The Oldest Jurassic Dinosaur: A Basal Neotheropod from the Hettangian of Great Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • John Nudds
  • David M Martill (Collaborator)
  • Steve U Vidovic (Collaborator)
  • Cindy Howells (Collaborator)

Abstract

Approximately 40% of a skeleton including cranial and postcranial remains representing a new genus and species of basal neotheropod dinosaur is described. It was collected from fallen blocks from a sea cliff that exposes Late Triassic and Early Jurassic marine and quasi marine strata on the south Wales coast near the city of Cardiff. Matrix comparisons indicate that the specimen is from the lithological Jurassic part of the sequence, below the first occurrence of the index ammonite Psiloceras planorbis and above the last occurrence of the Rhaetian conodont Chirodella verecunda. Associated fauna of echinoderms and bivalves indicate that the specimen had drifted out to sea, presumably from the nearby Welsh Massif and associated islands (St David’s Archipelago). Its occurrence close to the base of the Blue Lias Formation (Lower Jurassic, Hettangian) makes it the oldest known Jurassic dinosaur and it represents the first dinosaur skeleton from the Jurassic of Wales. A cladistic analysis indicates basal neotheropodan affinities, but the specimen retains plesiomorphic characters which it shares with Tawa and Daemonosaurus.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0145713
JournalP L o S One
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016

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