Geological Magazine



Original Article

Post-cranial remains of ‘coelurosaurs’ (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Late Jurassic of Tanzania


OLIVER W. M. RAUHUT a1p1
a1 Institut für Paläontologie, Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt-Universität, Invalidenstraße 43, D-10115 Berlin, Germany

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Abstract

Small theropod post-cranial material from Tendaguru, Tanzania, the only known Late Jurassic theropod locality in the Southern Hemisphere, is reviewed. Material originally described as ‘coelurosaurs’ includes at least one taxon of basal tetanuran and one taxon of small abelisauroid. Together with the abelisauroid Elaphrosaurus and the presence of a larger ceratosaur in Tendaguru, this material indicates that ceratosaurs were an important faunal element of Late Jurassic East African theropod faunas. One bone furthermore shares derived characters with the holotype of the poorly known Middle Jurassic Australian theropod Ozraptor and allows the identification of the latter as the oldest known abelisauroid, thus indicating an early divergence of ceratosaurids and abelisauroids within ceratosaurs. Abelisauroids might have originated in Gondwana and represent important faunal elements of Cretaceous Gondwanan theropod faunas in general.

(Received February 19 2004)
(Accepted September 7 2004)


Key Words: Jurassic; Gondwana; Theropoda; diversity; biogeography.

Correspondence:
p1 Present address: Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie, Richard-Wagner Straße 10, 80333 München, Germany; e-mail: owmrauhut@hotmail.com


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