, Volume 96, Issue 7, pp 869-870
Date: 07 May 2009

Turanoceratops tardabilis—sister taxon, but not a ceratopsid

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The ceratopsian dinosaur Turanoceratops tardabilis, from the Upper Cretaceous of Uzbekistan, has been assigned variously as a member of Ceratopsidae (the clade including Triceratops and relatives; Nessov et al. 1989), sister taxon to Ceratopsidae (e.g., Sereno 1997), or a nomen dubium (e.g., Dodson et al. 2004). Cladistic affiliation is of considerable importance for this problematic taxon because all other members of the diverse Ceratopsidae are restricted to western North America. In a recent paper published in Naturwissenschaften, (Sues and Averianov 2009) described newly recovered specimens of Turanoceratops and conducted a cladistic analysis of Ceratopsia. Based on their study, the authors concluded that Turanoceratops is indeed a member of the less inclusive Ceratopsidae and, thus, represents “the first definite ceratopsid dinosaur recorded from Asia.” This result has important implications for the biogeography, origin, and evolution of horned dinosaurs.

The ingroup taxa used for

This is a comment to Sues HD, Averianov A (2009) Turanoceratops tardabilis—the first ceratopsid dinosaur from Asia. Naturwissenschaften 96(5):645–652 doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0518-9