Monday, January 14, 2013

[Paleontology • 2010] Banji long | 'Striped crest Dragon' • A new oviraptorid dinosaur (Theropoda: Oviraptorosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous of China

Banji long

Here we report a new oviraptorid taxon based on a specimen possibly collected from the Upper Cretaceous Nanxiong Formation of Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China. This new taxon is distinguishable from other species based on the following features: a crest formed by the premaxillae and nasals having a step-wise posterior end and bearing two longitudinal grooves and numerous oblique striations on each of its lateral surfaces, an extremely elongate external naris that is posteriorly situated and close to the orbit, a deep fossa on the dorsal surface of the palatal ramus of the pterygoid, several longitudinal grooves along the posterior part of the dorsal margin of the dentary, and several tubercles along the lateral shelf at the dorsal margin of the surangular. This new taxon possesses some palatal and mandibular features not seen in other oviraptorids but similar to those in more basal oviraptorosaurs, suggesting a relatively basal position for this taxon within the Oviraptoridae. This systematic hypothesis is supported by a numerical cladistic analysis. This discovery not only adds to the known diversity of Late Cretaceous oviraptorids, but provides significant new information on the evolution of some oviraptorid features.

Key words: China; Late Cretaceous; Oviraptoridae, Theropoda

Etymology: Genus name from 'ban', speckle, but sometimes referring to stripes in Chinese, and 'ji', crest; refers to the animal's bearing a crest with distinctive striations over the snout. The species name 'long' is a transliteration of the Chinese word for dragon.

Fig.1: Holotype of Banji long gen. et sp. nov., IVPP V 16896,
in left (A) and right (B) lateral view (Courtesy of Dr. XU Xing)

New Oviraptorid Dinosaur (Theropoda: Oviraptorosauria) Found in China

Xu, X. and Han, F.-L. 2010. A new oviraptorid dinosaur (Theropoda: Oviraptorosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous of China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 48(1): 11–18.

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