New ankylosaurian material from the Upper Cretaceous of Transylvania

Attila Ősi, Vlad Codrea, Edina Prondvai, Zoltán Csiki-Sava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Ankylosaurian remains from the Transylvanian Basin, Romania, are extremely rare. More than 100 years after the discovery of the first and only better-known assemblage, namely the type material of Struthiosaurus transylvanicus, new ankylosaurian material has been discovered in the Maastrichtian of the Haţeg Basin, as well as at another locality (Vurpăr), in the Transylvanian Basin, that is described here. The material consists of one tooth in a small jaw fragment (from the Haţeg Basin) and at least two accummulations of associated, as well as several isolated, postcranial elements (from Vurpăr). No diagnostic elements are preserved that would overlap with the type of S. transylvanicus, so we cannot assign any of the new specimens to this species. The tooth shows marked differences compared to those of other anklyosaurs including S. austriacus and Hungarosaurus in having only six, more or less equally sized, apically pointed cusps separated by deep grooves. The postcranial material from Vurpăr represents at least three different individuals. The humerus is the most diagnostic element among the postcranial remains being most similar both in size and morphology to humeri referred to as Struthiosaurus from different European localities, thus here we refer the humerus and probably associated elements preserved in one assemblage to as cf. Struthiosaurus sp.; the remaining specimens from Vurpăr are retained as Nodosauridae indet. Histological studies have confirmed the adult nature of all sampled bones in the Vurpăr ankylosaur material suggesting that these fully grown animals were of similar size to Struthiosaurus, a small-bodied nodosaurid the ontogenetic status of which, however, has never been investigated histologically. The obviously diminished body size of the Transylvanian ankylosaurs compared to other members of the clade could be explained by insular dwarfism using the same histology-based argument as presented for Magyarosaurus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-271
Number of pages15
JournalAnnales de Paléontologie
Volume100
Issue number3
Early online date12 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Ankylosaurs
  • Struthiosaurus
  • Late Cretaceous
  • Transylvania

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