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A review of the Late Jurassic stegosaurs (Dinosauria, Stegosauria) from the People's Republic of China


Seven genera of stegosaurian dinosaur have been named on the basis of material from the Upper Jurassic of China, and this represents a diversity of stegosaurs unparalleled around the world at this time. However, many of the original specimens used to diagnose and describe these species are currently unavailable, and the original descriptions and figures are often inadequate. The Chinese stegosaurs have proven ‘unstable’ in the few cladistic analyses of Stegosauria that have been carried out, causing a loss of resolution in cladograms. Supplementary data on previously described specimens are presented here along with a taxonomic revision. Only Tuojiangosaurus multispinus, Chungkingosaurus jiangbeiensis and Gigantspinosaurus sichuanensis are considered to be valid taxa, with autapomorphies pertaining to features of the ilio-sacral blocks and dermal armour in all cases. The holotype specimen of ‘Chialingosaurus kuani’ is a juvenile, bearing no diagnostic characters, and ‘Monkonosaurus lawulacus’ is based on fragmentary and undiagnostic material. ‘Changtusaurus’ and ‘Yingshanosaurus’ have never been described or figured and their whereabouts are unknown, so they are regarded as nomina nuda. This taxonomic revision significantly reduces known stegosaurian diversity worldwide, and shows that the Chinese diversity was similar to that of Europe and North America in the Upper Jurassic. Previously, it had been suggested that the diversity of Chinese stegosaurs indicated an Asian origin for the clade, a claim that cannot now be upheld.

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Geological Magazine
  • ISSN: 0016-7568
  • EISSN: 1469-5081
  • URL: /core/journals/geological-magazine
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