelida), with Sauropodomorpha + Herrerasauridae forming its monophyletic outgroup. This new tree topology requires redefinition and rediagnosis of Dinosauria and the subsidiary dinosaurian clades. In addition, it forces re-evaluations of early dinosaur cladogenesis and character evolution, suggests the independent acquisition of hypercarnivory in herrerasaurids and theropods, and offers an explanation for many of the anatomical features previously regarded as striking convergences between theropods and early ornithischians.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2017AREP; IA72;
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Nature
Volume: 543
Page Range: pp. 501-506
Identification Number: 10.1038/nature21700
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 18:09
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2017 11:43
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3857

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