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Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 92, Issue 5, pp 226–230 | Cite as

A large Cretaceous theropod from Patagonia, Argentina, and the evolution of carcharodontosaurids

  • Fernando E. Novas
  • Silvina de Valais
  • Pat Vickers-Rich
  • Tom Rich
Short Communication

Abstract

The Cretaceous Carcharodontosauridae is the latest clade of carnosaurs, including the largest predatory dinosaurs yet recorded. Albeit spectacular for their size, the skeletal anatomy of these theropods remains poorly-known, and their diversity was until recently restricted to two Cenomanian species: the highly derived Giganotosaurus carolinii, from southern South America, and the incompletely known Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, from northern Africa. Here we describe an older and basal member of the group, Tyrannotitan chubutensis gen. et sp. nov., from Aptian strata of Patagonia, Argentina. The new taxon gives new insights into the systematics and evolution of carcharodontosaurids and offers a better understanding of the evolution of Southern theropod faunas. We suggest that carcharodontosaurids radiated in Gondwana sharing with spinosaurids the role of top-predators until their extinction in Cenomanian–Turonian times. During this interval, the diplodocoid sauropods and giant titanosaurians went extinct (probably as part of a global-scale crisis), and the smaller abelisaurid theropods took dominance, reigning until the end of the Cretaceous. Electronic Supplementary Material is available.

Keywords

Cretaceous Cenomanian Turonian Neural Spine Chubut Province 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank L. Guerrero, P. Puerta, R. Vacca and their team for the discovery, excavation and preparation of the specimens; L. Salgado, P. Currie, and P. Posadas for suggestions on early drafts; and R. Coria and R. Carolini for access to specimen of Giganotosaurus carolinii. Finnancial support received from Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Técnica, CONICET, National Geographic Society, and The Jurassic Foundation (to FEN) is gratefully acknowledged. Fieldwork was sponsored by Museo Paleontológico “Egidio Feruglio.”

Supplementary material

114_2005_623_ESM_supp.pdf (312 kb)
(PDF 312 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando E. Novas
    • 1
  • Silvina de Valais
    • 2
  • Pat Vickers-Rich
    • 3
  • Tom Rich
    • 4
  1. 1.CONICET, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.CONICET, Museo Paleontológico “Egidio Feruglio”TrelewArgentina
  3. 3.School of GeosciencesMonash UniversityMelbourne (Clayton)Australia
  4. 4.Museum VictoriaMelbourneAustralia

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