Non-dinosaurian dinosauromorphs from the Chinle Formation (Upper Triassic) of the Eagle Basin, northern Colorado: Dromomeron romeri (Lagerpetidae) and a new taxon, Kwanasaurus williamparkeri (Silesauridae)

Date

2019

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Abstract

The red siltstone member of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation in the Eagle Basin of Colorado contains a diverse assemblage of dinosauromorphs falling outside of Dinosauria. This assemblage is the northernmost known occurrence of non-dinosaurian dinosauromorphs in North America, and probably falls within the Revueltian land vertebrate estimated biochronozone (215-207 Ma, middle to late Norian). Lagerpetids are represented by proximal femora and a humerus referable to Dromomeron romeri. Silesaurids (non-dinosaurian dinosauriforms) are the most commonly recovered dinosauromorph elements, consisting of dentaries, maxillae, isolated teeth, humeri, illia, femora, and possibly a scapula and tibiae. These elements represent a new silesaurid, Kwanasaurus williamparkeri, gen. et sp. nov., which possesses several autapomorphies: a short, very robust maxilla with a broad ascending process, a massive ventromedial process, a complex articular surface for the lacrimal and jugal, and 12 teeth; 14 dentary teeth; an ilium with an elongate and blade-like preacetabular process and concave acetabular margin; a femur with an extremely thin medial distal condyle and a depression on the distal end anterior to the crista tibiofibularis. The recognition of K. williamparkeri further demonstrates the predominantly Late Triassic diversity and widespread geographic distribution across Pangea of the sister clade to Asilisaurus, here named Sulcimentisauria. Silesaurid dentition suggests a variety of dietary specializations from faunivory and omnivory in the Middle Triassic and early Late Triassic (Carnian), to herbivory in the Late Triassic (Carnian and Norian), with the latter specialization possibly coinciding with the radiation of Sulcimentisauria across Pangea. The extremely robust maxilla and folidont teeth of K. williamparkei may represent a strong herbivorous dietary specialization among silesaurids.

Description

Copyright © 2019 Martz and Small. cc-by

Keywords

Chinle formation, Dinosauriformes, Dinosauromorpha, Dromomeron, Eagle Basin, Kwanasaurus, Lagerpetidae, Silesauridae, Triassic

Citation

Martz, J.W., & Small, B.J.. 2019. Non-dinosaurian dinosauromorphs from the Chinle Formation (Upper Triassic) of the Eagle Basin, northern Colorado: Dromomeron romeri (Lagerpetidae) and a new taxon, Kwanasaurus williamparkeri (Silesauridae). PeerJ, 2019(9). https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7551

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