Leshansaurus

Leshansaurus is a genus of theropod dinosaur from the Mid to Late Jurassic Dashanpu Formation of what is now China. It was described in 2009 by a team of Chinese paleontologists. The type species is Leshansaurus qianweiensis. Fossils of Leshansaurus were discovered in strata from the Shangshaximiao Formation, a formation rich in dinosaur fossils. Li et al. referred this taxon to Sinraptoridae – a group of carnosaurian theropods,[1] but it may it belong to Megalosauridae instead.[2]

Leshansaurus
Temporal range: Late Jurassic, 161.2–155.7 Ma
Leshansaurus reconstructed skull
Skull reconstruction showing known material (white and light grey)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Megalosauridae
Subfamily: Afrovenatorinae
Genus: Leshansaurus
Li et al., 2009
Species
  • Leshansaurus qianweiensis Li et al., 2009 (type)

Discovery and naming

Leshansaurus size
Size of Leshansaurus qianweiensis

The holotype (QW 200701) was found in 2007. It is a fairly complete skeleton consisting of a partial skull and lower jaws, seven cervical vertebrae, twelve dorsal vertebrae, five sacral vertebrae, two caudal vertebrae, and much of the hind limbs and hands. A second specimen (QW 200702), an isolated femur from a juvenile, has been designated as the paratype.

Leshansaurus qianweiensis was named and described in 2009 by Li Fei, Peng Guangzhao, Ye Yong, Jiang Shan, and Huang Daxi. The generic name refers to Leshan, a nearby city in Sichuan, China, and the specific epithet refers to Qianwei, the county in which the fossils were found.

Description

Leshansaurus was a medium-sized theropod that would have had a length of six to seven meters, and a hip height of about one and a half meters.

Leshansaurus has an elongated skull that is broader towards the front. The femur has a length of 62 centimeters, and the tibia has a length of 52 centimeters. Its autapomorphies (unique characteristics) are the possession of a sharp central ridge on the supraoccipital (the bone above the occipital), elongated frontal bones that are 2.86 times as long as they are wide, slender basipterygoid projections on the basisphenoid, a bone of the lower braincase, an atlas intercentrum that is horseshoe-shaped in cross-section, slender diapophyses, thin spines of the dorsal vertebrae and sacral vertebrae, the possession of a clear keel at the bottom of the sacral vertebrae, and an ilium with on the inner side a distinct ridge along the edge of the hip joint.

Phylogeny

The describers placed Leshansaurus in the Sinraptoridae, but they did not carry out a cladistic analysis. An analysis by Matthew Carrano in 2012 found it to be a member of the megalosaurid Afrovenatorinae, as sister species of Piveteausaurus, a taxon known only from a braincase nearly identical to that of Leshansaurus. The phylogenetic position of Leshansaurus according to Carrano e.a. (2012) is shown by this cladogram:[3]

Megalosauroidea

Piatnitzkysauridae Piatnitzkysaurus floresi by Paleocolour

Megalosauria

Streptospondylus

Spinosauridae Spinosaurus by Joschua Knüppe

Megalosauridae
Eustreptospondylinae

Eustreptospondylus Eustrept1DB1 (Flipped)

Megalosaurinae

Duriavenator Duriavenator NT (Flipped)

Megalosaurus Megalosaurus silhouette by Paleogeek

Torvosaurus Torvosaurus tanneri Reconstruction (Flipped)

Afrovenatorinae

Afrovenator Afrovenator Abakensis by PaleoGeek

Dubreuillosaurus Dubreuillosaurus NT Flipped

Magnosaurus Magnosaurus (Flipped)

Leshansaurus

Piveteausaurus

References

  1. ^ F. Li; Peng G.; Ye Y.; Jiang S.; and Huang, D. (2009). "A new carnosaur from the Late Jurassic of Qianwei, Sichuan, China". Acta Geologica Sinica 83(9): 1203–1213. Abstract.
  2. ^ Mortimer, M. "Leshansaurus qianweiensis". The Theropod Database. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  3. ^ M.T. Carrano, R.B.J. Benson, and S.D. Sampson, 2012, "The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda)", Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10(2): 211-300
2009 in archosaur paleontology

The year 2009 in Archosaur paleontology was eventful. Archosaurs include the only living dinosaur group — birds — and the reptile crocodilians, plus all extinct dinosaurs, extinct crocodilian relatives, and pterosaurs. Archosaur paleontology is the scientific study of those animals, especially as they existed before the Holocene Epoch began about 11,700 years ago. The year 2009 in paleontology included various significant developments regarding archosaurs.

This article records new taxa of fossil archosaurs of every kind that have been described during the year 2009, as well as other significant discoveries and events related to paleontology of archosaurs that occurred in the year 2009.

Afrovenator

Afrovenator (; "African hunter") is a genus of megalosaurid theropod dinosaur from the middle Jurassic Period of northern Africa.

Dashanpu Formation

The Dashanpu Formation is a Mid to Late Jurassic rock formation in China, most notable for the wealth of dinosaurs that have been excavated from the area. The Dashanpu Formation sits in and around the small township of Dashanpu (simplified Chinese: 大山铺镇; traditional Chinese: 大山鋪鎮; pinyin: Dàshānpū zhèn), situated seven kilometres north-east from Sichuan's third largest city, Zigong, in the Da'an District.

Dubreuillosaurus

Dubreuillosaurus is a genus of carnivorous dinosaur from the middle Jurassic Period. It is a megalosaurid theropod. Its fossils were found in France. The only named species, Dubreuillosaurus valesdunensis, was originally described as a species of Poekilopleuron, Poekilopleuron? valesdunensis, which is still formally the type species of the genus. It was later renamed Dubreuillosaurus valesdunensis when, in 2005, Allain came to the conclusion that it was not part of the genus Poekilopleuron. Its type specimen, MNHN 1998-13, is only rivalled in the number of preserved elements in this group by that of Eustreptospondylus. Dubreuillosaurus is considered to be the sister species of Magnosaurus. It did not show signs of insular dwarfism even though it was uncovered on an island.

Eustreptospondylus

Eustreptospondylus ( yoo-STREPT-o-spon-DY-ləs; meaning "true Streptospondylus") is a genus of megalosaurid theropod dinosaur, from the Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic period (some time between 163 and 154 million years ago) in southern England, at a time when Europe was a series of scattered islands (due to tectonic movement at the time which raised the sea-bed and flooded the lowland).

List of Asian dinosaurs

This is a list of dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Asia excluding the Indian Subcontinent, which was part of a separate landmass for much of the Mesozoic. This list does not include dinosaurs that live or lived after the Mesozoic era such as birds.

List of dinosaur genera

This list of dinosaurs is a comprehensive listing of all genera that have ever been included in the superorder Dinosauria, excluding class Aves (birds, both living and those known only from fossils) and purely vernacular terms.

The list includes all commonly accepted genera, but also genera that are now considered invalid, doubtful (nomen dubium), or were not formally published (nomen nudum), as well as junior synonyms of more established names, and genera that are no longer considered dinosaurs. Many listed names have been reclassified as everything from birds to crocodilians to petrified wood. The list contains 1559 names, of which approximately 1192 are considered either valid dinosaur genera or nomina dubia.

Magnosaurus

Magnosaurus (meaning 'large lizard') was a genus of basal tetanuran theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of England. It is based on fragmentary remains and has often been confused with or included in Megalosaurus.

Megalosauridae

Megalosauridae is a monophyletic family of carnivorous theropod dinosaurs within the order Megalosauroidea, closely related to the family Spinosauridae. Some members of this family include Megalosaurus, Torvosaurus, Eustreptospondylus, and Afrovenator. Appearing in the Middle Jurassic, megalosaurids were among the first major radiation of large theropod dinosaurs, although they became extinct by the end of the Jurassic period. They were a relatively primitive group of basal tetanurans containing two main subfamilies, Megalosaurinae and Afrovenatorinae, along with the basal genus Eustreptospondylus, an unresolved taxon which differs from both subfamilies.The defining megalosaurid is Megalosaurus bucklandii, first named and described in 1824 by William Buckland after multiple finds in Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, UK. Megalosaurus was the first formally described dinosaur and was the basis for the establishment of the clade Dinosauria. It is also one of the largest known Middle Jurassic carnivorous dinosaurs, with the best-preserved femur at 805 mm and a proposed body mass of around 943 kg. Megalosauridae is recognized as a mainly European group of dinosaurs, based on fossils found in France and the UK. However, recent discoveries in Niger have led some to consider the range of the family. Megalosaurids appeared right before the split of the supercontinent Pangaea into Gondwana and Laurasia. These large theropods therefore may have dominated both halves of the world during the Jurassic.The family Megalosauridae was first defined by Thomas Huxley in 1869, yet it has been contested throughout history due to its role as a ‘waste-basket’ for many partially described dinosaurs or unidentified remains. In the early years of paleontology, most large theropods were grouped together and up to 48 species were included in the clade Megalosauria, the basal clade of Megalosauridae. Over time, most of these taxa were placed in other clades and the parameters of Megalosauridae were narrowed significantly. However, some controversy remains over whether Megalosauridae should be considered its own distinct group, and dinosaurs in this family remain some of the most problematic taxa in all Dinosauria. Some paleontologists, such as Paul Sereno in 2005, have disregarded the group due to its shaky foundation and lack of clarified phylogeny. However, recent research by Carrano, Benson, and Sampson has systematically analyzed all basal tetanurans and determined that Megalosauridae should exist as its own family.

Megalosauroidea

Megalosauroidea (meaning 'great/big lizard forms') is a superfamily (or clade) of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs that lived from the Middle Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous period. The group is defined as Megalosaurus bucklandii and all taxa sharing a more recent common ancestor with it than with Allosaurus fragilis or Passer domesticus. Members of the group include Spinosaurus, Megalosaurus, and Torvosaurus.

Megalosaurus

Megalosaurus (meaning "Great Lizard", from Greek μέγας, megas, meaning 'big', 'tall' or 'great' and σαῦρος, sauros, meaning 'lizard') is an extinct genus of large meat-eating theropod dinosaurs of the Middle Jurassic period (Bathonian stage, 166 million years ago) of Southern England. Although fossils from other areas have been assigned to the genus, the only certain remains of Megalosaurus come from Oxfordshire and date to the late Middle Jurassic.

The earliest possible fossils of the genus came from the Taynton Limestone Formation. One of these was the lower part of a femur, discovered in the 17th century. It was originally described by Robert Plot as a thighbone of a Roman war elephant, and then as a biblical giant. The first scientific name given for it, in the 18th century, was Scrotum humanum, created by Richard Brookes as a caption; however, this is not considered valid today.

Megalosaurus was, in 1824, the first genus of non-avian dinosaur to be validly named. The type species is Megalosaurus bucklandii, named in 1827. In 1842, Megalosaurus was one of three genera on which Richard Owen based his Dinosauria. On Owen's directions a model was made as one of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, which greatly increased the public interest for prehistoric reptiles. Subsequently, over fifty other species would be classified under the genus, originally because dinosaurs were not well known, but even during the 20th century after many dinosaurs had been discovered. Today it is understood these additional species were not directly related to M. bucklandii, which is the only true Megalosaurus species. Because a complete skeleton of it has never been found, much is still unclear about its build.

The first naturalists who investigated Megalosaurus mistook it for a gigantic lizard of twenty metres length. In 1842, Owen concluded that it was no longer than nine metres, standing on upright legs. He still thought it was a quadruped, though. Modern scientists, by comparing Megalosaurus with its direct relatives in the Megalosauridae, were able to obtain a more accurate picture. Megalosaurus was about six metres long, weighing about seven hundred kilogrammes. It was bipedal, walking on stout hindlimbs, its horizontal torso balanced by a horizontal tail. Its forelimbs were short, though very robust. Megalosaurus had a rather large head, equipped with long curved teeth. It was generally a robust and heavily muscled animal.

Piveteausaurus

Piveteausaurus (meaning "Jean Piveteau's lizard") is a genus of theropod dinosaur known from a partial skull discovered in the Middle Jurassic Marnes de Dives formation of Calvados, in northern France.

Torvosaurus

Torvosaurus () is a genus of carnivorous megalosaurid theropod dinosaurs that lived approximately 153 to 148 million years ago during the Late Jurassic Period (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian) in what is now Colorado and Portugal. It contains two currently recognized species, Torvosaurus tanneri and Torvosaurus gurneyi.

In 1979 the type species Torvosaurus tanneri was named: it was a large, heavily built, bipedal carnivore, that could grow to a length of about 10 m (33 ft). T. tanneri was among the largest carnivores of its time, together with Epanterias and Saurophaganax (which could be both synonyms of Allosaurus). Specimens referred to Torvosaurus gurneyi were initially claimed to be up to twelve metres long, but later shown to be smaller. Based on bone morphology Torvosaurus is thought to have had short but very powerful arms.

Piatnitzkysauridae
Megalosauria

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