Monday, April 27, 2015

Chilesaurus, A Plant-Eating Theropod from Chile

An enigmatic plant-eating theropod from the Late Jurassic period of Chile. 2015. Novas, F., et al. Nature.

Chilesaurus diegosuarezi is a new, bizarre herbivorous basal tetanuran discovered at Aysén, a fossil locality in the Upper Jurassic Toqui Formation of southern Chile. The site yielded abundant and exquisitely preserved three-dimensional skeletons of small archosaurs. Several articulated individuals of Chilesaurus at different ontogenetic stages have been collected, as well as less abundant basal crocodyliforms, and fragmentary remains of sauropod dinosaurs (diplodocids and titanosaurians).

Chilesaurus had robust forelimbs similar to Jurassic theropods such as Allosaurus, although its hands were provided with two blunt fingers, unlike the sharp claws of fellow theropod Velociraptor. Chilesaurus' pelvic girdle resembles that of the ornithischian dinosaurs.

Chilesaurus can be considered a 'platypus' dinosaur because different parts of its body resemble those of other dinosaur groups due to mosaic convergent evolution. PR