Tuesday, December 3, 2013

[Paleontology • 2013] Europelta carbonensis • The Basal Nodosaurid Ankylosaur from the Lower Cretaceous (Lower Albian) Escucha Formation of Northeastern Spain


 Europelta carbonensis Kirkland, Alcalá, Loewen, Espílez, Mampel, and Wiersma 2013

the Basal Nodosaurid Ankylosaur from the Lower Cretaceous (Lower Albian) Escucha formation, Pseudofrenolopsis dominated landscape, of Northeastern Spain

Abstract
Nodosaurids are poorly known from the Lower Cretaceous of Europe. Two associated ankylosaur skeletons excavated from the lower Albian carbonaceous member of the Escucha Formation near Ariño in northeastern Teruel, Spain reveal nearly all the diagnostic recognized character that define nodosaurid ankylosaurs. These new specimens comprise a new genus and species of nodosaurid ankylosaur and represent the single most complete taxon of ankylosaur from the Cretaceous of Europe. These two specimens were examined and compared to all other known ankylosaurs. Comparisons of these specimens document that Europelta carbonensis n. gen., n. sp. is a nodosaur and is the sister taxon to the Late Cretaceous nodosaurids AnoplosaurusHungarosaurus, and Struthiosaurus, defining a monophyletic clade of European nodosaurids– the Struthiosaurinae.



Europelta 
Kirkland, Alcalá, Loewen, Espílez, Mampel, and Wiersma 2013 gen. nov. 

Etymology: Euro” as a contraction for Europe in regard to its origin and “pelta” Greek for shield, a common root for ankylosaurian genera; “Europe’s shield”.

  Europelta carbonensis  
Kirkland, Alcalá, Loewen, Espílez, Mampel, and Wiersma 2013 gen. et sp. nov. 

  Etymology: The specific name “carbonensis” from the coal, is in honor of access to the fossil locality in the Santa María coal mine provided by Sociedad Anónima Minera Catalano-Aragonesa (SAMCA Group), which has been extracting coal in Ariño (Teruel) since 1919.

The Basal Nodosaurid Ankylosaur Europelta carbonensis n. gen., n. sp. from the Lower Cretaceous (Lower Albian) Escucha formation, Pseudofrenolopsis dominated landscape, of Northeastern Spain | with Proa valdearinnoensis, Hulkepholis & Trachyaspis



James I. Kirkland, Luis Alcalá, Mark A. Loewen, Eduardo Espílez, Luis Mampel & Jelle P. Wiersma. 2013. The Basal Nodosaurid Ankylosaur Europelta carbonensis n. gen., n. sp. from the Lower Cretaceous (Lower Albian) Escucha Formation of Northeastern Spain. PLoS ONE. 8(12): e80405. 

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