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Nature. 2006 Feb 9;439(7077):715-8.

A basal tyrannosauroid dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of China.

Author information

1
Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing 100044, China. xingxu@vip.sina.com

Abstract

The tyrannosauroid fossil record is mainly restricted to Cretaceous sediments of Laurasia, although some very fragmentary Jurassic specimens have been referred to this group. Here we report a new basal tyrannosauroid, Guanlong wucaii gen. et sp. nov., from the lower Upper Jurassic of the Junggar Basin, northwestern China. G. wucaii is the oldest known tyrannosauroid and shows several unexpectedly primitive pelvic features. Nevertheless, the limbs of G. wucaii share several features with derived coelurosaurs, and it possesses features shared by other coelurosaurian clades. This unusual combination of character states provides an insight into the poorly known early radiation of the Coelurosauria. Notably, the presumed predatory Guanlong has a large, fragile and highly pneumatic cranial crest that is among the most elaborate known in any non-avian dinosaur and could be comparable to some classical exaggerated ornamental traits among vertebrates.

PMID:
16467836
DOI:
10.1038/nature04511
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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