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Small theropod and bird teeth from the late Cretaceous (late Campanian) Judith River Group, Alberta

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2015

Julia T. Sankey
Affiliation:
1Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, P.O. Box 7500, Drumheller, Alberta T0J 0Y0, Canada 2South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Museum of Geology and Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, 501 E. Saint Joseph St., Rapid City 57701, <Julia.Sankey@sdsmt.edu>
Donald B. Brinkman
Affiliation:
1Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, P.O. Box 7500, Drumheller, Alberta T0J 0Y0, Canada
Merrilee Guenther
Affiliation:
2South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Museum of Geology and Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, 501 E. Saint Joseph St., Rapid City 57701, <Julia.Sankey@sdsmt.edu>
Philip J. Currie
Affiliation:
1Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, P.O. Box 7500, Drumheller, Alberta T0J 0Y0, Canada
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

A collection of over 1,700 small theropod teeth from the Judith River Group (Campanian;˜79.5–74 Ma) allows our understanding of the diversity and variation of small theropods in this assemblage to be refined. In addition to the previously recognized taxa, a series of morphologically distinct groups are recognized that may represent distinct taxa in some cases. Teeth with the Paronychodon-like features of a flat surface with longitudinal ridges on one side are resolved into a few discrete morphotypes. Two of these are included in Paronychodon lacustris and two additional morphotypes are hypothesized to represent distinct taxa, here referred to as ?Dromaeosaurus morphotype A and Genus and species indet. A. The teeth of Paronychodon lacustris and ?Dromaeosaurus morphotype A share a distinctive wear pattern that suggests tooth functioning involved contact between the flat surfaces of opposing teeth. Two species of Richardoestesia, R. gilmorei and R. isosceles, are present in the assemblage. Additionally, bird teeth are identified in the assemblage and are described in this review.

Bivariate plots were used to document the variation in the theropod teeth, especially in the features that distinguish between Richardoestesia gilmorei, R. isosceles, Saurornitholestes, and Dromaeosaurus. Considerable overlap is present in all plots, so although the teeth are morphologically distinct, they are not easily distinguished by quantitative means.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Paleontological Society 

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