A reassessment of Kelmayisaurus petrolicus, a large theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China

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Abstract

The Early Cretaceous fossil record of large−bodied theropods from Asia is poor, hindering comparison of Asian predatory dinosaur faunas with those from other continents. One of the few large Asian theropod specimens from this interval is a partial skull (maxilla and dentary) from the Lianmugin Formation (?Valanginian–Albian), the holotype of Kelmayi− saurus petrolicus. Most authors have either considered this specimen as an indeterminate basal tetanuran or a nomen dubium.Weredescribe K. petrolicus and note that it possesses a single autapomorphy (a deep accessory groove on the lat− eral surface of the anterior dentary), as well as a unique combination of characters that differentiates it from other theropods, affirming its validity.Aphylogenetic analysis recovers K. petrolicus as a basal carcharodontosaurid, which is supported by various features: very deep interdental plates (a carcharodontosaurid synapomorphy), fused interdental plates (present in carchardontosaurids and a limited number of other theropods), and the absence of diagnostic features of other clades of large−bodied theropods such as abelisaurids, megalosauroids, and coelurosaurs.As such, Kelmayisaurus is the second known carcharodontosaurid from Asia, and further evidence that this clade represented a global radiation of large−bodied predators during the Early–mid Cretaceous.

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Brusatte, S. L., Benson, R. B. J., & Xu, X. (2012). A reassessment of Kelmayisaurus petrolicus, a large theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 57(1), 65–72. https://doi.org/10.4202/app.2010.0125

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