Thursday, December 17, 2015

[Paleontology • 2012] Proa valdearinnoensis • An Unusual New Basal Iguanodont (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of Teruel, Spain

Proa valdearinnoensis
McDonald, Espílez, Mampel, Kirkland & Alcalá, 2012

We describe a new basal iguanodont, Proa valdearinnoensis, from the Lower Cretaceous (lower Albian) Escucha Formation of Teruel Province, Spain. The new taxon is known from abundant cranial and postcranial material belonging to several individuals, and is distinguished by an autapomorphy (predentary comes to a point at its rostral margin, with divergent lateral processes) and a unique combination of characters. Proa fills part of an otherwise lengthy temporal gap (early Aptian–Santonian) in the European fossil record of basal iguanodonts. A preliminary phylogenetic analysis places Proa in a polytomy with Iguanodon bernissartensis and more derived iguanodontians (Hadrosauroidea). Proa is more basal than the Valanginian Hypselospinus and late Barremian-early Aptian Mantellisaurus, suggesting a long ghost lineage leading to Proa.

Key Words: Proa valdearinnoensis gen. et sp. nov., Iguanodontia, Early Cretaceous, Escucha Formation, Spain

Systematic Paleontology

Dinosauria Owen 1842
Ornithischia Seeley 1887
Ornithopoda Marsh 1881

Iguanodontia Dollo 1888 (sensu Sereno 2005)
Styracosterna Sereno 1986 (sensu Sereno 2005)

Ankylopollexia Sereno 1986 (sensu Sereno 2005)
Hadrosauriformes Sereno 1997 (sensu Sereno 1998)

Proa valdearinnoensis gen. et sp. nov. 

Etymology. The generic name is the Spanish word for prow (‘proa’), in reference to the pointed shape of the predentary. The specific name is in reference to Val de Ariño, the traditional name of the coal mining area around the municipality of Ariño, near which the fossils were discovered, with the Latin ending -ensis (‘from’).

Andrew T. McDonald, Eduardo Espílez, Luis Mampel, James I. Kirkland and Luis Alcalá. 2012. An Unusual New Basal Iguanodont (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of Teruel, Spain. Zootaxa. 3595: 61–76.