Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Research Article

The postcranial skeleton of the iguanodontian ornithopod Jinzhousaurus yangi from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China

Xiaolin Wanga1 c1, Rui Pana1, Richard J. Butlera2 c1 and Paul M. Barretta3

a1 Key Laboratory of Evolutionary Systematics of Vertebrates, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, PO Box 643, Beijing, 100044, China Email: wangxiaolin@ivpp.ac.cn; deep.bluesea@163.com

a2 Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, Richard-Wagner-Straße 10, 80333 Munich, Germany Email: butler.richard.j@gmail.com

a3 Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK Email: P.Barrett@nhm.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Non-hadrosaurid iguanodontians were the most diverse and abundant group of large-bodied herbivorous dinosaurs during the Early Cretaceous, and were a particularly important component of Laurasian ecosystems. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in our knowledge of the diversity of this group, with multiple new taxa being described from northeast China. The most complete of these Chinese non-hadrosaurid iguanodontians is Jinzhousaurus yangi, from the middle part of the Yixian Formation (Lower Cretaceous: lower Aptian) of Liaoning Province. Here, we provide the first description of the relatively complete and partially articulated postcranial skeleton of the holotype of Jinzhousaurus, and provide detailed comparisons to closely related taxa. We document additional autapomorphies of Jinzhousaurus that provide strong support for the validity of this taxon.

(Received December 21 2009)

(Accepted June 03 2010)

Key Words:

  • Early Cretaceous;
  • Iguanodontia;
  • Ornithopoda;
  • Hadrosauridae;
  • systematics

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding authors