Cranial osteology of the ankylosaurian dinosaur formerly known as Minmi sp (Ornithischia: Thyreophora) from the Lower Cretaceous Allaru Mudstone of Richmond, Queensland, Australia

Leahey, Lucy G., Molnar, Ralph E., Carpenter, Kenneth, Witmer, Lawrence M. and Salisbury, Steven W. (2015) Cranial osteology of the ankylosaurian dinosaur formerly known as Minmi sp (Ornithischia: Thyreophora) from the Lower Cretaceous Allaru Mudstone of Richmond, Queensland, Australia. PeerJ, 3 e1475: 1-47. doi:10.7717/peerj.1475

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Author Leahey, Lucy G.
Molnar, Ralph E.
Carpenter, Kenneth
Witmer, Lawrence M.
Salisbury, Steven W.
Title Cranial osteology of the ankylosaurian dinosaur formerly known as Minmi sp (Ornithischia: Thyreophora) from the Lower Cretaceous Allaru Mudstone of Richmond, Queensland, Australia
Formatted title
Cranial osteology of the ankylosaurian dinosaur formerly known as Minmi sp (Ornithischia: Thyreophora) from the Lower Cretaceous Allaru Mudstone of Richmond, Queensland, Australia
Journal name PeerJ   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2167-8359
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.7717/peerj.1475
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 3
Issue e1475
Start page 1
End page 47
Total pages 47
Place of publication London United Kingdom
Publisher PeerJ
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Minmi is the only known genus of ankylosaurian dinosaur from Australia. Seven specimens are known, all from the Lower Cretaceous of Queensland. Only two of these have been described in any detail: the holotype specimen Minmi paravertebra from the Bungil Formation near Roma, and a near complete skeleton from the Allaru Mudstone on Marathon Station near Richmond, preliminarily referred to a possible new species of Minmi. The Marathon specimen represents one of the world’s most complete ankylosaurian skeletons and the best-preserved dinosaurian fossil from eastern Gondwana. Moreover, among ankylosaurians, its skull is one of only a few in which the majority of sutures have not been obliterated by dermal ossifications or surface remodelling. Recent preparation of the Marathon specimen has revealed new details of the palate and narial regions, permitting a comprehensive description and thus providing new insights cranial osteology of a basal ankylosaurian. The skull has also undergone computed tomography, digital segmentation and 3D computer visualisation enabling the reconstruction of its nasal cavity and endocranium. The airways of the Marathon specimen are more complicated than non-ankylosaurian dinosaurs but less so than derived ankylosaurians. The cranial (brain) endocast is superficially similar to those of other ankylosaurians but is strongly divergent in many important respects. The inner ear is extremely large and unlike that of any dinosaur yet known. Based on a high number of diagnostic differences between the skull of the Marathon specimen and other ankylosaurians, we consider it prudent to assign this specimen to a new genus and species of ankylosaurian. Kunbarrasaurus ieversi gen. et sp. nov. represents the second genus of ankylosaurian from Australia and is characterised by an unusual melange of both primitive and derived characters, shedding new light on the evolution of the ankylosaurian skull.
Keyword Dinosauria
Thyreophora
Eurypoda
Ankylosauria
Gondwana
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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