Sunday, December 17, 2017

[Paleontology • 2017] Almas ukhaa • A New Late Cretaceous Troodontid from Ukhaa Tolgod, Ömnögovi Aimag, Mongolia

Almas ukhaa
Pei, Norell, Barta, Bever, Pittman & Xu, 2017

  DOI: 10.1206/3889.1 

A new troodontid dinosaur, Almas ukhaa, from the Late Cretaceous deposits of the Djadokhta Formation at Ukhaa Tolgod, Mongolia, is described here. The holotype specimen (IGM 100/1323) comprises an almost complete and articulated cranium and partial articulated postcranial skeleton. This specimen has a small body size and a short snout as in basal paravians, but it exhibits a number of derived troodontid features that differentiate Almas ukhaa from the Early Cretaceous troodontids reported from China and unite this new taxon with other Late Cretaceous troodontids. Relative to other troodontids, Almas ukhaa is autapomorphic in the presence of a posteriorly curved pterygoid flange, absence of a lateral groove on the anterior part of the dentary, presence of a distinct spikelike process on the ischium, and elongate chevrons. The eggshell associated with IGM 100/1323 can be assigned to Prismatoolithidae indet. based on the smooth surface, eggshell thickness, and microstructural characteristics, and also preserves attributes similar to Protoceratopsidovum minimum. A unique relationship between Byronosaurus and the perinate troodontids IGM 100/972 and IGM 100/974 is no longer supported based on the new observations of Almas ukhaa and Gobivenator.

FIGURE 2. Skull of IGM 100/1323 in right lateral view.

FIGURE 1. Type specimen of Almas ukhaa, IGM 100/1323.


Almas ukhaa, new taxon

Etymology: Almas is in reference to the wild man or snowman of Mongolian mythology (Rincen, 1964). Ukhaa refers to the locality of Ukhaa Tolgod, discovered in 1993, where the specimen was collected. 

Rui Pei, Mark A. Norell, Daniel E. Barta, G.S. Bever, Michael Pittman and Xing Xu. 2017. Osteology of A New Late Cretaceous Troodontid Specimen from Ukhaa Tolgod, Ömnögovi Aimag, Mongolia. American Museum Novitates. 3889; 1-47.  DOI: 10.1206/3889.1

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