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Gobiraptor minutus
Gobiraptor minutus
[Image: newoviraptor.jpg]
Gobiraptor reconstruction. Credit: Do Yoon Kim (2019)

Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, Maastrichtian

Scientific classification
Kingdom:  Animalia
Phylum:  Chordata
Clade:  Dinosauria
Order:  Saurischia
Suborder:  Theropoda
Family:  Oviraptoridae
Genus:  †Gobiraptor  Lee et al., 2019
Species:  Gobiraptor minutus  Lee et al., 2019

Gobiraptor is a genus of oviraptorid maniraptoran dinosaur from the Maastrichtian-age Nemegt Formation of Mongolia. The type and only species is G. minutus, known from a single incomplete specimen - the holotype MPC-D 102/111. It has been found not to be closely related to the other oviraptorids it shared its environment with.

[Image: journal.pone.0210867.g004]
Postcranial elements of the holotype specimen (MPC-D 102/111) of Gobiraptor minutus gen. et sp. nov.
(A) Skeletal reconstruction in left lateral view (missing and damaged portions of the bones in gray). (B) Left ilium in lateral view. © Proximal caudal vertebrae in left lateral view with close-up of the infraprezygapophyses. (D) Chevron in cranial view. (E-F) Right scapula in dorsal (E) and lateral (F) views. (G) Last sacral and the two proximalmost caudals in left lateral view. (H) Right pubis in medial view. (I) Right ischium in lateral view. (J) Right femur in distal view. (K) Left metatarsus and distal tarsals in proximal view. (L) Right femur in cranial view. (M-N) Left metatarsus in lateral (M) and dorsal (N) views. Abbreviations: acr, acromion process; ant, antitrochanter; ch, chevron; cv, caudal vertebra(e); diprf, dorsal infraprezygapophyseal fossa; dt, distal tarsal(s); fct, cranial trochanter of femur; fh, femoral head; gl, glenoid fossa; idf, infradiapophyseal fossa; lc, lateral condyle; mc, medial condyle; mep, medial epicondyle; miprf, middle infraprezygapophyseal fossa; mt II, metatarsal II; mt IV, metatarsal IV; mt V, metatarsal V; ns, neural spine; obp, obturator process; pra, preacetabular process; pup, pubic peduncle; sprf, supraprezygapophyseal fossa; sv, sacral vertebra; tfc, tibiofibular crest; tp, transverse process; viprf, ventral infraprezygapophyseal fossa. Scale bars equal 10 cm in (A); 1 cm in (B-N).

New oviraptorosaur species discovered in Mongolia

February 6, 2019, Public Library of Science

A new oviraptorosaur species from the Late Cretaceous was discovered in Mongolia, according to a study published in February 6, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Yuong-Nam Lee from Seoul National University, South Korea, and colleagues.

Oviraptorosaurs were a diverse group of feathered, bird-like dinosaurs from the Cretaceous of Asia and North America. Despite the abundance of nearly complete oviraptorosaur skeletons discovered in southern China and Mongolia, the diet and feeding strategies of these toothless dinosaurs are still unclear. In this study, Lee and colleagues described an incomplete skeleton of an oviraptorosaur found in the Nemegt Formation of the Gobi desert of Mongolia.

The new species, named Gobiraptor minutus, can be distinguished from other oviraptorosaurs in having unusual thickened jaws. This unique morphology suggests that Gobiraptor used a crushing feeding strategy, supporting previous hypotheses that oviraptorosaurs probably fed on hard food items such as eggs, seeds or hard-shell mollusks. Histological analyses of the femur revealed that the specimen likely belonged to a very young individual.

The finding of a new oviraptorosaur species in the Nemegt Formation, which consists mostly of river and lake deposits, confirms that these dinosaurs were extremely well adapted to wet environments. The authors propose that different dietary strategies may explain the wide taxonomic diversity and evolutionary success of this group in the region.

The authors add: "A new oviraptorid dinosaur Gobiraptor minutus gen. et sp. nov. from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation is described here based on a single holotype specimen that includes incomplete cranial and postcranial elements. The unique morphology of the mandible and the accordingly inferred specialized diet of Gobiraptor also indicate that different dietary strategies may be one of important factors linked with the remarkably high diversity of oviraptorids in the Nemegt Basin."

Journal Reference:
Lee S, Lee Y-N, Chinsamy A, Lü J, Barsbold R, Tsogtbaatar K (2019) A new baby oviraptorid dinosaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation of Mongolia. PLoS ONE 14(2): e0210867.

Recent discoveries of new oviraptorosaurs revealed their high diversity from the Cretaceous Period in Asia and North America. Particularly, at the family level, oviraptorids are among the most diverse theropod dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia and China. A new oviraptorid dinosaur Gobiraptor minutus gen. et sp. nov. from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation is described here based on a single holotype specimen that includes incomplete cranial and postcranial elements. The most prominent characters of Gobiraptor are its thickened rostrodorsal end of the mandibular symphysis and a rudimentary lingual shelf on each side of the dentary. Each lingual shelf is lined with small occlusal foramina and demarcated by a weakly developed lingual ridge. This mandibular morphology of Gobiraptor is unique among oviraptorids and likely to be linked to a specialized diet that probably included hard materials, such as seeds or bivalves. The osteohistology of the femur of the holotype specimen indicates that the individual was fairly young at the time of its death. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Gobiraptor as a derived oviraptorid close to three taxa from the Ganzhou region in southern China, but rather distantly related to other Nemegt oviraptorids which, as the results of recent studies, are also not closely related to each other. Gobiraptor increases diversity of oviraptorids in the Nemegt Formation and its presence confirms the successful adaptation of oviraptorids to a mesic environment.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
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