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Basal tyrannosauroids: a new theropod dinosaur from the Kimmeridge Clay (Late Jurassic: Tithonian) of Dorset, UK representing a large-bodied species of the North American genus Stokesosaurus
SVPCA Conference
Platform presentation (20 minutes)
*Roger B J Benson
Tyrannosauridae is a derived clade of carnivorous theropod dinosaurs, known from the Late Cretaceous of North America and Asia, some members of which attained colossal size (Holtz, 2004). However, Late Jurassic tyrannosauroids (members of the larger group containing Tyrannosauridae) which have potential to shed light on the origins of this group, are poorly-known. A partial postcranial skeleton from the Late Jurassic (Tithonian) of Dorset, England is one of only two Jurassic tyrannosauroids known from associated remains and represents a new species of the North American theropod genus Stokesosaurus (Madsen, 1974). The specimen provides additional anatomical evidence in support of the tyrannosauroid affiliation of Stokesosaurus: a distinct median vertical ridge on the lateral surface of the ilium, a pronounced shelf medial to the preacetabular notch, a prominent ischial tubercle, and a tibia that is elongate relative to the femur. With an estimated mass of 350kg, the new specimen is substantially larger than other known Jurassic and Early Cretaceous tyrannosauroids (Rauhut, 2003; Xu et al., 2004, 2006), and provides evidence for a basal radiation of small to medium-sized tyrannosauroids in Asia, North America and Europe during the Late Jurassic. The occurrence of Stokesosaurus in the UK supports the hypothesis of a palaeobiogeographic link between North America and Europe during the Late Jurassic
London 2020