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Carcharodontosaurian remains (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal

  • Elisabete Malafaia (a1) (a2), Pedro Mocho (a2) (a3) (a4), Fernando Escaso (a2), Pedro Dantas (a4) (a5) and Francisco Ortega (a2)...
Abstract

A new specimen of a theropod dinosaur found in the Upper Jurassic (Freixial Formation, late Tithonian) of the Lusitanian Basin is described. It corresponds to a single individual and includes a sequence of articulated caudal vertebrae, an almost complete right pes, and other fragments of the appendicular skeleton. The specimen includes the most complete pes of a theropod dinosaur currently known in the Lusitanian Basin and represents one of the youngest skeletal records of theropod dinosaurs currently known in the Portuguese Upper Jurassic.

A systematic analysis of this specimen is performed and it shows a combination of characters that allows us to interpret it as belonging to an allosauroid taxon. Within this clade, the material from Cambelas shares a few features with some carcharodontosaurids, including the presence of a lateral lamina extending along the anterior end of the centrum in the caudal vertebra and of a low vertical crest on the lateral surface of the femoral lesser trochanter. The set of remains described here shares some unusual features with another specimen previously described in the Portuguese fossil record, which also presents some synapomorphies of Carcharodontosauria. However, no autapomorphy or exclusive character combination can be recognized in the specimen here described in order to describe it as a new form. The presence of this specimen suggests a greater diversity in the allosauroid theropod fauna from the Late Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin than currently known and probably expands the temporal record of Carcharodontosauria up to upper Tithonian of south-western Europe.

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