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The ‘duck-billed’ dinosaurs of Careless Creek (Upper Cretaceous of Montana, USA), with comments on hadrosaurid ontogeny

  • Albert Prieto-Márquez (a1) and Susana Gutarra (a2)
Abstract

The Careless Creek Quarry (CCQ) is a multitaxic bonebed in the Campanian Judith River Formation of south-central Montana (USA) that produced a diverse assemblage of vertebrates, including several dinosaurian clades. We describe the morphology of the CCQ hadrosaurid material and reevaluate its taxonomic affinities. Our osteological comparative observations, coupled with maximum parsimony phylogenetic analyses, indicate that the majority of the hadrosaurid material is referable to kritosaurin saurolophines. Only an ischium is unambiguously referable to Lambeosaurinae. Most of the kritosaurin specimens likely represent a taxon that forms a polytomy with species of Gryposaurus and Rhinorex condrupus Gates and Sheetz, 2015. This form may represent individuals of either G. latidens Horner, 1992 or G. notabilis Lambe, 1914, or a new species cogeneric or not with Gryposaurus. The juvenile material exemplifies several patterns of mandibular and appendicular osteological variation previously observed in other hadrosaurids. However, it also shows some departures from the common trends, supporting the fact that not all skeletal growth changes can be generalized to all hadrosaurids.

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