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Data from: A highly pneumatic ‘mid Cretaceous’ theropod from the British Lower Greensand

Citation

Barker, Chris et al. (2020), Data from: A highly pneumatic ‘mid Cretaceous’ theropod from the British Lower Greensand, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8cz8w9gmj

Abstract

A series of axial elements from the Aptian Ferruginous Sandstone Formation of the Lower Greensand Group, discovered on the foreshore near Knock Cliff on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom (UK) are – bar some isolated teeth – the youngest non-avian theropod remains reported from the British Mesozoic. These specimens have the potential to shed light on a poorly known section of the European dinosaur record. A consistency in size, appearance and adhering matrix indicate that the vertebrae belong to the same individual. This was a mid-sized tetanuran, the presence of several diagnostic characters indicating that it should be recognised as a new taxon, herein namedVectaerovenator inopinatus. The cervical and dorsal vertebrae are camerate and highly pneumatic. Tetanuran affinities include opisthocoelous cervicals and pneumatic foramina located within fossae, however assigning this specimen to a specific clade is problematic. Within Tetanurae, Vectaerovenatorpossesses axial structures and homoplastic features seen in megalosauroids, carcharodontosaurians and certain coelurosaurs. Not only is Vectaerovenatorone of the UK’s youngest non-bird dinosaurs, and one of few valid British Greensand taxa, it is also the first diagnosable theropod taxon to be named from Aptian deposits of Europe.

Usage Notes

This character matrix, based upon the work of Cau (2018), includes 133 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) scored for 1781 characters. 

Funding

Institute for Life Sciences, University of Southamptom

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Award: 2283360

Institute for Life Sciences, University of Southamptom