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      A new desert-dwelling dinosaur (Theropoda, Noasaurinae) from the Cretaceous of south Brazil

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          Abstract

          Noasaurines form an enigmatic group of small-bodied predatory theropod dinosaurs known from the Late Cretaceous of Gondwana. They are relatively rare, with notable records in Argentina and Madagascar, and possible remains reported for Brazil, India, and continental Africa. In south-central Brazil, the deposits of the Bauru Basin have yielded a rich tetrapod fauna, which is concentrated in the Bauru Group. The mainly aeolian deposits of the Caiuá Group, on the contrary, bear a scarce fossil record composed only of lizards, turtles, and pterosaurs. Here, we describe the first dinosaur of the Caiuá Group, which also represents the best-preserved theropod of the entire Bauru Basin known to date. The recovered skeletal parts (vertebrae, girdles, limbs, and scarce cranial elements) show that the new taxon was just over 1 m long, with a unique anatomy among theropods. The shafts of its metatarsals II and IV are very lateromedially compressed, as are the blade-like ungual phalanges of the respective digits. This implies that the new taxon could have been functionally monodactyl, with a main central weight-bearing digit, flanked by neighbouring elements positioned very close to digit III or even held free of the ground. Such anatomical adaptation is formerly unrecorded among archosaurs, but has been previously inferred from footprints of the same stratigraphic unit that yielded the new dinosaur. A phylogenetic analysis nests the new taxon within the Noasaurinae clade, which is unresolved because of the multiple alternative positions that Noasaurus leali can acquire in the optimal trees. The exclusion of the latter form results in positioning the new dinosaur as the sister-taxon of the Argentinean Velocisaurus unicus.

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          A nomenclature for vertebral laminae in sauropods and other saurischian dinosaurs

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            Predatory Dinosaurs from the Sahara and Late Cretaceous Faunal Differentiation

            Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) fossils discovered in the Kem Kem region of Morocco include large predatory dinosaurs that inhabited Africa as it drifted into geographic isolation. One, represented by a skull approximately 1.6 meters in length, is an advanced allosauroid referable to the African genus Carcharodontosaurus. Another, represented by a partial skeleton with slender proportions, is a new basal coelurosaur closely resembling the Egyptian genus Bahariasaurus. Comparisons with Cretaceous theropods from other continents reveal a previously unrecognized global radiation of carcharodontosaurid predators. Substantial geographic differentiation of dinosaurian faunas in response to continental drift appears to have arisen abruptly at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous.
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              Estimates of speeds of dinosaurs

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                mclanger@ffclrp.usp.br
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                26 June 2019
                26 June 2019
                2019
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1937 0722, GRID grid.11899.38, Laboratório de Paleontologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, , Universidade de São Paulo, ; Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto/SP, Brazil
                [2 ]Museu de Paleontologia de Cruzeiro do Oeste, Rua João Ormino de Rezende, 686, 87400-000 Cruzeiro do Oeste/PR, Brazil
                [3 ]Centro de Estudos Paleontologicos, Ambientais e Culturais (Cepac), Rua Edmundo Mercer Junior, 1308, 87400-000 Cruzeiro do Oeste/PR, Brazil
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2116 9989, GRID grid.271762.7, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geografia (PGE), Universidade Estadual de Maringá, ; Avenida Colombo, 5790, 87020-900 Maringá/PR, Brazil
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2116 9989, GRID grid.271762.7, Grupo de Estudos Multidisciplinares do Ambiente (GEMA), Universidade Estadual de Maringá, ; Avenida Colombo, 5790, 87020-900 Maringá/PR, Brazil
                [6 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2294 473X, GRID grid.8536.8, Laboratório de Macrofósseis, , Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, ; Av. Athos da Silveira Ramos, 274, 21941-611 Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brazil
                [7 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1945 2152, GRID grid.423606.5, Sección Paleontología de Vertebrados, CONICET−Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, ; Avenida Ángel Gallardo, 470, C1405DJR Buenos Aires, Argentina
                Article
                45306
                10.1038/s41598-019-45306-9
                6594977
                31243312
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                palaeontology, herpetology

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