SCELIDOSAURUS HARRISONII OWEN, 1861 (DINOSAURIA: ORNITHISCHIA) FROM THE EARLY JURASSIC OF DORSET, ENGLAND: BIOLOGY AND PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS

Norman, D. B. (2020) SCELIDOSAURUS HARRISONII OWEN, 1861 (DINOSAURIA: ORNITHISCHIA) FROM THE EARLY JURASSIC OF DORSET, ENGLAND: BIOLOGY AND PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. ISSN ISSN (Print) 0024-4082 - ISSN (Online) 1096-3642 (Submitted)

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Abstract

A layer of keratinous scutes encased the skull of Scelidosaurus. The neurocranium as well as the associated principal sensory systems of this dinosaur are described. The cranial musculature is reconstructed and a subsequent functional analysis suggests that jaw motion was orthal, allowing pulping of vegetation and some high-angle shearing between opposing teeth. Wishboning of the lower jaw was enabled by transverse displacement of the quadrates; and the long-axis mandibular torsion that occurred during the chewing cycle was permitted by flexibility at the dentary symphysis. Limb proportions and pectoral and pelvic musculature reconstructions suggest that Scelidosaurus was a facultative quadruped of ‘average’ locomotor ability; it retains some anatomical features indicative of a bipedal-cursorial ancestry. Hindlimb motion was oblique-to-parasagittal to accommodate the girth of the abdomen. Scelidosaurus used a combination of costal and abdominally driven aspiration. The hypothesis that respiration was an ‘evolutionary driver’ of opisthopuby in all dinosaurs is overly simplistic. A critical assessment of datasets used to analyse the systematics of ornithischians (and thyreophoran subclades) has led to a revised dataset that positions Scelidosaurus as a stem ankylosaur, rather than a stem thyreophoran. The value of phylogenetic definitions is reconsidered in the light of the new thyreophoran cladogram.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2020AREP; IA76
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 13 May 2020 15:53
Last Modified: 13 May 2020 15:53
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4740

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