A new ankylosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Kirtlandian) of New Mexico with implications for ankylosaurid diversity in the upper cretaceous of Western North America

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Abstract

A new ankylosaurid (Ankylosauria: Dinosauria), Ziapelta sanjuanensis, gen. et sp. nov., is based on a complete skull, an incomplete first cervical half ring, a possible fragment of the second cervical half ring, and additional fragmentary osteoderms. The holotype specimen is from the Upper Cretaceous (Upper Campanian, Kirtlandian Land-Vertebrate Age) Kirtland Formation (De-na-zin Member) at Hunter Wash, San Juan Basin, in northwestern New Mexico, USA. Diagnostic characters of Ziapelta include: a large, prominent triangular median nasal caputegulum; a mixture of flat and bulbous frontonasal caputegulae; ventrolaterally oriented squamosal horns with a sharp, prominent dorsal keel; and the ventral surface of basicranium with three prominent anteroposteriorly oriented fossae. A phylogenetic analysis suggests that Ziapelta is not closely related to the other ankylosaurid from the De-na-zin Member, Nodocephalosaurus, but allies it to the northern North American ankylosaurids Ankylosaurus, Anodontosaurus, Euoplocephalus, Dyoplosaurus, and Scolosaurus.

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Arbour, V. M., Burns, M. E., Sullivan, R. M., Lucas, S. G., Cantrell, A. K., Fry, J., & Suazo, T. L. (2014). A new ankylosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Kirtlandian) of New Mexico with implications for ankylosaurid diversity in the upper cretaceous of Western North America. PLoS ONE, 9(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0108804

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