The first dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Cretaceous Bayan Gobi Formation of Nei Mongol, China
- Subject Areas
- Paleontology, Taxonomy, Zoology
- deinonychosaur, dromaeosaurid, paravian, theropod, microraptorine, Bayan Gobi Formation, Nei Mongol, Elesitai, Early Cretaceous
- © 2015 Pittman et al.
- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
- Cite this article
- 2015. The first dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Cretaceous Bayan Gobi Formation of Nei Mongol, China. PeerJ PrePrints 3:e1340v1 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.1340v1
The first dromaeosaurid theropod from the Early Cretaceous Bayan Gobi Formation is identified based on an incompletely preserved partially-articulated left leg, increasing the known diversity of its understudied ecosystem. The leg belongs to specimen IVPP V22530 and includes a typical deinonychosaurian pedal phalanx II-2 with a distinct constriction between the enlarged proximal end and the distal condyle as well as a typical deinonychosaurian enlarged pedal phalanx II-3. It possesses a symmetric metatarsus and a slender and long MT V that together suggest it is a dromaeosaurid. Two anatomical traits suggest the leg is microraptorine-like, but a more precise taxonomic referral was not possible: metatarsals II, III and IV are closely appressed distally and the ventral margin of the medial ligament pit of phalanx II-2 is close to the centre of the rounded distal condyle. This taxonomic status invites future efforts to discover additional specimens at the study locality because - whether it is a microraptorine or a close relative - this animal is expected to make important contributions to our understanding of dromaeosaurid evolution and biology. IVPP V22530 also comprises of an isolated manual ungual, a proximal portion of a right dorsal rib and an indeterminate bone mass that includes a collection of ribs. However, these specimens cannot be confidently referred to Dromaeosauridae, although they may very well belong to the same individual from whom the left leg belongs.
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