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Sample records for bizarre cretaceous theropod

  1. The phylogenetic affinities of the bizarre Late Cretaceous Romanian theropod Balaur bondoc (Dinosauria, Maniraptora: dromaeosaurid or flightless bird?

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    Andrea Cau

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The exceptionally well-preserved Romanian dinosaur Balaur bondoc is the most complete theropod known to date from the Upper Cretaceous of Europe. Previous studies of this remarkable taxon have included its phylogenetic interpretation as an aberrant dromaeosaurid with velociraptorine affinities. However, Balaur displays a combination of both apparently plesiomorphic and derived bird-like characters. Here, we analyse those features in a phylogenetic revision and show how they challenge its referral to Dromaeosauridae. Our reanalysis of two distinct phylogenetic datasets focusing on basal paravian taxa supports the reinterpretation of Balaur as an avialan more crownward than Archaeopteryx but outside of Pygostylia, and as a flightless taxon within a paraphyletic assemblage of long-tailed birds. Our placement of Balaur within Avialae is not biased by character weighting. The placement among dromaeosaurids resulted in a suboptimal alternative that cannot be rejected based on the data to hand. Interpreted as a dromaeosaurid, Balaur has been assumed to be hypercarnivorous and predatory, exhibiting a peculiar morphology influenced by island endemism. However, a dromaeosaurid-like ecology is contradicted by several details of Balaur’s morphology, including the loss of a third functional manual digit, the non-ginglymoid distal end of metatarsal II, and a non-falciform ungual on the second pedal digit that lacks a prominent flexor tubercle. Conversely, an omnivorous ecology is better supported by Balaur’s morphology and is consistent with its phylogenetic placement within Avialae. Our reinterpretation of Balaur implies that a superficially dromaeosaurid-like taxon represents the enlarged, terrestrialised descendant of smaller and probably volant ancestors.

  2. A bizarre Jurassic maniraptoran theropod with preserved evidence of membranous wings.

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    Xu, Xing; Zheng, Xiaoting; Sullivan, Corwin; Wang, Xiaoli; Xing, Lida; Wang, Yan; Zhang, Xiaomei; O'Connor, Jingmai K; Zhang, Fucheng; Pan, Yanhong

    2015-05-07

    The wings of birds and their closest theropod relatives share a uniform fundamental architecture, with pinnate flight feathers as the key component. Here we report a new scansoriopterygid theropod, Yi qi gen. et sp. nov., based on a new specimen from the Middle-Upper Jurassic period Tiaojishan Formation of Hebei Province, China. Yi is nested phylogenetically among winged theropods but has large stiff filamentous feathers of an unusual type on both the forelimb and hindlimb. However, the filamentous feathers of Yi resemble pinnate feathers in bearing morphologically diverse melanosomes. Most surprisingly, Yi has a long rod-like bone extending from each wrist, and patches of membranous tissue preserved between the rod-like bones and the manual digits. Analogous features are unknown in any dinosaur but occur in various flying and gliding tetrapods, suggesting the intriguing possibility that Yi had membranous aerodynamic surfaces totally different from the archetypal feathered wings of birds and their closest relatives. Documentation of the unique forelimbs of Yi greatly increases the morphological disparity known to exist among dinosaurs, and highlights the extraordinary breadth and richness of the evolutionary experimentation that took place close to the origin of birds.

  3. A reassessment of Kelmayisaurus petrolicus, a large theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China

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    Brusatte, S.L.; Benson, R.B.J.; Xu, X.

    2012-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous fossil record of large−bodied theropods from Asia is poor, hindering comparison of Asian predatory dinosaur faunas with those from other continents. One of the few large Asian theropod specimens from this interval is a partial skull (maxilla and dentary) from the Lianmugin Formation (?Valanginian–Albian), the holotype of Kelmayisaurus petrolicus. Most authors have either considered this specimen as an indeterminate basal tetanuran or a nomen dubium. Weredescribe K. petrol...

  4. Secondarily flightless birds or Cretaceous non-avian theropods?

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    Kavanau, J Lee

    2010-02-01

    Recent studies by Varricchio et al. reveal that males cared for the eggs of troodontids and oviraptorids, so-called "non-avian theropods" of the Cretaceous, just as do those of most Paleognathic birds (ratites and tinamous) today. Further, the clutches of both groups have large relative volumes, and consist of many eggs of relatively large size. By comparison, clutch care by most extant birds is biparental and the clutches are of small relative volume, and consist of but few small eggs. Varricchio et al. propose that troodontids and oviraptorids were pre-avian and that paternal egg care preceded the origin of birds. On the contrary, unmentioned by them is that abundant paleontological evidence has led several workers to conclude that troodontids and oviraptorids were secondary flightless birds. This evidence ranges from bird-like bodies and bone designs, adapted for climbing, perching, gliding, and ultimately flight, to relatively large, highly developed brains, poor sense of smell, and their feeding habits. Because ratites also are secondarily flightless and tinamous are reluctant, clumsy fliers, the new evidence strengthens the view that troodontids and oviraptorids were secondarily flightless. Although secondary flightlessness apparently favors paternal care of clutches of large, abundant eggs, such care is not likely to have been primitive. There are a suite of previously unknown independent findings that point to the evolution of, first, maternal, followed by biparental egg care in earliest ancestors of birds. This follows from the discovery of remarkable relict avian reproductive behaviors preserved by virtue of the highly conservative nature of vertebrate brain evolution. These behaviors can be elicited readily by exposing breeding birds to appropriate conditions, both environmental and with respect to their eggs and chicks. They give significant new clues for a coherent theory of avian origin and early evolution.

  5. A bizarre, humped Carcharodontosauria (Theropoda) from the lower cretaceous of Spain.

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    Ortega, Francisco; Escaso, Fernando; Sanz, José L

    2010-09-09

    Carcharodontosaurs were the largest predatory dinosaurs, and their early evolutionary history seems to be more intricate than was previously thought. Until recently, carcharodontosaurs were restricted to a group of large theropods inhabiting the Late Cretaceous Gondwanan land masses, but in the last few years Laurasian evidence has been causing a reevaluation of their initial diversification. Here we describe an almost complete and exquisitely preserved skeleton of a medium-sized (roughly six metres long) theropod from the Lower Cretaceous series (Barremian stage) Konservat-Lagerstätte of Las Hoyas in Cuenca, Spain. Cladistic analysis supports the idea that the new taxon Concavenator corcovatus is a primitive member of Carcharodontosauria, exhibiting two unusual features: elongation of the neurapophyses of two presacral vertebrae forming a pointed, hump-like structure and a series of small bumps on the ulna. We think that these bumps are homologous to quill knobs present on some modern birds; the knobs are related to the insertion area of follicular ligaments that anchor the roots of the flight feathers (remiges) to the arm. We propose that Concavenator has integumentary follicular structures inserted on the ulna, as in modern birds. Because scales do not have follicles, we consider the structures anchored to the Concavenator arms to be non-scale skin appendages homologous to the feathers of modern birds. If this is true, then the phylogenetic bracket for the presence of non-scale skin structures homologous to feathers in theropod dinosaurs would be extended to the Neotetanurae, enlarging the scope for explaining the origin of feathers in theropods.

  6. A New Large-Bodied Oviraptorosaurian Theropod Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of Western North America

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    Lamanna, Matthew C.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Schachner, Emma R.; Lyson, Tyler R.

    2014-01-01

    The oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaur clade Caenagnathidae has long been enigmatic due to the incomplete nature of nearly all described fossils. Here we describe Anzu wyliei gen. et sp. nov., a new taxon of large-bodied caenagnathid based primarily on three well-preserved partial skeletons. The specimens were recovered from the uppermost Cretaceous (upper Maastrichtian) Hell Creek Formation of North and South Dakota, and are therefore among the stratigraphically youngest known oviraptorosau...

  7. An Unusual New Theropod with a Didactyl Manus from the Upper Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina

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    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Smith, Nathan D.; Juárez Valieri, Rubén; Makovicky, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Late Cretaceous terrestrial strata of the Neuquén Basin, northern Patagonia, Argentina have yielded a rich fauna of dinosaurs and other vertebrates. The diversity of saurischian dinosaurs is particularly high, especially in the late Cenomanian-early Turonian Huincul Formation, which has yielded specimens of rebacchisaurid and titanosaurian sauropods, and abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods. Continued sampling is adding to the known vertebrate diversity of this unit. Methodology/ Principal Findings A new, partially articulated mid-sized theropod was found in rocks from the Huincul Formation. It exhibits a unique combination of traits that distinguish it from other known theropods justifying erection of a new taxon, Gualicho shinyae gen. et sp. nov. Gualicho possesses a didactyl manus with the third digit reduced to a metacarpal splint reminiscent of tyrannosaurids, but both phylogenetic and multivariate analyses indicate that didactyly is convergent in these groups. Derived characters of the scapula, femur, and fibula supports the new theropod as the sister taxon of the nearly coeval African theropod Deltadromeus and as a neovenatorid carcharodontosaurian. A number of these features are independently present in ceratosaurs, and Gualicho exhibits an unusual mosaic of ceratosaurian and tetanuran synapomorphies distributed throughout the skeleton. Conclusions/ Significance Gualicho shinyae gen. et sp. nov. increases the known theropod diversity of the Huincul Formation and also represents the first likely neovenatorid from this unit. It is the most basal tetatanuran to exhibit common patterns of digit III reduction that evolved independently in a number of other tetanuran lineages. A close relationship with Deltadromaeus from the Kem Kem beds of Niger adds to the already considerable biogeographic similarity between the Huincul Formation and coeval rock units in North Africa. PMID:27410683

  8. A large Cretaceous theropod from Patagonia, Argentina, and the evolution of carcharodontosaurids

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    Novas, Fernando E.; Valais, Silvina; Vickers-Rich, Pat; Rich, Tom

    2005-05-01

    The Cretaceous Carcharodontosauridae is the latest clade of carnosaurs, including the largest predatory dinosaurs yet recorded. Albeit spectacular for their size, the skeletal anatomy of these theropods remains poorly-known, and their diversity was until recently restricted to two Cenomanian species: the highly derived Giganotosaurus carolinii, from southern South America, and the incompletely known Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, from northern Africa. Here we describe an older and basal member of the group, Tyrannotitan chubutensis gen. et sp. nov., from Aptian strata of Patagonia, Argentina. The new taxon gives new insights into the systematics and evolution of carcharodontosaurids and offers a better understanding of the evolution of Southern theropod faunas. We suggest that carcharodontosaurids radiated in Gondwana sharing with spinosaurids the role of top-predators until their extinction in Cenomanian Turonian times. During this interval, the diplodocoid sauropods and giant titanosaurians went extinct (probably as part of a global-scale crisis), and the smaller abelisaurid theropods took dominance, reigning until the end of the Cretaceous. Electronic Supplementary Material is available.

  9. Small Theropod Teeth from the Late Cretaceous of the San Juan Basin, Northwestern New Mexico and Their Implications for Understanding Latest Cretaceous Dinosaur Evolution

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    Williamson, Thomas; Brusatte, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Studying the evolution and biogeographic distribution of dinosaurs during the latest Cretaceous is critical for better understanding the end-Cretaceous extinction event that killed off all non-avian dinosaurs. Western North America contains among the best records of Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrates in the world, but is biased against small-bodied dinosaurs. Isolated teeth are the primary evidence for understanding the diversity and evolution of small-bodied theropod dinosaurs during th...

  10. Small theropod teeth from the Late Cretaceous of the San Juan Basin, northwestern New Mexico and their implications for understanding latest Cretaceous dinosaur evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Thomas E; Brusatte, Stephen L

    2014-01-01

    Studying the evolution and biogeographic distribution of dinosaurs during the latest Cretaceous is critical for better understanding the end-Cretaceous extinction event that killed off all non-avian dinosaurs. Western North America contains among the best records of Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrates in the world, but is biased against small-bodied dinosaurs. Isolated teeth are the primary evidence for understanding the diversity and evolution of small-bodied theropod dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous, but few such specimens have been well documented from outside of the northern Rockies, making it difficult to assess Late Cretaceous dinosaur diversity and biogeographic patterns. We describe small theropod teeth from the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. These specimens were collected from strata spanning Santonian - Maastrichtian. We grouped isolated theropod teeth into several morphotypes, which we assigned to higher-level theropod clades based on possession of phylogenetic synapomorphies. We then used principal components analysis and discriminant function analyses to gauge whether the San Juan Basin teeth overlap with, or are quantitatively distinct from, similar tooth morphotypes from other geographic areas. The San Juan Basin contains a diverse record of small theropods. Late Campanian assemblages differ from approximately coeval assemblages of the northern Rockies in being less diverse with only rare representatives of troodontids and a Dromaeosaurus-like taxon. We also provide evidence that erect and recurved morphs of a Richardoestesia-like taxon represent a single heterodont species. A late Maastrichtian assemblage is dominated by a distinct troodontid. The differences between northern and southern faunas based on isolated theropod teeth provide evidence for provinciality in the late Campanian and the late Maastrichtian of North America. However, there is no indication that major components of small-bodied theropod diversity were lost

  11. Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs

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    Lockley, Martin G.; McCrea, Richard T.; Buckley, Lisa G.; Deock Lim, Jong; Matthews, Neffra A.; Breithaupt, Brent H.; Houck, Karen J.; Gierliński, Gerard D.; Surmik, Dawid; Soo Kim, Kyung; Xing, Lida; Yong Kong, Dal; Cart, Ken; Martin, Jason; Hadden, Glade

    2016-01-01

    Relationships between non-avian theropod dinosaurs and extant and fossil birds are a major focus of current paleobiological research. Despite extensive phylogenetic and morphological support, behavioural evidence is mostly ambiguous and does not usually fossilize. Thus, inferences that dinosaurs, especially theropods displayed behaviour analogous to modern birds are intriguing but speculative. Here we present extensive and geographically widespread physical evidence of substrate scraping behavior by large theropods considered as compelling evidence of “display arenas” or leks, and consistent with “nest scrape display” behaviour among many extant ground-nesting birds. Large scrapes, up to 2 m in diameter, occur abundantly at several Cretaceous sites in Colorado. They constitute a previously unknown category of large dinosaurian trace fossil, inferred to fill gaps in our understanding of early phases in the breeding cycle of theropods. The trace makers were probably lekking species that were seasonally active at large display arena sites. Such scrapes indicate stereotypical avian behaviour hitherto unknown among Cretaceous theropods, and most likely associated with terrirorial activity in the breeding season. The scrapes most probably occur near nesting colonies, as yet unknown or no longer preserved in the immediate study areas. Thus, they provide clues to paleoenvironments where such nesting sites occurred.

  12. Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs.

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    Lockley, Martin G; McCrea, Richard T; Buckley, Lisa G; Lim, Jong Deock; Matthews, Neffra A; Breithaupt, Brent H; Houck, Karen J; Gierliński, Gerard D; Surmik, Dawid; Kim, Kyung Soo; Xing, Lida; Kong, Dal Yong; Cart, Ken; Martin, Jason; Hadden, Glade

    2016-01-07

    Relationships between non-avian theropod dinosaurs and extant and fossil birds are a major focus of current paleobiological research. Despite extensive phylogenetic and morphological support, behavioural evidence is mostly ambiguous and does not usually fossilize. Thus, inferences that dinosaurs, especially theropods displayed behaviour analogous to modern birds are intriguing but speculative. Here we present extensive and geographically widespread physical evidence of substrate scraping behavior by large theropods considered as compelling evidence of "display arenas" or leks, and consistent with "nest scrape display" behaviour among many extant ground-nesting birds. Large scrapes, up to 2 m in diameter, occur abundantly at several Cretaceous sites in Colorado. They constitute a previously unknown category of large dinosaurian trace fossil, inferred to fill gaps in our understanding of early phases in the breeding cycle of theropods. The trace makers were probably lekking species that were seasonally active at large display arena sites. Such scrapes indicate stereotypical avian behaviour hitherto unknown among Cretaceous theropods, and most likely associated with terrirorial activity in the breeding season. The scrapes most probably occur near nesting colonies, as yet unknown or no longer preserved in the immediate study areas. Thus, they provide clues to paleoenvironments where such nesting sites occurred.

  13. Apparent sixth sense in theropod evolution: The making of a Cretaceous weathervane.

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    Bruce M Rothschild

    Full Text Available Two separate and distinctive skills are necessary to find prey: Detection of its presence and determination of its location. Surface microscopy of the dentary of albertosaurines revealed a previously undescribed sensory modification, as will be described here. While dentary "foramina" were previously thought to contain tactile sensory organs, the potential function of this theropod modification as a unique localizing system is explored in this study.Dentary surface perforations were examined by surface epi-illumination microscopy in tyrannosaurine and albertosaurine dinosaurs to characterize their anatomy. Fish lateral lines were examined as potentially comparable structures.In contrast to the subsurface vascular bifurcation noted in tyrannosaurines (which lack a lateral dentary surface groove, the area subjacent to the apertures in albertosaurine grooves has the appearance of an expanded chamber. That appearance seemed to be indistinguishable from the lateral line of fish.Dentary groove apertures in certain tyrannosaurid lines (specifically albertosaurines not only have a unique appearance, but one with significant functional and behavior implications. The appearance of the perforations in the dentary groove of albertosaurines mirrors that previously noted only with specialized neurologic structures accommodating derived sensory functions, as seen in the lateral line of fish. The possibility that this specialized morphology could also represent a unique function in albertosaurine theropods for interacting with the environment or facilitating prey acquisition cannot be ignored. It is suggested that these expanded chambers function in perceiving and aligning the body relative to the direction of wind, perhaps a Cretaceous analogue of the contemporary midwestern weathervane.

  14. Apparent sixth sense in theropod evolution: The making of a Cretaceous weathervane.

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    Rothschild, Bruce M; Naples, Virginia

    2017-01-01

    Two separate and distinctive skills are necessary to find prey: Detection of its presence and determination of its location. Surface microscopy of the dentary of albertosaurines revealed a previously undescribed sensory modification, as will be described here. While dentary "foramina" were previously thought to contain tactile sensory organs, the potential function of this theropod modification as a unique localizing system is explored in this study. Dentary surface perforations were examined by surface epi-illumination microscopy in tyrannosaurine and albertosaurine dinosaurs to characterize their anatomy. Fish lateral lines were examined as potentially comparable structures. In contrast to the subsurface vascular bifurcation noted in tyrannosaurines (which lack a lateral dentary surface groove), the area subjacent to the apertures in albertosaurine grooves has the appearance of an expanded chamber. That appearance seemed to be indistinguishable from the lateral line of fish. Dentary groove apertures in certain tyrannosaurid lines (specifically albertosaurines) not only have a unique appearance, but one with significant functional and behavior implications. The appearance of the perforations in the dentary groove of albertosaurines mirrors that previously noted only with specialized neurologic structures accommodating derived sensory functions, as seen in the lateral line of fish. The possibility that this specialized morphology could also represent a unique function in albertosaurine theropods for interacting with the environment or facilitating prey acquisition cannot be ignored. It is suggested that these expanded chambers function in perceiving and aligning the body relative to the direction of wind, perhaps a Cretaceous analogue of the contemporary midwestern weathervane.

  15. A new large-bodied oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaur from the latest Cretaceous of western North America.

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    Lamanna, Matthew C; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Schachner, Emma R; Lyson, Tyler R

    2014-01-01

    The oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaur clade Caenagnathidae has long been enigmatic due to the incomplete nature of nearly all described fossils. Here we describe Anzu wyliei gen. et sp. nov., a new taxon of large-bodied caenagnathid based primarily on three well-preserved partial skeletons. The specimens were recovered from the uppermost Cretaceous (upper Maastrichtian) Hell Creek Formation of North and South Dakota, and are therefore among the stratigraphically youngest known oviraptorosaurian remains. Collectively, the fossils include elements from most regions of the skeleton, providing a wealth of information on the osteology and evolutionary relationships of Caenagnathidae. Phylogenetic analysis reaffirms caenagnathid monophyly, and indicates that Anzu is most closely related to Caenagnathus collinsi, a taxon that is definitively known only from a mandible from the Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta. The problematic oviraptorosaurs Microvenator and Gigantoraptor are recovered as basal caenagnathids, as has previously been suggested. Anzu and other caenagnathids may have favored well-watered floodplain settings over channel margins, and were probably ecological generalists that fed upon vegetation, small animals, and perhaps eggs.

  16. A new large-bodied oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaur from the latest Cretaceous of western North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew C Lamanna

    Full Text Available The oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaur clade Caenagnathidae has long been enigmatic due to the incomplete nature of nearly all described fossils. Here we describe Anzu wyliei gen. et sp. nov., a new taxon of large-bodied caenagnathid based primarily on three well-preserved partial skeletons. The specimens were recovered from the uppermost Cretaceous (upper Maastrichtian Hell Creek Formation of North and South Dakota, and are therefore among the stratigraphically youngest known oviraptorosaurian remains. Collectively, the fossils include elements from most regions of the skeleton, providing a wealth of information on the osteology and evolutionary relationships of Caenagnathidae. Phylogenetic analysis reaffirms caenagnathid monophyly, and indicates that Anzu is most closely related to Caenagnathus collinsi, a taxon that is definitively known only from a mandible from the Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta. The problematic oviraptorosaurs Microvenator and Gigantoraptor are recovered as basal caenagnathids, as has previously been suggested. Anzu and other caenagnathids may have favored well-watered floodplain settings over channel margins, and were probably ecological generalists that fed upon vegetation, small animals, and perhaps eggs.

  17. Reanalysis of Wupus agilis (Early Cretaceous) of Chongqing, China as a Large Avian Trace: Differentiating between Large Bird and Small Non-Avian Theropod Tracks.

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    Xing, Lida; Buckley, Lisa G; McCrea, Richard T; Lockley, Martin G; Zhang, Jianping; Piñuela, Laura; Klein, Hendrik; Wang, Fengping

    2015-01-01

    Trace fossils provide the only records of Early Cretaceous birds from many parts of the world. The identification of traces from large avian track-makers is made difficult given their overall similarity in size and tridactyly in comparison with traces of small non-avian theropods. Reanalysis of Wupus agilis from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) Jiaguan Formation, one of a small but growing number of known avian-pterosaur track assemblages, of southeast China determines that these are the traces of a large avian track-maker, analogous to extant herons. Wupus, originally identified as the trace of a small non-avian theropod track-maker, is therefore similar in both footprint and trackway characteristics to the Early Cretaceous (Albian) large avian trace Limiavipes curriei from western Canada, and Wupus is reassigned to the ichnofamily Limiavipedidae. The reanalysis of Wupus reveals that it and Limiavipes are distinct from similar traces of small to medium-sized non-avian theropods (Irenichnites, Columbosauripus, Magnoavipes) based on their relatively large footprint length to pace length ratio and higher mean footprint splay, and that Wupus shares enough characters with Limiavipes to be reassigned to the ichnofamily Limiavipedidae. The ability to discern traces of large avians from those of small non-avian theropods provides more data on the diversity of Early Cretaceous birds. This analysis reveals that, despite the current lack of body fossils, large wading birds were globally distributed in both Laurasia and Gondwana during the Early Cretaceous.

  18. Reanalysis of Wupus agilis (Early Cretaceous of Chongqing, China as a Large Avian Trace: Differentiating between Large Bird and Small Non-Avian Theropod Tracks.

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    Lida Xing

    Full Text Available Trace fossils provide the only records of Early Cretaceous birds from many parts of the world. The identification of traces from large avian track-makers is made difficult given their overall similarity in size and tridactyly in comparison with traces of small non-avian theropods. Reanalysis of Wupus agilis from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian Jiaguan Formation, one of a small but growing number of known avian-pterosaur track assemblages, of southeast China determines that these are the traces of a large avian track-maker, analogous to extant herons. Wupus, originally identified as the trace of a small non-avian theropod track-maker, is therefore similar in both footprint and trackway characteristics to the Early Cretaceous (Albian large avian trace Limiavipes curriei from western Canada, and Wupus is reassigned to the ichnofamily Limiavipedidae. The reanalysis of Wupus reveals that it and Limiavipes are distinct from similar traces of small to medium-sized non-avian theropods (Irenichnites, Columbosauripus, Magnoavipes based on their relatively large footprint length to pace length ratio and higher mean footprint splay, and that Wupus shares enough characters with Limiavipes to be reassigned to the ichnofamily Limiavipedidae. The ability to discern traces of large avians from those of small non-avian theropods provides more data on the diversity of Early Cretaceous birds. This analysis reveals that, despite the current lack of body fossils, large wading birds were globally distributed in both Laurasia and Gondwana during the Early Cretaceous.

  19. A new troodontid theropod, Talos sampsoni gen. et sp. nov., from the Upper Cretaceous Western Interior Basin of North America.

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    Lindsay E Zanno

    Full Text Available Troodontids are a predominantly small-bodied group of feathered theropod dinosaurs notable for their close evolutionary relationship with Avialae. Despite a diverse Asian representation with remarkable growth in recent years, the North American record of the clade remains poor, with only one controversial species--Troodon formosus--presently known from substantial skeletal remains.Here we report a gracile new troodontid theropod--Talos sampsoni gen. et sp. nov.--from the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation, Utah, USA, representing one of the most complete troodontid skeletons described from North America to date. Histological assessment of the holotype specimen indicates that the adult body size of Talos was notably smaller than that of the contemporary genus Troodon. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Talos as a member of a derived, latest Cretaceous subclade, minimally containing Troodon, Saurornithoides, and Zanabazar. MicroCT scans reveal extreme pathological remodeling on pedal phalanx II-1 of the holotype specimen likely resulting from physical trauma and subsequent infectious processes.Talos sampsoni adds to the singularity of the Kaiparowits Formation dinosaur fauna, which is represented by at least 10 previously unrecognized species including the recently named ceratopsids Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops, the hadrosaurine Gryposaurus monumentensis, the tyrannosaurid Teratophoneus, and the oviraptorosaurian Hagryphus. The presence of a distinct troodontid taxon in the Kaiparowits Formation supports the hypothesis that late Campanian dinosaurs of the Western Interior Basin exhibited restricted geographic ranges and suggests that the taxonomic diversity of Late Cretaceous troodontids from North America is currently underestimated. An apparent traumatic injury to the foot of Talos with evidence of subsequent healing sheds new light on the paleobiology of deinonychosaurians by bolstering functional interpretations of prey grappling and

  20. An exquisitely preserved troodontid theropod with new information on the palatal structure from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia

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    Tsuihiji, Takanobu; Barsbold, Rinchen; Watabe, Mahito; Tsogtbaatar, Khishigjav; Chinzorig, Tsogtbaatar; Fujiyama, Yoshito; Suzuki, Shigeru

    2014-02-01

    Troodontidae is a clade of small-bodied theropod dinosaurs. A new troodontid, Gobivenator mongoliensis gen. et sp. nov., is described based on the most complete skeleton of a Late Cretaceous member of this clade presently known, from the Campanian Djadokhta Formation in the central Gobi Desert. G. mongoliensis is different from other troodontids in possessing a pointed anterior end of the fused parietal and a fossa on the surangular in front of the posterior surangular foramen. The skull was superbly preserved in the specimen and provides detailed information of the entire configuration of the palate in Troodontidae. Overall morphology of the palate in Gobivenator resembles those of dromaeosaurids and Archaeopteryx, showing an apparent trend of elongation of the pterygoid process of the palatine and reduction of the pterygopalatine suture toward the basal Avialae. The palatal configuration suggests that the skull of Gobivenator would have been akinetic but had already acquired prerequisites for later evolution of cranial kinesis in birds, such as the loss of the epipterygoid and reduction in contact areas among bones.

  1. New information on Nqwebasaurus thwazi, a coelurosaurian theropod from the Early Cretaceous Kirkwood Formation in South Africa

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    Choiniere, Jonah N.; Forster, Catherine A.; de Klerk, William J.

    2012-08-01

    We performed additional preparation on the holotype skeleton of Nqwebasaurus thwazi and discovered new skeletal material. We describe this material, which includes a maxilla with small, conical, unserrated teeth and bones of the braincase, as well as parts of the holotype postcranial anatomy that were previously poorly documented. We incorporate this new anatomical information into a broadly sampled matrix designed to test theropod relationships. Our phylogenetic results hypothesize that Nqwebasaurus is the basalmost ornithomimosaur, and recover numerous characters supporting this relationship, including features of the maxilla, frontal, dentition, axial skeleton, forelimb and hindlimb. Nqwebasaurus is the first African ornithomimosaur and the first Gondwanan member of this group known from articulated skeletal material, supporting the hypothesis that coelurosaurian groups were cosmopolitan during their early evolutionary history. The presence of reduced dentition and a gastric mill in Nqwebasaurus strongly suggest that this taxon was herbivorous.

  2. A reappraisal of the morphology and systematic position of the theropod dinosaur Sigilmassasaurus from the “middle” Cretaceous of Morocco

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    Serjoscha W. Evers

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis is an enigmatic theropod dinosaur from the early Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian of Morocco, originally based on a few isolated cervical vertebrae. Ever since its original description, both its taxonomic validity and systematic affinities were contentious. Originally considered to represent its own family, Sigilmassasauridae, the genus has variously been suggested to represent a carcharodontosaurid, an ornithischian, and, more recently, a spinosaurid. Here we describe new remains referrable to this taxon and re-evaluate its taxonomic status and systematic affinities. Based on the new remains, a re-evaluation of the original materials, and comparisons with other spinosaurids, the holotype of Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis is identified as an anterior dorsal, rather than a cervical vertebra, and differences between elements referred to this taxon can be explained by different positions of the elements in question within the vertebral column. Many characters used previously to diagnose the genus and species are found to be more widespread among basal tetanurans, and specifically spinosaurids. However, the taxon shows several autapomorphies that support its validity, including the presence of a strongly rugose, ventrally offset triangular platform that is confluent with a ventral keel anteriorly in the mid-cervical vertebral centra and a strongly reduced lateral neural arch lamination, with no or an incomplete distinction between anterior and posterior centrodiapophyseal laminae in the posterior cervical and anterior dorsal vertebrae. We argue furthermore that Spinosaurus maroccanus, also described on the basis of isolated cervical vertebrae from the same stratigraphic unit and in the same paper as Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis, is a subjective synonym of the latter. Both a detailed comparison of this taxon with other theropods and a formal phylogenetic analysis support spinosaurid affintities for Sigilmassasaurus. However, we

  3. Cretaceous

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voigt, Silke; Wagreich, Michael; Surlyk, Finn; Walaszczyk, Ireneusz; Uličný, David; Čech, Stanislav; Voigt, Thomas; Wiese, Frank; Wilmsen, Markus; Niebuhr, Birgit; Reich, Mike; Funk, Hanspeter; Michalík, Josef; Jagt, John W M; Felder, Peter J.; Schulp, Anne S.

    2008-01-01

    The Cretaceous evolution of sedimentary basins in Central Europe was influenced by the interplay of two main processes: plate tectonics and eustatic sea-level change. Global plate-tectonic reconfiguration resulted in the widening of the Central Atlantic, the opening of the Bay of Biscay, and the

  4. A Middle Jurassic abelisaurid from Patagonia and the early diversification of theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pol, Diego; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2012-08-22

    Abelisaurids are a clade of large, bizarre predatory dinosaurs, most notable for their high, short skulls and extremely reduced forelimbs. They were common in Gondwana during the Cretaceous, but exceedingly rare in the Northern Hemisphere. The oldest definitive abelisaurids so far come from the late Early Cretaceous of South America and Africa, and the early evolutionary history of the clade is still poorly known. Here, we report a new abelisaurid from the Middle Jurassic of Patagonia, Eoabelisaurus mefi gen. et sp. nov., which predates the so far oldest known secure member of this lineage by more than 40 Myr. The almost complete skeleton reveals the earliest evolutionary stages of the distinctive features of abelisaurids, such as the modification of the forelimb, which started with a reduction of the distal elements. The find underlines the explosive radiation of theropod dinosaurs in the Middle Jurassic and indicates an unexpected diversity of ceratosaurs at that time. The apparent endemism of abelisauroids to southern Gondwana during Pangean times might be due to the presence of a large, central Gondwanan desert. This indicates that, apart from continent-scale geography, aspects such as regional geography and climate are important to reconstruct the biogeographical history of Mesozoic vertebrates.

  5. The Bizarre Bazaar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Michael Haldrup; Hobye, Mads; Padfield, Nicolas

    In this paper we observe how ‘Fablabbing’ as a global social movement (Walter- Hermann 2013) in convergence with ‘the Maker movement’ (Hatch 2013) creates new spaces for learning, innovation, research and self-actualization. On the background of our experiences with establishing and running FabLa...... in the fablab. With this background we discuss the characteristics of this space, emphasizing in particular the role of proximity between researchers, students and professionals in art, technology and entrepreneurship as the ‘hybrid hub’ of the bizarre bazaar of the Fablab....

  6. Bizarreness effect in dream recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cipolli, C; Bolzani, R; Cornoldi, C; De Beni, R; Fagioli, I

    1993-02-01

    This study aimed to ascertain a) whether morning reports of dream experience more frequently reproduce bizarre contents of night reports than nonbizarre ones and b) whether this effect depends on the rarity of bizarre contents in the dream or on their richer encoding in memory. Ten subjects were awakened in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep three times per night for 4 nonconsecutive nights and asked to report their previous dream experiences. In the morning they were asked to re-report those dreams. Two separate pairs of judges scored the reports: the former identified the parts in each report with bizarre events, characters or feelings and the latter parsed each report into content units using transformational grammar criteria. By combining the data of the two analyses, content units were classified as bizarre or nonbizarre and, according to whether present in both the night and corresponding morning reports, as semantically equivalent or nonequivalent. The proportion of bizarre contents common to night and morning reports was about twice that of nonbizarre contents and was positively correlated to the quantity of bizarre contents present in the night report. These findings support the view that bizarreness enhances recall of dream contents and that this memory advantage is determined by a richer encoding at the moment of dream generation. Such a view would seem to explain why dreams in everyday life, which are typically remembered after a rather long interval, appear more markedly bizarre than those recalled in the sleep laboratory.

  7. A king-sized theropod coprolite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, K.; Tokaryk, T.T.; Erickson, G.M.; Calk, L.C.

    1998-01-01

    Fossil faeces (coprolites) provide unique trophic perspectives on ancient ecosystems. Yet, although thousands of coprolites have been discovered, specimens that can be unequivocally attributed to carnivorous dinosaurs are almost unknown. A few fossil faeces have been ascribed to herbivorous dinosaurs, but it is more difficult to identify coprolites produced by theropods because other carnivorous taxa coexisted with dinosaurs and most faeces are taxonomically ambiguous. Thus sizeable (up to 20 cm long and 10 cm wide) phosphatic coprolites from Belgium and India that have been attributed to dinosaurs might have been produced by contemporaneous crocodylians or fish. But there is no ambiguity about the theropod origin of the Cretaceous coprolite we report here. This specimen is more than twice as large as any previously reported carnivore coprolite, and its great size and temporal and geographic context indicate that it was produced by a tyrannosaur, most likely Tyrannosaurus rex. The specimen contains a high proportion (30-50%) of bone fragments, an it rare tangible evidence of theropod diet and digestive processes.

  8. What is bizarre in bizarre delusions? A critical review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cermolacce, Michel René Joseph; Jensen, Lars Meldgaard Sass; Parnas, J

    2010-01-01

    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) treats the presence of bizarre delusions (BD) as the heaviest-weighted clinical criterion of schizophrenia. Although BD play a major role in contemporary diagnostic systems, only a few empirical studies explore this issue...... theoretical; it has practical relevance for the therapeutic encounter and implications on further empirical research and on diagnostic approaches....

  9. What is bizarre in bizarre delusions? A critical review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cermolacce, Michel René Joseph; Jensen, Lars Meldgaard Sass; Parnas, J

    2010-01-01

    or incomprehensible. Then, we provide a critical review of contemporary studies on the reliability of BD and their methodological and conceptual limitations. Current approaches have focused intensely on BD's reliability and have defined BD strictly in terms of delusional content--mainly in terms of the physical...... to delusional contents alone and requires taking into account the subjective side of BD (how altered experience manifests itself) as well as the conditions of intersubjective encounter (how BD are expressed to and experienced by the clinician). The notion of "bizarreness" in schizophrenia is not purely...

  10. The phylogenetic position of the Tyrannosauridae: implications for theropod systematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holtz, T.R.

    1994-01-01

    A new cladistic analysis indicates that the tyrannosaurs were derived members of the Coelurosauria, a group of otherwise small theropods. Desipte certain gross cranial similarities with the large predators of the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, the Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurids are shown to be the sister group to ornithominids and troodontids, which share a derived condition of the metatarsus. The taxa "Carnosauria' and "Deinonychosauria' are shown to be polyphyletic, and the Late Jurassic African form Elaphrosaurus is found to be the sister taxon to Abelisauridae. Purported allosaurid-tyrannosaurid synapomorphies are seen to be largely size-related. The remaining giant tetanurine theropods were found to be progressive distant outgroups to an allosaurid-coelurosaur clade. -from Author

  11. An enigmatic plant-eating theropod from the Late Jurassic period of Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novas, Fernando E; Salgado, Leonardo; Suárez, Manuel; Agnolín, Federico L; Ezcurra, Martín D; Chimento, Nicolás R; de la Cruz, Rita; Isasi, Marcelo P; Vargas, Alexander O; Rubilar-Rogers, David

    2015-06-18

    Theropod dinosaurs were the dominant predators in most Mesozoic era terrestrial ecosystems. Early theropod evolution is currently interpreted as the diversification of various carnivorous and cursorial taxa, whereas the acquisition of herbivorism, together with the secondary loss of cursorial adaptations, occurred much later among advanced coelurosaurian theropods. A new, bizarre herbivorous basal tetanuran from the Upper Jurassic of Chile challenges this conception. The new dinosaur was discovered at Aysén, a fossil locality in the Upper Jurassic Toqui Formation of southern Chile (General Carrera Lake). The site yielded abundant and exquisitely preserved three-dimensional skeletons of small archosaurs. Several articulated individuals of Chilesaurus at different ontogenetic stages have been collected, as well as less abundant basal crocodyliforms, and fragmentary remains of sauropod dinosaurs (diplodocids and titanosaurians).

  12. A Late Cretaceous diversification of Asian oviraptorid dinosaurs: evidence from a new species preserved in an unusual posture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Junchang; Chen, Rongjun; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Zhu, Yangxiao; Shen, Caizhi

    2016-11-01

    Oviraptorosaurs are a bizarre group of bird-like theropod dinosaurs, the derived forms of which have shortened, toothless skulls, and which diverged from close relatives by developing peculiar feeding adaptations. Although once among the most mysterious of dinosaurs, oviraptorosaurs are becoming better understood with the discovery of many new fossils in Asia and North America. The Ganzhou area of southern China is emerging as a hotspot of oviraptorosaur discoveries, as over the past half decade five new monotypic genera have been found in the latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) deposits of this region. We here report a sixth diagnostic oviraptorosaur from Ganzhou, Tongtianlong limosus gen. et sp. nov., represented by a remarkably well-preserved specimen in an unusual splayed-limb and raised-head posture. Tongtianlong is a derived oviraptorid oviraptorosaur, differentiated from other species by its unique dome-like skull roof, highly convex premaxilla, and other features of the skull. The large number of oviraptorosaurs from Ganzhou, which often differ in cranial morphologies related to feeding, document an evolutionary radiation of these dinosaurs during the very latest Cretaceous of Asia, which helped establish one of the last diverse dinosaur faunas before the end-Cretaceous extinction.

  13. Bizarre hierarchy of brain function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kercel, Stephen W.; Caulfield, H. John; Bach-y-Rita, Paul

    2003-08-01

    At its substratum, brain/mind organization requires both synaptic firings and non-synaptic events. Synaptic firings organize the pattern of non-synaptic events. Non-synaptic events organize the pattern of synaptic firings. The processes are related in a bizarre hierarchy. Comparing these processes to electric circuits, it is as if we have two circuits that each continuously and simultaneously update the topology, and consequently, the dynamical laws of the other. Since either can be seen to be rebuilding the other, from its own perspective each process appears higher than the other in a hierarchy. This same kind of hierarchy is found in a hyperset structure. Interpreted as a directed graph, the nodes in a hyperset form a hierarchy in which, from the perspective of any node in the hierarchy, that node is at the top. This organizational structure violates the Foundation Axiom. Algorithmic computation strictly complies with the Foundation Axiom. Thus, an algorithm organized like a hyperset is a contradiction in terms. Does this contradiction mean are we precluded forever from implementing brain-like activities artificially? Not at all! An algorithm is incapable of doing the job, but nothing prevents us from constructing interacting analog processes that update each other's dynamical laws on the fly.

  14. NEW ABELISAURID MATERIAL FROM THE UPPER CRETACEOUS (CENOMANIAN OF MOROCCO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SIMONE D'ORAZI PORCHETTI

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Fragmentary cranial bones of dinosaur origin have been recently recovered from the Kem Kem beds (Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian of Morocco. They include two incompletely preserved maxillary bones evidencing diagnostic features of abelisaurid theropods. These new finds provide further evidence of Abelisauridae in the Late Cretaceous of Morocco. 

  15. Femoral bone strength in large theropod dinosaurs: A study by genus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-03-01

    The locomotion of bipedal theropod dinosaurs is controlled by the strength of the femur to resist bending torques (caused by the foot striking the ground and the action of muscles on the femur). The section modulus at the narrowest part measures the ability of the femur to resist such torques. We present the results of our study of the femoral section moduli for six genus of large theropods: Tyrannosaurus, Nanotyrannus, Gorgosaurus, and Albertosaurus of the Late Cretaceous, Acrocanthosaurus of the Early Cretaceous, and Allosaurus of the Late Jurassic. These animals had femora of lengths between 65 and 134 cm. The corresponding section moduli varied between 23 and 570 cm3. Some species of Tyrannosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Allosaurus, and Albertosaurus had femora with lengths in the same 75 to 90 cm range. The section moduli of these animals are all in the same range, showing that the animals had the same abilities of locomotion. That is, Allosaurus of the Late Jurassic could locomote just as well as the Late Cretaceous Tyrannosaurus, Gorgosaurus, and Albertosaurus. There is no evidence that these later theropods had evolved to be any faster than similarly-sized theropods living about 80 million years earlier.

  16. Creating bizarre false memories through imagination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Ayanna K; Loftus, Elizabeth F

    2002-04-01

    The present study explored memory for familiar or usual actions (e.g., flip the coin) and bizarre or unusual actions (e.g., sit on the dice). In Session 1, action statements were presented to 210 participants, who had to either perform or imagine those actions. In Session 2, 24 h later, participants imagined performing various actions, some presented in the first session and others totally new. Finally, in Session 3, 2 weeks later, participants were tested on their memory for the original actions. We found that as the number of imaginings increased in Session 2, so did the proportion of did responses to actions that were only imagined or not even presented. This pattern was present for both bizarre and familiar actions. These results demonstrate that bizarre actions may lose the item distinctiveness that is used to make accurate memory decisions after repeated imagination.

  17. The behavioral implications of a multi-individual bonebed of a small theropod dinosaur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucio M Ibiricu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Central Patagonia, Argentina, preserves an abundant and rich fossil record. Among vertebrate fossils from the Upper Cretaceous Bajo Barreal Formation of Patagonia, five individuals of the small, non-avian theropod dinosaur Aniksosaurus darwini were recovered. Group behavior is an important aspect of dinosaur paleoecology, but it is not well-documented and is poorly understood among non-avian Theropoda. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The taphonomic association of individuals from the Bajo Barreal Formation and aspects of their bone histology suggest gregarious behavior for Aniksosaurus, during at least a portion of the life history of this species. Histology indicates that the specimens were juvenile to sub-adult individuals. In addition, morphological differences between individuals, particularly proportions of the appendicular bones, are probably related to body-size dimorphism rather than ontogenetic stage. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Gregarious behaviour may have conferred a selective advantage on Aniksosaurus individuals, contributing to their successful exploitation of the Cretaceous paleoenvironment preserved in the Bajo Barreal Formation. The monospecific assemblage of Aniksosaurus specimens constitutes only the second body fossil association of small, coelurosaurian theropods in South America and adds valuable information about the paleoecologies of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, particularly in the early Late Cretaceous of Patagonia.

  18. Shake a tail feather: the evolution of the theropod tail into a stiff aerodynamic surface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Pittman

    Full Text Available Theropod dinosaurs show striking morphological and functional tail variation; e.g., a long, robust, basal theropod tail used for counterbalance, or a short, modern avian tail used as an aerodynamic surface. We used a quantitative morphological and functional analysis to reconstruct intervertebral joint stiffness in the tail along the theropod lineage to extant birds. This provides new details of the tail's morphological transformation, and for the first time quantitatively evaluates its biomechanical consequences. We observe that both dorsoventral and lateral joint stiffness decreased along the non-avian theropod lineage (between nodes Theropoda and Paraves. Our results show how the tail structure of non-avian theropods was mechanically appropriate for holding itself up against gravity and maintaining passive balance. However, as dorsoventral and lateral joint stiffness decreased, the tail may have become more effective for dynamically maintaining balance. This supports our hypothesis of a reduction of dorsoventral and lateral joint stiffness in shorter tails. Along the avian theropod lineage (Avialae to crown group birds, dorsoventral and lateral joint stiffness increased overall, which appears to contradict our null expectation. We infer that this departure in joint stiffness is specific to the tail's aerodynamic role and the functional constraints imposed by it. Increased dorsoventral and lateral joint stiffness may have facilitated a gradually improved capacity to lift, depress, and swing the tail. The associated morphological changes should have resulted in a tail capable of producing larger muscular forces to utilise larger lift forces in flight. Improved joint mobility in neornithine birds potentially permitted an increase in the range of lift force vector orientations, which might have improved flight proficiency and manoeuvrability. The tail morphology of modern birds with tail fanning capabilities originated in early ornithuromorph

  19. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-01-01

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus, a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo. PMID:28973883

  20. Re-evaluation of the Haarlem Archaeopteryx and the radiation of maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foth, Christian; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2017-12-02

    Archaeopteryx is an iconic fossil that has long been pivotal for our understanding of the origin of birds. Remains of this important taxon have only been found in the Late Jurassic lithographic limestones of Bavaria, Germany. Twelve skeletal specimens are reported so far. Archaeopteryx was long the only pre-Cretaceous paravian theropod known, but recent discoveries from the Tiaojishan Formation, China, yielded a remarkable diversity of this clade, including the possibly oldest and most basal known clade of avialan, here named Anchiornithidae. However, Archaeopteryx remains the only Jurassic paravian theropod based on diagnostic material reported outside China. Re-examination of the incomplete Haarlem Archaeopteryx specimen did not find any diagnostic features of this genus. In contrast, the specimen markedly differs in proportions from other Archaeopteryx specimens and shares two distinct characters with anchiornithids. Phylogenetic analysis confirms it as the first anchiornithid recorded outside the Tiaojushan Formation of China, for which the new generic name Ostromia is proposed here. In combination with a biogeographic analysis of coelurosaurian theropods and palaeogeographic and stratigraphic data, our results indicate an explosive radiation of maniraptoran coelurosaurs probably in isolation in eastern Asia in the late Middle Jurassic and a rapid, at least Laurasian dispersal of the different subclades in the Late Jurassic. Small body size and, possibly, a multiple origin of flight capabilities enhanced dispersal capabilities of paravian theropods and might thus have been crucial for their evolutionary success.

  1. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-10-10

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus , a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo .

  2. Tyrant Dinosaur Evolution Tracks the Rise and Fall of Late Cretaceous Oceans

    OpenAIRE

    Loewen, Mark A.; Irmis, Randall B.; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Currie, Philip J.; Sampson, Scott D.

    2013-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous (∼95-66 million years ago) western North American landmass of Laramidia displayed heightened non-marine vertebrate diversity and intracontinental regionalism relative to other latest Cretaceous Laurasian ecosystems. Processes generating these patterns during this interval remain poorly understood despite their presumed role in the diversification of many clades. Tyrannosauridae, a clade of large-bodied theropod dinosaurs restricted to the Late Cretaceous of Laramidia and A...

  3. A large abelisaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda from Morocco and comments on the Cenomanian theropods from North Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfio Alessandro Chiarenza

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We describe the partially preserved femur of a large-bodied theropod dinosaur from the Cenomanian “Kem Kem Compound Assemblage” (KKCA of Morocco. The fossil is housed in the Museo Geologico e Paleontologico “Gaetano Giorgio Gemmellaro” in Palermo (Italy. The specimen is compared with the theropod fossil record from the KKCA and coeval assemblages from North Africa. The combination of a distally reclined head, a not prominent trochanteric shelf, distally placed lesser trochanter of stout, alariform shape, a stocky shaft with the fourth trochanter placed proximally, and rugose muscular insertion areas in the specimen distinguishes it from Carcharodontosaurus, Deltadromeus and Spinosaurus and supports referral to an abelisaurid. The estimated body size for the individual from which this femur was derived is comparable to Carnotaurus and Ekrixinatosaurus (up to 9 meters in length and 2 tons in body mass. This find confirms that abelisaurids had reached their largest body size in the “middle Cretaceous,” and that large abelisaurids coexisted with other giant theropods in Africa. We review the taxonomic status of the theropods from the Cenomanian of North Africa, and provisionally restrict the Linnean binomina Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis and Spinosaurus aegyptiacus to the type specimens. Based on comparisons among the theropod records from the Aptian-Cenomanian of South America and Africa, a partial explanation for the so-called “Stromer’s riddle” (namely, the coexistence of many large predatory dinosaurs in the “middle Cretaceous” record from North Africa is offered in term of taphonomic artifacts among lineage records that were ecologically and environmentally non-overlapping. Although morphofunctional and stratigraphic evidence supports an ecological segregation between spinosaurids and the other lineages, the co-occurrence of abelisaurids and carcharodontosaurids, two groups showing several craniodental convergences that

  4. Multivariate analyses of small theropod dinosaur teeth and implications for paleoecological turnover through time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek W Larson

    Full Text Available Isolated small theropod teeth are abundant in vertebrate microfossil assemblages, and are frequently used in studies of species diversity in ancient ecosystems. However, determining the taxonomic affinities of these teeth is problematic due to an absence of associated diagnostic skeletal material. Species such as Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Richardoestesia gilmorei, and Saurornitholestes langstoni are known from skeletal remains that have been recovered exclusively from the Dinosaur Park Formation (Campanian. It is therefore likely that teeth from different formations widely disparate in age or geographic position are not referable to these species. Tooth taxa without any associated skeletal material, such as Paronychodon lacustris and Richardoestesia isosceles, have also been identified from multiple localities of disparate ages throughout the Late Cretaceous. To address this problem, a dataset of measurements of 1183 small theropod teeth (the most specimen-rich theropod tooth dataset ever constructed from North America ranging in age from Santonian through Maastrichtian were analyzed using multivariate statistical methods: canonical variate analysis, pairwise discriminant function analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance. The results indicate that teeth referred to the same taxon from different formations are often quantitatively distinct. In contrast, isolated teeth found in time equivalent formations are not quantitatively distinguishable from each other. These results support the hypothesis that small theropod taxa, like other dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous, tend to be exclusive to discrete host formations. The methods outlined have great potential for future studies of isolated teeth worldwide, and may be the most useful non-destructive technique known of extracting the most data possible from isolated and fragmentary specimens. The ability to accurately assess species diversity and turnover through time based on isolated teeth

  5. Multivariate Analyses of Small Theropod Dinosaur Teeth and Implications for Paleoecological Turnover through Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Derek W.; Currie, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Isolated small theropod teeth are abundant in vertebrate microfossil assemblages, and are frequently used in studies of species diversity in ancient ecosystems. However, determining the taxonomic affinities of these teeth is problematic due to an absence of associated diagnostic skeletal material. Species such as Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Richardoestesia gilmorei, and Saurornitholestes langstoni are known from skeletal remains that have been recovered exclusively from the Dinosaur Park Formation (Campanian). It is therefore likely that teeth from different formations widely disparate in age or geographic position are not referable to these species. Tooth taxa without any associated skeletal material, such as Paronychodon lacustris and Richardoestesia isosceles, have also been identified from multiple localities of disparate ages throughout the Late Cretaceous. To address this problem, a dataset of measurements of 1183 small theropod teeth (the most specimen-rich theropod tooth dataset ever constructed) from North America ranging in age from Santonian through Maastrichtian were analyzed using multivariate statistical methods: canonical variate analysis, pairwise discriminant function analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance. The results indicate that teeth referred to the same taxon from different formations are often quantitatively distinct. In contrast, isolated teeth found in time equivalent formations are not quantitatively distinguishable from each other. These results support the hypothesis that small theropod taxa, like other dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous, tend to be exclusive to discrete host formations. The methods outlined have great potential for future studies of isolated teeth worldwide, and may be the most useful non-destructive technique known of extracting the most data possible from isolated and fragmentary specimens. The ability to accurately assess species diversity and turnover through time based on isolated teeth will help illuminate

  6. A theropod dinosaur embryo and the affinities of the flaming cliffs dinosaur eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norell, M A; Clark, J M; Demberelyin, D; Rhinchen, B; Chiappe, L M; Davidson, A R; McKenna, M C; Altangerel, P; Novacek, M J

    1994-11-04

    An embryonic skeleton of a nonavian theropod dinosaur was found preserved in an egg from Upper Cretaceous rocks in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Cranial features identify the embryo as a member of Oviraptoridae. Two embryo-sized skulls of dromaeosaurids, similar to that of Velociraptor, were also recovered in the nest. The eggshell microstructure is similar to that of ratite birds and is of a type common in the Djadokhta Formation at the Flaming Cliffs (Bayn Dzak). Discovery of a nest of such eggs at the Flaming Cliffs in 1923, beneath the Oviraptor philoceratops holotype, suggests that this dinosaur may have been a brooding adult.

  7. Bizarre repetitive discharges recorded with single fibre EMG.

    OpenAIRE

    Trontelj, J; Stålberg, E

    1983-01-01

    Single fibre EMG was used to record bizarre repetitive discharges in patients with chronic denervation or muscle disorders. The low variability of intervals between individual spike components on successive discharges suggests that the bizarre repetitive discharges are based on ephaptic impulse transmission from the muscle fibre starting the discharge (principal pacemaker) to the adjacent muscle fibres. The low variability of the interdischarge intervals is explained by ephaptic reactivation ...

  8. Edentulism, beaks, and biomechanical innovations in the evolution of theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan; Witmer, Lawrence M; Altangerel, Perle; Rayfield, Emily J

    2013-12-17

    Maniraptoriformes, the speciose group of derived theropod dinosaurs that ultimately gave rise to modern birds, display a diverse and remarkable suite of skeletal adaptations. Apart from the evolution of flight, a large-scale change in dietary behavior appears to have been one of the main triggers for specializations in the bauplan of these derived theropods. Among the different skeletal specializations, partial or even complete edentulism and the development of keratinous beaks form a recurring and persistent trend in from the evolution of derived nonavian dinosaurs. Therizinosauria is an enigmatic maniraptoriform clade, whose members display these and other osteological characters thought to be correlated with the shift from carnivory to herbivory. This makes therizinosaurians prime candidates to assess the functional significance of these morphological characters. Based on a highly detailed biomechanical model of Erlikosaurus andrewsi, a therizinosaurid from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia, different morphological configurations incorporating soft-tissue structures, such as a keratinous rhamphotheca, are evaluated for their biomechanical performance. Our results indicate that the development of beaks and the presence of a keratinous rhamphotheca would have helped to dissipate stress and strain, making the rostral part of the skull less susceptible to bending and displacement, and this benefit may extend to other vertebrate clades that possess rhamphothecae. Keratinous beaks, paralleled by edentulism, thus represent an evolutionary innovation developed early in derived theropods to enhance cranial stability, distinct to postulated mass-saving benefits associated with the origin of flight.

  9. Evolution of olfaction in non-avian theropod dinosaurs and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François; Ridgely, Ryan C; McGee, Amanda R; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2011-12-22

    Little is known about the olfactory capabilities of extinct basal (non-neornithine) birds or the evolutionary changes in olfaction that occurred from non-avian theropods through modern birds. Although modern birds are known to have diverse olfactory capabilities, olfaction is generally considered to have declined during avian evolution as visual and vestibular sensory enhancements occurred in association with flight. To test the hypothesis that olfaction diminished through avian evolution, we assessed relative olfactory bulb size, here used as a neuroanatomical proxy for olfactory capabilities, in 157 species of non-avian theropods, fossil birds and living birds. We show that relative olfactory bulb size increased during non-avian maniraptoriform evolution, remained stable across the non-avian theropod/bird transition, and increased during basal bird and early neornithine evolution. From early neornithines through a major part of neornithine evolution, the relative size of the olfactory bulbs remained stable before decreasing in derived neoavian clades. Our results show that, rather than decreasing, the importance of olfaction actually increased during early bird evolution, representing a previously unrecognized sensory enhancement. The relatively larger olfactory bulbs of earliest neornithines, compared with those of basal birds, may have endowed neornithines with improved olfaction for more effective foraging or navigation skills, which in turn may have been a factor allowing them to survive the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

  10. Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur Tracks from Puebla, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén A. Rodríguez-de la Rosa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Dinosaur tracks have been identified near San Martín Atexcal, southern Puebla, Mexico, within the sedimentary sequence of the San Juan Raya Formation of Lower Cretaceous (Albian age. The tracksite, located in the bed of the Magdalena River, reveals six different ichnofossiliferous levels identified within a 9 m thick sedimentary sequence. The inferred environment is that of a tidal (marginal marine mudflat (Level I. Level I preserves three theropods trackways (?Allosauroidea, additionally, isolated tracks belonging to iguanodontids (Ornithopoda. Level II preserves faint iguanodontid tracks. Levels III to V preserve sauropod tracks. Younger level VI preserves, although morphologically different, a track belonging to Ornithopoda. The dinosaur tracks from San Martín Atexcal support the existence of continental facies within the San Juan Raya Formation; they represent the second record of dinosaur tracks from the Lower Cretaceous of Mexico and are part of an important but little documented record of Lower Cretaceous dinosaurs in Mexico.

  11. A Late Cretaceous diversification of Asian oviraptorid dinosaurs: evidence from a new species preserved in an unusual posture

    OpenAIRE

    L?, Junchang; Chen, Rongjun; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Zhu, Yangxiao; Shen, Caizhi

    2016-01-01

    Oviraptorosaurs are a bizarre group of bird-like theropod dinosaurs, the derived forms of which have shortened, toothless skulls, and which diverged from close relatives by developing peculiar feeding adaptations. Although once among the most mysterious of dinosaurs, oviraptorosaurs are becoming better understood with the discovery of many new fossils in Asia and North America. The Ganzhou area of southern China is emerging as a hotspot of oviraptorosaur discoveries, as over the past half dec...

  12. Theropod fauna from southern Australia indicates high polar diversity and climate-driven dinosaur provinciality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Rich, Thomas H; Vickers-Rich, Patricia; Hall, Mike

    2012-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous fauna of Victoria, Australia, provides unique data on the composition of high latitude southern hemisphere dinosaurs. We describe and review theropod dinosaur postcranial remains from the Aptian-Albian Otway and Strzelecki groups, based on at least 37 isolated bones, and more than 90 teeth from the Flat Rocks locality. Several specimens of medium- and large-bodied individuals (estimated up to ~8.5 metres long) represent allosauroids. Tyrannosauroids are represented by elements indicating medium body sizes (~3 metres long), likely including the holotype femur of Timimus hermani, and a single cervical vertebra represents a juvenile spinosaurid. Single specimens representing medium- and small-bodied theropods may be referrable to Ceratosauria, Ornithomimosauria, a basal coelurosaur, and at least three taxa within Maniraptora. Thus, nine theropod taxa may have been present. Alternatively, four distinct dorsal vertebrae indicate a minimum of four taxa. However, because most taxa are known from single bones, it is likely that small-bodied theropod diversity remains underestimated. The high abundance of allosauroids and basal coelurosaurs (including tyrannosauroids and possibly ornithomimosaurs), and the relative rarity of ceratosaurs, is strikingly dissimilar to penecontemporaneous dinosaur faunas of Africa and South America, which represent an arid, lower-latitude biome. Similarities between dinosaur faunas of Victoria and the northern continents concern the proportional representatation of higher clades, and may result from the prevailing temperate-polar climate of Australia, especially at high latitudes in Victoria, which is similar to the predominant warm-temperate climate of Laurasia, but distinct from the arid climate zone that covered extensive areas of Gondwana. Most dinosaur groups probably attained a near-cosmopolitan distribution in the Jurassic, prior to fragmentation of the Pangaean supercontinent, and some aspects of the hallmark

  13. Theropod Fauna from Southern Australia Indicates High Polar Diversity and Climate-Driven Dinosaur Provinciality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B. J.; Rich, Thomas H.; Vickers-Rich, Patricia; Hall, Mike

    2012-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous fauna of Victoria, Australia, provides unique data on the composition of high latitude southern hemisphere dinosaurs. We describe and review theropod dinosaur postcranial remains from the Aptian–Albian Otway and Strzelecki groups, based on at least 37 isolated bones, and more than 90 teeth from the Flat Rocks locality. Several specimens of medium- and large-bodied individuals (estimated up to ∼8.5 metres long) represent allosauroids. Tyrannosauroids are represented by elements indicating medium body sizes (∼3 metres long), likely including the holotype femur of Timimus hermani, and a single cervical vertebra represents a juvenile spinosaurid. Single specimens representing medium- and small-bodied theropods may be referrable to Ceratosauria, Ornithomimosauria, a basal coelurosaur, and at least three taxa within Maniraptora. Thus, nine theropod taxa may have been present. Alternatively, four distinct dorsal vertebrae indicate a minimum of four taxa. However, because most taxa are known from single bones, it is likely that small-bodied theropod diversity remains underestimated. The high abundance of allosauroids and basal coelurosaurs (including tyrannosauroids and possibly ornithomimosaurs), and the relative rarity of ceratosaurs, is strikingly dissimilar to penecontemporaneous dinosaur faunas of Africa and South America, which represent an arid, lower-latitude biome. Similarities between dinosaur faunas of Victoria and the northern continents concern the proportional representatation of higher clades, and may result from the prevailing temperate–polar climate of Australia, especially at high latitudes in Victoria, which is similar to the predominant warm–temperate climate of Laurasia, but distinct from the arid climate zone that covered extensive areas of Gondwana. Most dinosaur groups probably attained a near-cosmopolitan distribution in the Jurassic, prior to fragmentation of the Pangaean supercontinent, and some aspects of the

  14. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2014-01-01

    Finding topics that inspire students is an important aspect of any physics course. Virtually everyone is fascinated by "Tyrannosaurus rex," and the excitement of the class is palpable when we explore scaling effects in "T. rex" and other bipedal theropod dinosaurs as part of our discussion of mechanics and elasticity. In this…

  15. A long-snouted, multihorned tyrannosaurid from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia

    OpenAIRE

    Brusatte, Stephen L.; Carr, Thomas D.; Erickson, Gregory M.; Bever, Gabe S.; Norell, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    Tyrannosaurid theropods are characterized by a generalized body plan, and all well-known taxa possess deep and robust skulls that are optimized for exerting powerful bite forces. The fragmentary Late Cretaceous Alioramus appears to deviate from this trend, but its holotype and only known specimen is incomplete and poorly described. A remarkable new tyrannosaurid specimen from the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) of Mongolia, including a nearly complete and well-preserved skull and an extensive...

  16. A giant sauropod dinosaur from an Upper Cretaceous mangrove deposit in Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J B; Lamanna, M C; Lacovara, K J; Dodson, P; Smith, J R; Poole, J C; Giegengack, R; Attia, Y

    2001-06-01

    We describe a giant titanosaurid sauropod dinosaur discovered in coastal deposits in the Upper Cretaceous Bahariya Formation of Egypt, a unit that has produced three Tyrannosaurus-sized theropods and numerous other vertebrate taxa. Paralititan stromeri is the first tetrapod reported from Bahariya since 1935. Its 1.69-meter-long humerus is longer than that of any known Cretaceous sauropod. The autochthonous scavenged skeleton was preserved in mangrove deposits, raising the possibility that titanosaurids and their predators habitually entered such environments.

  17. Craniocervical myology and functional morphology of the small-headed therizinosaurian theropods Falcarius utahensis and Nothronychus mckinleyi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David K Smith

    Full Text Available Therizinosaurs represent a highly unusual clade of herbivorous theropods from the Cretaceous of North America and Asia. Following descriptions of the basicrania of the North American therizinosaurs Falcarius utahenisis and Nothronychus mckinleyi, the craniocervical musculature in both taxa is reconstructed using Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus, and some extant birds as models. These muscles are subdivided into functional groups as dorsiflexors, lateroflexors, and ventroflexors. Lateroflexors and dorsiflexors in Nothronychus, but not Falcarius, are reduced, from the plesiomorphic theropod condition, but are still well developed. Attachments in both genera are favorable for an increase in ventroflexion in feeding, convergent with Allosaurus fragilis. Falcarius and Nothronychus are both characterized by a flat occipital condyle, followed by centra with shallow articular facets suggesting neck function very similar to that of an ostrich Struthio camelus. Neck movement was a combined result of minimal movement between the individual cervical vertebrae.

  18. Craniocervical myology and functional morphology of the small-headed therizinosaurian theropods Falcarius utahensis and Nothronychus mckinleyi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David K

    2015-01-01

    Therizinosaurs represent a highly unusual clade of herbivorous theropods from the Cretaceous of North America and Asia. Following descriptions of the basicrania of the North American therizinosaurs Falcarius utahenisis and Nothronychus mckinleyi, the craniocervical musculature in both taxa is reconstructed using Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus, and some extant birds as models. These muscles are subdivided into functional groups as dorsiflexors, lateroflexors, and ventroflexors. Lateroflexors and dorsiflexors in Nothronychus, but not Falcarius, are reduced, from the plesiomorphic theropod condition, but are still well developed. Attachments in both genera are favorable for an increase in ventroflexion in feeding, convergent with Allosaurus fragilis. Falcarius and Nothronychus are both characterized by a flat occipital condyle, followed by centra with shallow articular facets suggesting neck function very similar to that of an ostrich Struthio camelus. Neck movement was a combined result of minimal movement between the individual cervical vertebrae.

  19. Homologies and homeotic transformation of the theropod 'semilunate' carpal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xing; Han, Fenglu; Zhao, Qi

    2014-08-13

    The homology of the 'semilunate' carpal, an important structure linking non-avian and avian dinosaurs, has been controversial. Here we describe the morphology of some theropod wrists, demonstrating that the 'semilunate' carpal is not formed by the same carpal elements in all theropods possessing this feature and that the involvement of the lateralmost distal carpal in forming the 'semilunate' carpal of birds is an inheritance from their non-avian theropod ancestors. Optimization of relevant morphological features indicates that these features evolved in an incremental way and the 'semilunate' structure underwent a lateral shift in position during theropod evolution, possibly as a result of selection for foldable wings in birds and their close theropod relatives. We propose that homeotic transformation was involved in the evolution of the 'semilunate' carpal. In combination with developmental data on avian wing digits, this suggests that homeosis played a significant role in theropod hand evolution in general.

  20. A longirostrine tyrannosauroid from the Early Cretaceous of China

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Daqing; Norell, Mark A.; Gao, Ke-Qin; Smith, Nathan D.; Makovicky, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

    The fossil record of tyrannosauroid theropods is marked by a substantial temporal and morphological gap between small-bodied, Barremian taxa, and extremely large-bodied taxa from the latest Cretaceous. Here we describe a new tyrannosauroid, Xiongguanlong baimoensis n. gen. et sp., from the Aptian–Albian Xinminpu Group of western China that represents a phylogenetic, morphological, and temporal link between these disjunct portions of tyrannosauroid evolutionary history. Xiongguanlong is recove...

  1. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Strength and Locomotion II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-01-01

    In the second paper of this series, the effect of transverse femoral stresses due to locomotion in theropod dinosaurs of different sizes was examined for the case of an unchanging leg geometry. Students are invariably thrilled to learn about theropod dinosaurs, and this activity applies the concepts of torque and stress to the issue of theropod…

  2. Tooth-marked small theropod bone: an extremely rare trace

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2001-01-01

    Tooth-marked dinosaur bones provide insight into feeding behaviours and biting strategies of theropod dinosaurs. The majority of theropod tooth marks reported to date have been found on herbivorous dinosaur bones, although some tyrannosaurid bones with tooth marks have also been reported. In 1988...

  3. The Mysteries of Diamonds: Bizarre History, Amazing Properties, Unique Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kagan, Harris (Ohio State University)

    2008-06-24

    Diamonds have been a prized material throughout history. They are scarce and beautiful, wars have been fought over them, and they remain today a symbol of wealth and power. Diamonds also have exceptional physical properties which can lead to unique applications in science. There are now techniques to artificially synthesize diamonds of extraordinarily high quality. In this talk, Professor Kagan will discuss the history of diamonds, their bizarre properties, and their manufacture and use for 21st century science.

  4. A new Jurassic theropod from China documents a transitional step in the macrostructure of feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefèvre, Ulysse; Cau, Andrea; Cincotta, Aude; Hu, Dongyu; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Escuillié, François; Godefroit, Pascal

    2017-10-01

    Genuine fossils with exquisitely preserved plumage from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of northeastern China have recently revealed that bird-like theropod dinosaurs had long pennaceous feathers along their hindlimbs and may have used their four wings to glide or fly. Thus, it has been postulated that early bird flight might initially have involved four wings (Xu et al. Nature 421:335-340, 2003; Hu et al. Nature 461:640-643, 2009; Han et al. Nat Commun 5:4382, 2014). Here, we describe Serikornis sungei gen. et sp. nov., a new feathered theropod from the Tiaojishan Fm (Late Jurassic) of Liaoning Province, China. Its skeletal morphology suggests a ground-dwelling ecology with no flying adaptations. Our phylogenetic analysis places Serikornis, together with other Late Jurassic paravians from China, as a basal paravians, outside the Eumaniraptora clade. The tail of Serikornis is covered proximally by filaments and distally by slender rectrices. Thin symmetrical remiges lacking barbules are attached along its forelimbs and elongate hindlimb feathers extend up to its toes, suggesting that hindlimb remiges evolved in ground-dwelling maniraptorans before being co-opted to an arboreal lifestyle or flight.

  5. Bizarre parosteal osteochondromatous proliferation of the proximal humerus: case report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bush, J.B.; Meyer, Mark S.; Reith, John D.

    2007-01-01

    Bizarre parosteal osteochondromatous proliferation (BPOP), or Nora's lesion, is a rare lesion of bone occurring predominantly in the long bones of the hands and feet. It exists as a puzzling clinical entity of uncertain origins and high recurrence rates after surgical resection. To our knowledge, this clinical entity has not been reported in the proximal aspect of the humerus. An interesting report of a lesion occurring in the proximal humerus, which initially was misinterpreted as a parosteal osteosarcoma, is discussed outlining the clinical, radiographic and pathologic features of the BPOP lesion. (orig.)

  6. The earliest known tyrannosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffetaut, Eric; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Tong, Haiyan

    1996-06-01

    THE Tyrannosauridae were the dominant large carnivorous dinosaurs in Asia (excluding India) and western North America during the Late Cretaceous period1-3. Most of them are from the Campanian and Maastrichtian ages, and very little is known about their earlier history, although scanty remains have been reported from the early part of the Upper Cretaceous4-7. We describe a newly discovered incomplete skeleton of a large theropod from the Early Cretaceous Sao Khua Formation of northeastern Thailand as an early and primitive representative of the Tyrannosauridae. This new taxon, which is at least 20 million years older than the earliest previously known tyranno-saurids, suggests that the early evolution of tyrannosaurids may have taken place in Asia.

  7. Calcium isotopes offer clues on resource partitioning among Cretaceous predatory dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, A; Martin, J E; Amiot, R; Tacail, T; Godet, F Arnaud; Allain, R; Balter, V

    2018-04-11

    Large predators are overabundant in mid-Cretaceous continental dinosaur assemblages of North Africa. Such unbalanced ecosystem structure involves, among predatory dinosaurs, typical abelisaurid or carcharodontosaurid theropods co-occurring with long-snouted spinosaurids of debated ecology. Here, we report calcium (Ca) isotope values from tooth enamel (expressed as δ 44/42 Ca) to investigate resource partitioning in mid-Cretaceous assemblages from Niger (Gadoufaoua) and Morocco (Kem Kem Beds). In both assemblages, spinosaurids display a distinct isotopic signature, the most negative in our dataset. This distinct taxonomic clustering in Ca isotope values observed between spinosaurids and other predators provides unambiguous evidence for niche partitioning at the top of the trophic chains: spinosaurids foraged on aquatic environments while abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods relied almost exclusively on terrestrial resources. © 2018 The Author(s).

  8. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia

    OpenAIRE

    Coria, Rodolfo A.; Currie, Philip J.

    2016-01-01

    A skeleton discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Sierra Barrosa Formation (Turonian-Coniacian) of Neuquén Province, Argentina represents a new species of theropod dinosaur related to the long snouted, highly pneumatized Megaraptoridae. The holotype specimen of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen et n.sp. (MCF-PVPH-411) includes much of the skull, axial skeleton, pelvis and tibia. Murusraptor is unique in having several diagnostic features that include anterodorsal process of lacrimal longer than heig...

  9. Estimating cranial musculoskeletal constraints in theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2015-11-01

    Many inferences on the biology, behaviour and ecology of extinct vertebrates are based on the reconstruction of the musculature and rely considerably on its accuracy. Although the advent of digital reconstruction techniques has facilitated the creation and testing of musculoskeletal hypotheses in recent years, muscle strain capabilities have rarely been considered. Here, a digital modelling approach using the freely available visualization and animation software Blender is applied to estimate cranial muscle length changes and optimal and maximal possible gape in different theropod dinosaurs. Models of living archosaur taxa (Alligator mississippiensis, Buteo buteo) were used in an extant phylogenetically bracketed framework to validate the method. Results of this study demonstrate that Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus fragilis and Erlikosaurus andrewsi show distinct differences in the recruitment of the jaw adductor musculature and resulting gape, confirming previous dietary and ecological assumptions. While the carnivorous taxa T. rex and Allo. fragilis were capable of a wide gape and sustained muscle force, the herbivorous therizinosaurian E. andrewsi was constrained to small gape angles.

  10. Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L; Orr, Patrick J; Benton, Michael J; Zhou, Zhonghe; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin

    2010-02-25

    Spectacular fossils from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China have greatly expanded our knowledge of the diversity and palaeobiology of dinosaurs and early birds, and contributed to our understanding of the origin of birds, of flight, and of feathers. Pennaceous (vaned) feathers and integumentary filaments are preserved in birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs, but little is known of their microstructure. Here we report that melanosomes (colour-bearing organelles) are not only preserved in the pennaceous feathers of early birds, but also in an identical manner in integumentary filaments of non-avian dinosaurs, thus refuting recent claims that the filaments are partially decayed dermal collagen fibres. Examples of both eumelanosomes and phaeomelanosomes have been identified, and they are often preserved in life position within the structure of partially degraded feathers and filaments. Furthermore, the data here provide empirical evidence for reconstructing the colours and colour patterning of these extinct birds and theropod dinosaurs: for example, the dark-coloured stripes on the tail of the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx can reasonably be inferred to have exhibited chestnut to reddish-brown tones.

  11. Tyrant dinosaur evolution tracks the rise and fall of Late Cretaceous oceans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A Loewen

    Full Text Available The Late Cretaceous (∼95-66 million years ago western North American landmass of Laramidia displayed heightened non-marine vertebrate diversity and intracontinental regionalism relative to other latest Cretaceous Laurasian ecosystems. Processes generating these patterns during this interval remain poorly understood despite their presumed role in the diversification of many clades. Tyrannosauridae, a clade of large-bodied theropod dinosaurs restricted to the Late Cretaceous of Laramidia and Asia, represents an ideal group for investigating Laramidian patterns of evolution. We use new tyrannosaurid discoveries from Utah--including a new taxon which represents the geologically oldest member of the clade--to investigate the evolution and biogeography of Tyrannosauridae. These data suggest a Laramidian origin for Tyrannosauridae, and implicate sea-level related controls in the isolation, diversification, and dispersal of this and many other Late Cretaceous vertebrate clades.

  12. Tyrant dinosaur evolution tracks the rise and fall of Late Cretaceous oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewen, Mark A; Irmis, Randall B; Sertich, Joseph J W; Currie, Philip J; Sampson, Scott D

    2013-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous (∼95-66 million years ago) western North American landmass of Laramidia displayed heightened non-marine vertebrate diversity and intracontinental regionalism relative to other latest Cretaceous Laurasian ecosystems. Processes generating these patterns during this interval remain poorly understood despite their presumed role in the diversification of many clades. Tyrannosauridae, a clade of large-bodied theropod dinosaurs restricted to the Late Cretaceous of Laramidia and Asia, represents an ideal group for investigating Laramidian patterns of evolution. We use new tyrannosaurid discoveries from Utah--including a new taxon which represents the geologically oldest member of the clade--to investigate the evolution and biogeography of Tyrannosauridae. These data suggest a Laramidian origin for Tyrannosauridae, and implicate sea-level related controls in the isolation, diversification, and dispersal of this and many other Late Cretaceous vertebrate clades.

  13. Megalosauripus transjuranicus ichnosp. nov. A new Late Jurassic theropod ichnotaxon from NW Switzerland and implications for tridactyl dinosaur ichnology and ichnotaxomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razzolini, Novella L; Belvedere, Matteo; Marty, Daniel; Paratte, Géraldine; Lovis, Christel; Cattin, Marielle; Meyer, Christian A

    2017-01-01

    A new ichnospecies of a large theropod dinosaur, Megalosauripus transjuranicus, is described from the Reuchenette Formation (Early-Late Kimmeridgian, Late Jurassic) of NW Switzerland. It is based on very well-preserved and morphologically-distinct tracks (impressions) and several trackways, including different preservational types from different tracksites and horizons. All trackways were excavated along federal Highway A16 near Courtedoux (Canton Jura) and systematically documented in the field including orthophotos and laserscans. The best-preserved tracks were recovered and additional tracks were casted. Megalosauripus transjuranicus is characterized by tridactyl tracks with clear claw and digital pad impressions, and notably an exceptionally large and round first phalangeal pad on the fourth digit (PIV1) that is connected to digit IV and forms the round heel area. Due to this combination of features, M. transjuranicus clearly is of theropod (and not ornithopod) origin. M. transjuranicus is compared to other Megalosauripus tracks and similar ichnotaxa and other unassigned tracks from the Early Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. It is clearly different from other ichnogenera assigned to large theropods such as Eubrontes-Grallator from the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic or Megalosauripus-Megalosauropus-Bueckeburgichnus and Therangospodus tracks from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. A second tridactyl morphotype (called Morphotype II) is different from Megalosauripus transjuranicus in being subsymmetric, longer than wide (sometimes almost as wide as long), with blunt toe impressions and no evidence for discrete phalangeal pad and claw marks. Some Morphotype II tracks are found in trackways that are assigned to M. transjuranicus, to M.? transjuranicus or M. cf. transjuranicus indicating that some Morphotype II tracks are intra-trackway preservational variants of a morphological continuum of Megalosauripus transjuranicus. On the other hand, several up to 40 steps

  14. A THEROPOD DOMINATED ICHNOCOENOSIS FROM LATE HAUTERIVIAN-EARLYBARREMIAN OF BORGO CELANO (GARGANO PROMONTORY, APULIA, SOUTHERN ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FABIO MASSIMO PETTI

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Several dinosaur footprints were discovered on three different levels cropping out in the CO.L.MAR quarry, south of the village of Borgo Celano in the Gargano Promontory (Apulia, southern Italy. The track-bearing levels belong to a carbonate inner platform succession referred to the Lower Cretaceous (upper Hauterivian-lower Barremian. This paper describes only the lowest dinoturbated bed, where footprints are preserved as natural cast. Forty footprints, mostly tridactyl, have been attributed to medium-sized theropods. Tridactyl tracks are similar to Kayentapus Welles, 1971 regarding ichnotaxonomy. Round shaped footprints, previously not described from this site, are found in association with tridactyl footprints and are related to ornitischian dinosaurs. 

  15. Weird universe exploring the most bizarre ideas in cosmology

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David A J

    2015-01-01

    As new discoveries complicate the scientific picture of the universe, the evolving theories about the nature of space and time and the origins and fate of the universe threaten to become overwhelming. Enter David Seargent. Continuing the author's series of books popularizing strange astronomy facts and knowledge, Weird Universe explains the bizarre, complicated terrain of modern cosmology for lay readers.  From exploring some of the strange consequences of the theories of special and general relativity, to probing time dilation and the twin and mother-and-baby “paradoxes” and the theory that the universe can be mathematically considered as a hologram, all of the latest findings and conjectures are clearly described in non-technical language. The development of quantum physics and the more recent developments of string and M-theory are looked at, in addition to several hypotheses that have not won wide acceptance from the scientific community, such as modified gravity. Enter the wonderfully weird worl...

  16. Bizarre behavior following the ingestion of levo-desoxyephedrine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrando, R L; McCorvey, E; Simon, W A; Stewart, D M

    1988-03-01

    This is the first reported case of transvestism in a heterosexual male that occurred only after ingestion of the contents of six to eight Vicks inhalers. The patient's gender cross-dressing was associated with sexual excitement and masturbatory behavior. This case is consistent with other cases of gender cross-dressing and sexual excitement following inhaler abuse, but in the previous cases reported the subjects were homosexual men. Levo-desoxyephedrine, also known as levo-methamphetamine, the main active ingredient in Vicks Inhalers, is known to have amphetamine-like properties. Stereotypic behavior is consistent with behavior that follows the use of amphetamine. Transvestism has traditionally been thought to be based on a psychodynamic model; however, the authors postulate several biochemical mechanisms whereby levo-desoxyephedrine may play a role in the bizarre behavior exhibited by this 32-year-old man. It is suggested that inhalers be placed in a new class of drugs that can be dispensed only by a pharmacist or physician.

  17. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Strength and Locomotion

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    Lee, Scott

    2015-01-01

    In our first article on scaling in theropod dinosaurs, the longitudinal stress in the leg bones due to supporting the weight of the animal was studied and found not to control the dimensions of the femur. As a continuation of our study of elasticity in dinosaur bones, we now examine the transverse stress in the femur due to locomotion and find…

  18. Body Size as a Driver of Scavenging in Theropod Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Adam; Healy, Kevin; Ruxton, Graeme D; Jackson, Andrew L

    2016-06-01

    Theropod dinosaurs dominated Earth's terrestrial ecosystem as a diverse group of predators for more than 160 million years, yet little is known about their foraging ecology. Maintaining a balanced energy budget presented a major challenge for therapods, which ranged from the chicken-sized Microraptor up to the whale-sized Giganotosaurus, in the face of intense competition and the demands of ontogenetic growth. Facultative scavenging, a behavior present in almost all modern predators, may have been important in supplementing energetically expensive lifestyles. By using agent-based models based on the allometric relationship between size and foraging behaviors, we show that theropods between 27 and 1,044 kg would have gained a significant energetic advantage over individuals at both the small and large extremes of theropod body mass through their scavenging efficiency. These results were robust to rate of competition, primary productivity, and detection distance. Our models demonstrate the potential importance of facultative scavenging in theropods and the role of body size in defining its prevalence in Mesozoic terrestrial systems.

  19. No evidence for directional evolution of body mass in herbivorous theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanno, Lindsay E; Makovicky, Peter J

    2013-01-22

    The correlation between large body size and digestive efficiency has been hypothesized to have driven trends of increasing mass in herbivorous clades by means of directional selection. Yet, to date, few studies have investigated this relationship from a phylogenetic perspective, and none, to our knowledge, with regard to trophic shifts. Here, we reconstruct body mass in the three major subclades of non-avian theropod dinosaurs whose ecomorphology is correlated with extrinsic evidence of at least facultative herbivory in the fossil record--all of which also achieve relative gigantism (more than 3000 kg). Ordinary least-squares regressions on natural log-transformed mean mass recover significant correlations between increasing mass and geological time. However, tests for directional evolution in body mass find no support for a phylogenetic trend, instead favouring passive models of trait evolution. Cross-correlation of sympatric taxa from five localities in Asia reveals that environmental influences such as differential habitat sampling and/or taphonomic filtering affect the preserved record of dinosaurian body mass in the Cretaceous. Our results are congruent with studies documenting that behavioural and/or ecological factors may mitigate the benefit of increasing mass in extant taxa, and suggest that the hypothesis can be extrapolated to herbivorous lineages across geological time scales.

  20. Dinosaur footprint assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation, Khorat Group, northeastern Thailand

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    Shohei Kozu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The Khok Kruat Formation is the upper part of the Khorat Group, which consists of upper Lower Cretaceous non-marine sedimentary rocks in northeastern Thailand. Many dinosaur footprints have been known from the upper Lower Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian Khok Kruat Formation at the Huai Dam Chum (Tha Uthen site, northeastern Thailand. Approximately 600 tracks occur in thin mudstone layer of the northern part of the outcrop at the Huai Dam Chum track site. Two types of footprints, small-sized theropod and crocodylomorph are imprinted with mud cracks and ripple marks on the thin mud layer. Most of footprints are referred to cf. Asianopodus, and are imprinted by small-sized theropoda, probably ornithomimosauria. Theropod tracks are mainly separated into two groups, Group A and Group B. From ichnological viewpoints, the small-sized theropod track assemblage indicates the herd behaviour and its idiosyncratic group composition. In particular, the histogram of size-frequency measurements of Group A shows the anomalous bimodal distribution. We consider that there are two hypotheses; the first one is due to the male-female difference, and the second is a result of the different growing stage.

  1. A longirostrine tyrannosauroid from the Early Cretaceous of China.

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    Li, Daqing; Norell, Mark A; Gao, Ke-Qin; Smith, Nathan D; Makovicky, Peter J

    2010-01-22

    The fossil record of tyrannosauroid theropods is marked by a substantial temporal and morphological gap between small-bodied, Barremian taxa, and extremely large-bodied taxa from the latest Cretaceous. Here we describe a new tyrannosauroid, Xiongguanlong baimoensis n. gen. et sp., from the Aptian-Albian Xinminpu Group of western China that represents a phylogenetic, morphological, and temporal link between these disjunct portions of tyrannosauroid evolutionary history. Xiongguanlong is recovered in our phylogenetic analysis as the sister taxon to Tyrannosauridae plus Appalachiosaurus, and marks the appearance of several tyrannosaurid hallmark features, including a sharp parietal sagittal crest, a boxy basicranium, a quadratojugal with a flaring dorsal process and a flexed caudal edge, premaxillary teeth bearing a median lingual ridge, and an expanded axial neural spine surmounted by distinct processes at its corners. Xiongguanlong is characterized by a narrow and elongate muzzle resembling that of Alioramus. The slender, unornamented nasals of Xiongguanlong are inconsistent with recent hypotheses of correlated progression in tyrannosauroid feeding mechanics, and suggest more complex patterns of character evolution in the integration of feeding adaptations in tyrannosaurids. Body mass estimates for the full-grown holotype specimen of Xiongguanlong fall between those of Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurids and Barremian tyrannosauroids, suggesting that the trend of increasing body size observed in North American Late Cretaceous Tyrannosauridae may extend through the Cretaceous history of Tyrannosauroidea though further phylogenetic work is required to corroborate this.

  2. The evolution of cranial form and function in theropod dinosaurs:Insights from geometric morphometrics

    OpenAIRE

    Brusatte, S.L.; Montanari, S.; Harcourt Smith, W.E.H.; Sakamoto, M.

    2012-01-01

    Theropod dinosaurs, an iconic clade of fossil species including Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, developed a great diversity of body size, skull form and feeding habits over their 160+ million year evolutionary history. Here, we utilize geometric morphometrics to study broad patterns in theropod skull shape variation and compare the distribution of taxa in cranial morphospace (form) to both phylogeny and quantitative metrics of biting behaviour (function). We find that theropod skulls primaril...

  3. Insight into the growth pattern and bone fusion of basal birds from an Early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Li, Zhiheng; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2017-10-24

    Bird skeletons exhibit remarkable modifications that allow for flight. The most distinguishable features are the fusion of the bones in the hand, feet, and pelvis into composite rigid and bony structures. However, the historical origins of these avian bone fusions remain elusive because of the rarity of transitional fossils and developmental studies on modern birds. Here, we describe an Early Cretaceous bird (120 Mya) that has fully fused alular-major metacarpals and pelvis. We discuss the manus and pelvis fusions across Paravian phylogeny and demonstrate that these features evolved independently across nonavian theropods, Enantiornithes, and Ornithuromorpha. The fusions of these bones are rare in known nonavian theropods and Early Cretaceous birds but are well established among Late Cretaceous and modern birds, revealing a complicated evolution pattern unrecognized previously. We posit that the developments of bone fusion were polymorphic close to the origin of birds, resulting in the varying degrees of fusion in Paraves. However, that development polymorphism appears to be fundamentally restricted along the line to modern birds by the Late Cretaceous, where all birds have a completely fused manus and pelvis. Such changes likely correspond to a refinement of flight capability. Alternatively, the degree of bone fusion in this primitive bird may have been related to modifications in genes or developmental paths. Future studies and fossil discoveries are required to clarify these hypotheses and pinpoint the developmental pathways involving the bone fusions in early avian evolution through to their modern pattern.

  4. The last dinosaurs of Brazil: The Bauru Group and its implications for the end-Cretaceous mass extinction

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    STEPHEN L. BRUSATTE

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The non-avian dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous, ~66 million years ago, after an asteroid impact. The prevailing hypothesis is that the effects of the impact suddenly killed the dinosaurs, but the poor fossil record of latest Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian dinosaurs from outside Laurasia (and even more particularly, North America makes it difficult to test specific extinction scenarios. Over the past few decades, a wealth of new discoveries from the Bauru Group of Brazil has revealed a unique window into the evolution of terminal Cretaceous dinosaurs from the southern continents. We review this record and demonstrate that there was a diversity of dinosaurs, of varying body sizes, diets, and ecological roles, that survived to the very end of the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian: 72-66 million years ago in Brazil, including a core fauna of titanosaurian sauropods and abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods, along with a variety of small-to-mid-sized theropods. We argue that this pattern best fits the hypothesis that southern dinosaurs, like their northern counterparts, were still diversifying and occupying prominent roles in their ecosystems before the asteroid suddenly caused their extinction. However, this hypothesis remains to be tested with more refined paleontological and geochronological data, and we give suggestions for future work.

  5. The last dinosaurs of Brazil: The Bauru Group and its implications for the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Candeiro, Carlos R A; Simbras, Felipe M

    2017-01-01

    The non-avian dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous, ~66 million years ago, after an asteroid impact. The prevailing hypothesis is that the effects of the impact suddenly killed the dinosaurs, but the poor fossil record of latest Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian) dinosaurs from outside Laurasia (and even more particularly, North America) makes it difficult to test specific extinction scenarios. Over the past few decades, a wealth of new discoveries from the Bauru Group of Brazil has revealed a unique window into the evolution of terminal Cretaceous dinosaurs from the southern continents. We review this record and demonstrate that there was a diversity of dinosaurs, of varying body sizes, diets, and ecological roles, that survived to the very end of the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian: 72-66 million years ago) in Brazil, including a core fauna of titanosaurian sauropods and abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods, along with a variety of small-to-mid-sized theropods. We argue that this pattern best fits the hypothesis that southern dinosaurs, like their northern counterparts, were still diversifying and occupying prominent roles in their ecosystems before the asteroid suddenly caused their extinction. However, this hypothesis remains to be tested with more refined paleontological and geochronological data, and we give suggestions for future work.

  6. Avian-like attributes of a virtual brain model of the oviraptorid theropod Conchoraptor gracilis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundrát, Martin

    2007-06-01

    An almost complete adult endoneurocranium of Conchoraptor gracilis Barsbold 1986 (Oviraptoridae; ZPAL MgD-I/95), discovered at the Hermiin Tsav locality (the Upper Cretaceous) in Mongolia, is analyzed. A virtual model of the endoneurocranial cavity was derived from CT scans and represents the most complete maniraptoran endocast to date. It displays reduced olfactory bulbs, large cerebral hemispheres in contact with the expanded cerebellum, an epiphysial projection, optic lobes displaced latero-ventrally, presumptive cerebellar folia, enlarged cerebellar auricles, and a deep medulla oblongata with a prominent ventral flexure. Contrary to Archaeopteryx, the shortened olfactory tract and cerebellum overtopping cerebral hemispheres of Conchoraptor resemble conditions in modern birds. Calculating brain mass relative to body mass indicates that Conchoraptor falls within the range of extant birds, whereas Archaeopteryx occupies a marginal position. Most of the endoneurocranial attributes, however, have a less birdlike appearance in Conchoraptor than do corresponding structures in Archaeopteryx and modern birds in which 1) postero-laterally expanded hemispheral domains broadly overlap the optic lobes, 2) the epiphysis projects to the posterior cerebrum, 3) lateral extension of the optic lobes substantially decreases a brain length-to-width ratio, 4) optic lobe and anterior hindbrain are superposed in lateral view, and 5) cerebellar and midbrain compartments are in distinct superposition. The endoneurocranial characteristics of Conchoraptor, taken together, suggest that the animal had a keen sense of vision, balance, and coordination. The data presented in this study do not allow an unambiguous assessment whether the avian-like endoneurocranial characteristics of the flightless Conchoraptor evolved convergently to those of avian theropods, or indicate a derivation of oviraptorosaurs from volant ancestors.

  7. Ontogenetic changes in the craniomandibular skeleton of the abelisaurid dinosaur Majungasaurus crenatissimus from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

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    Nirina O. Ratsimbaholison

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abelisaurid theropods were one of the most diverse groups of predatory dinosaurs in Gondwana during the Cretaceous. The group is characterized by a tall, wide skull and robust cervical region. This morphology is thought to have facilitated specialized feeding behaviors such as prolonged contact with prey. The Late Cretaceous abelisaurid Majungasaurus crenatissimus typifies this abelisaurid cranial morphotype. Recent fossil discoveries of this species include a partial growth series that allows for the first time an investigation of ontogenetic variation in cranial morphology in a representative abelisaurid. Herein we examine growth trajectories in the shape of individual cranial bones and articulated skulls of Majungasaurus using geometric morphometrics. Several major changes in skull shape were observed through ontogeny, including an increase in the height of the jugal, postorbital, and quadratojugal, an increase in the extent of the contacts between bones, and a decrease in the circumference of the orbit. The skull transitions from relatively short in the smallest individual to tall and robust in large adults, as is seen in other theropods. Such morphological change during ontogeny would likely have resulted in different biomechanical properties and feeding behaviors between small and large individuals. These findings provide a post-hatching developmental framework for understanding the evolution of the distinctive tall skull morphology seen in abelisaurids and other large-sized theropod dinosaurs.

  8. Dinosaur ichnofauna of the Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous of the Paraná Basin (Brazil and Uruguay)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francischini, H.; Dentzien–Dias, P. C.; Fernandes, M. A.; Schultz, C. L.

    2015-11-01

    Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sedimentary layers are represented in the Brazilian Paraná Basin by the fluvio-aeolian Guará Formation and the Botucatu Formation palaeoerg, respectively, overlapped by the volcanic Serra Geral Formation. In Uruguay, the corresponding sedimentary units are named Batoví and Rivera Members (both from the Tacuarembó Formation), and the lava flows constitute the Arapey Formation (also in Paraná Basin). Despite the lack of body fossils in the mentioned Brazilian formations, Guará/Batoví dinosaur fauna is composed of theropod, ornithopod and wide-gauge sauropod tracks and isolated footprints, as well as theropod teeth. In turn, the Botucatu/Rivera dinosaur fauna is represented by theropod and ornithopod ichnofossils smaller than those from the underlying units. The analysis of these dinosaur ichnological records and comparisons with other global Mesozoic ichnofauna indicates that there is a size reduction in dinosaur fauna in the more arid Botucatu/Rivera environment, which is dominated by aeolian dunes. The absence of sauropod trackways in the Botucatu Sandstone fits with the increasingly arid conditions because it is difficult for heavy animals to walk on sandy dunes, as well as to obtain the required amount of food resources. This comparison between the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous dinosaur fauna in south Brazil and Uruguay demonstrates the influence of aridization on the size of animals occupying each habitat.

  9. Vertebral Adaptations to Large Body Size in Theropod Dinosaurs.

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    John P Wilson

    Full Text Available Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not.

  10. Vertebral Adaptations to Large Body Size in Theropod Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, John P; Woodruff, D Cary; Gardner, Jacob D; Flora, Holley M; Horner, John R; Organ, Chris L

    2016-01-01

    Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not.

  11. The first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Hai-Lu; Azuma, Yoichi; Wang, Tao; Wang, Ya-Ming; Dong, Zhi-Ming

    2014-10-16

    Coelophysoid dinosaurs represent the earliest major radiation of neotheropods. These small-to-medium-sized agile bipeds lived throughout much of Pangaea during the Late Triassic-arly Jurassic. Previously reported coelophysoid material from Asia (excluding the Gondwanan territory of India) is limited to two specimens that comprise only limb fragments. This paper describes a new genus and species of coelophysoid, Panguraptor lufengensis, from the Lower Jurassic Lufeng Formation of Yunnan Province, China. The new taxon is represented by a well-preserved skeleton, including the skull and lower jaw, the presacral vertebral column and partial ribs, the right scapula, a partial forelimb, part of the pelvic girdle, and an almost complete hind limb. It is distinguished from other coelophysoid theropods by the unique combination of the following three character states: 1) diagonal (rostrodorsal-caudoventral) ridge on lateral surface of maxilla, within antorbital fossa, 2) elliptical, laterally facing fenestra caudodorsal to aforementioned diagonal ridge, and 3) hooked craniomedial corner of distal tarsal IV. Cladistic analysis recovers Panguraptor lufengensis deeply nested within Coelophysoidea as a member of Coelophysidae, and it is more closely related to Coelophysis than to "Syntarsus". Panguraptor represents the first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia, and provides fresh evidence supporting the hypothesis that terrestrial tetrapods tended to be distributed pan-continentally during the Early Jurassic.

  12. Bird-like anatomy, posture, and behavior revealed by an early jurassic theropod dinosaur resting trace.

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    Andrew R C Milner

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fossil tracks made by non-avian theropod dinosaurs commonly reflect the habitual bipedal stance retained in living birds. Only rarely-captured behaviors, such as crouching, might create impressions made by the hands. Such tracks provide valuable information concerning the often poorly understood functional morphology of the early theropod forelimb. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we describe a well-preserved theropod trackway in a Lower Jurassic ( approximately 198 million-year-old lacustrine beach sandstone in the Whitmore Point Member of the Moenave Formation in southwestern Utah. The trackway consists of prints of typical morphology, intermittent tail drags and, unusually, traces made by the animal resting on the substrate in a posture very similar to modern birds. The resting trace includes symmetrical pes impressions and well-defined impressions made by both hands, the tail, and the ischial callosity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The manus impressions corroborate that early theropods, like later birds, held their palms facing medially, in contrast to manus prints previously attributed to theropods that have forward-pointing digits. Both the symmetrical resting posture and the medially-facing palms therefore evolved by the Early Jurassic, much earlier in the theropod lineage than previously recognized, and may characterize all theropods.

  13. Bird-like anatomy, posture, and behavior revealed by an early jurassic theropod dinosaur resting trace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner, Andrew R.C.; Harris, J.D.; Lockley, M.G.; Kirkland, J.I.; Matthews, N.A.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Fossil tracks made by non-avian theropod dinosaurs commonly reflect the habitual bipedal stance retained in living birds. Only rarely-captured behaviors, such as crouching, might create impressions made by the hands. Such tracks provide valuable information concerning the often poorly understood functional morphology of the early theropod forelimb. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we describe a well-preserved theropod trackway in a Lower Jurassic (???198 millionyear- old) lacustrine beach sandstone in the Whitmore Point Member of the Moenave Formation in southwestern Utah. The trackway consists of prints of typical morphology, intermittent tail drags and, unusually, traces made by the animal resting on the substrate in a posture very similar to modern birds. The resting trace includes symmetrical pes impressions and well-defined impressions made by both hands, the tail, and the ischial callosity. Conclusions/Significance: The manus impressions corroborate that early theropods, like later birds, held their palms facing medially, in contrast to manus prints previously attributed to theropods that have forward-pointing digits. Both the symmetrical resting posture and the medially-facing palms therefore evolved by the Early Jurassic, much earlier in the theropod lineage than previously recognized, and may characterize all theropods.

  14. An endoparasitoid Cretaceous fly and the evolution of parasitoidism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qingqing; Zhang, Junfeng; Feng, Yitao; Zhang, Haichun; Wang, Bo

    2016-02-01

    Parasitoidism is a key innovation in insect evolution, and parasitoid insects, nowadays, play a significant role in structuring ecological communities. Despite their diversity and ecological impact, little is known about the early evolution and ecology of parasitoid insects, especially parasitoid true flies (Diptera). Here, we describe a bizarre fly, Zhenia xiai gen. et sp. nov., from Late Cretaceous Burmese amber (about 99 million years old) that represents the latest occurrence of the family Eremochaetidae. Z. xiai is an endoparasitoid insect as evidenced by a highly developed, hypodermic-like ovipositor formed by abdominal tergites VIII + IX that was used for injecting eggs into hosts and enlarged tridactylous claws supposedly for clasping hosts. Our results suggest that eremochaetids are among the earliest definite records of parasitoid insects. Our findings reveal an unexpected morphological specialization of flies and broaden our understanding of the evolution and diversity of ancient parasitoid insects.

  15. Feeding strategies as revealed by the section moduli of the humerus bones in bipedal theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott; Richards, Zachary

    2015-03-01

    The section modulus of a bone is a measure of its ability to resist bending torques. Carnivorous dinosaurs presumably had strong arm bones to hold struggling prey during hunting. Some theropods are believed to have become herbivorous and such animals would not have needed such strong arms. In this work, the section moduli of the humerus bones of bipedal theropod dinosaurs (from Microvenator celer to Tyrannosaurus rex) are studied to determine the maximum bending loads their arms could withstand. The results show that bending strength is not of uniform importance to these magnificent animals. The predatory theropods had strong arms for use in hunting. In contrast, the herbivorous dinosaurs had weaker arms.

  16. Perinate and eggs of a giant caenagnathid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of central China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pu, Hanyong; Zelenitsky, Darla K.; Lü, Junchang; Currie, Philip J.; Carpenter, Kenneth; Xu, Li; Koppelhus, Eva B.; Jia, Songhai; Xiao, Le; Chuang, Huali; Li, Tianran; Kundrát, Martin; Shen, Caizhi

    2017-01-01

    The abundance of dinosaur eggs in Upper Cretaceous strata of Henan Province, China led to the collection and export of countless such fossils. One of these specimens, recently repatriated to China, is a partial clutch of large dinosaur eggs (Macroelongatoolithus) with a closely associated small theropod skeleton. Here we identify the specimen as an embryo and eggs of a new, large caenagnathid oviraptorosaur, Beibeilong sinensis. This specimen is the first known association between skeletal remains and eggs of caenagnathids. Caenagnathids and oviraptorids share similarities in their eggs and clutches, although the eggs of Beibeilong are significantly larger than those of oviraptorids and indicate an adult body size comparable to a gigantic caenagnathid. An abundance of Macroelongatoolithus eggs reported from Asia and North America contrasts with the dearth of giant caenagnathid skeletal remains. Regardless, the large caenagnathid-Macroelongatoolithus association revealed here suggests these dinosaurs were relatively common during the early Late Cretaceous. PMID:28486442

  17. Cretaceous small scavengers: feeding traces in tetrapod bones from Patagonia, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Valais, Silvina; Apesteguía, Sebastián; Garrido, Alberto C

    2012-01-01

    Ecological relationships among fossil vertebrate groups are interpreted based on evidence of modification features and paleopathologies on fossil bones. Here we describe an ichnological assemblage composed of trace fossils on reptile bones, mainly sphenodontids, crocodyliforms and maniraptoran theropods. They all come from La Buitrera, an early Late Cretaceous locality in the Candeleros Formation of northwestern Patagonia, Argentina. This locality is significant because of the abundance of small to medium-sized vertebrates. The abundant ichnological record includes traces on bones, most of them attributable to tetrapods. These latter traces include tooth marks that provde evidence of feeding activities made during the sub-aerial exposure of tetrapod carcasses. Other traces are attributable to arthropods or roots. The totality of evidence provides an uncommon insight into paleoecological aspects of a Late Cretaceous southern ecosystem.

  18. Cretaceous small scavengers: feeding traces in tetrapod bones from Patagonia, Argentina.

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    Silvina de Valais

    Full Text Available Ecological relationships among fossil vertebrate groups are interpreted based on evidence of modification features and paleopathologies on fossil bones. Here we describe an ichnological assemblage composed of trace fossils on reptile bones, mainly sphenodontids, crocodyliforms and maniraptoran theropods. They all come from La Buitrera, an early Late Cretaceous locality in the Candeleros Formation of northwestern Patagonia, Argentina. This locality is significant because of the abundance of small to medium-sized vertebrates. The abundant ichnological record includes traces on bones, most of them attributable to tetrapods. These latter traces include tooth marks that provde evidence of feeding activities made during the sub-aerial exposure of tetrapod carcasses. Other traces are attributable to arthropods or roots. The totality of evidence provides an uncommon insight into paleoecological aspects of a Late Cretaceous southern ecosystem.

  19. Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend: food and diet as instigators of bizarre and disturbing dreams

    OpenAIRE

    Nielsen, Tore; Powell, Russell A.

    2015-01-01

    In the early 1900s, the Dream of the Rarebit Fiend comic strip conveyed how the spicy cheese dish Welsh rarebit leads to bizarre and disturbing dreams. Today, the perception that foods disturb dreaming persists. But apart from case studies, some exploratory surveys, and a few lab studies on how hunger affects dreaming, there is little empirical evidence addressing this topic. The present study examines three aspects of the food/dreaming relationship; it attempts to: (1) assess the prevalence ...

  20. Evolution of the respiratory system in nonavian theropods: evidence from rib and vertebral morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachner, Emma R; Lyson, Tyler R; Dodson, Peter

    2009-09-01

    Recent reports of region-specific vertebral pneumaticity in nonavian theropod dinosaurs have brought attention to the hypothesis that these animals possessed an avian-style respiratory system with flow-through ventilation. This study explores the thoracic rib and vertebral anatomy of Sinraptor, Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, and Deinonychus; four nonavian theropods that all show well-preserved thoracic vertebrae and ribs. Comparisons to the osteology and soft tissue anatomy of extant saurians provide new evidence supporting the hypothesis of flow-through ventilation in nonavian theropods. Analyses of diapophyseal and parapophyseal position and thoracic rib morphology suggest that most nonavian theropods possessed lungs that were deeply incised by the adjacent bicapitate thoracic ribs. This functionally constrains the lungs as rigid nonexpansive organs that were likely ventilated by accessory nonvascularized air sacs. The axial anatomy of this group also reveals that a crocodilian-like hepatic-piston lung would be functionally and biomechanically untenable. Taken together with the evidence that avian-like air sacs were present in basal theropods, these data lead us to conclude that an avian-style pulmonary system was likely a universal theropod trait. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Walking like dinosaurs: chickens with artificial tails provide clues about non-avian theropod locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossi, Bruno; Iriarte-Díaz, José; Larach, Omar; Canals, Mauricio; Vásquez, Rodrigo A

    2014-01-01

    Birds still share many traits with their dinosaur ancestors, making them the best living group to reconstruct certain aspects of non-avian theropod biology. Bipedal, digitigrade locomotion and parasagittal hindlimb movement are some of those inherited traits. Living birds, however, maintain an unusually crouched hindlimb posture and locomotion powered by knee flexion, in contrast to the inferred primitive condition of non-avian theropods: more upright posture and limb movement powered by femur retraction. Such functional differences, which are associated with a gradual, anterior shift of the centre of mass in theropods along the bird line, make the use of extant birds to study non-avian theropod locomotion problematic. Here we show that, by experimentally manipulating the location of the centre of mass in living birds, it is possible to recreate limb posture and kinematics inferred for extinct bipedal dinosaurs. Chickens raised wearing artificial tails, and consequently with more posteriorly located centre of mass, showed a more vertical orientation of the femur during standing and increased femoral displacement during locomotion. Our results support the hypothesis that gradual changes in the location of the centre of mass resulted in more crouched hindlimb postures and a shift from hip-driven to knee-driven limb movements through theropod evolution. This study suggests that, through careful experimental manipulations during the growth phase of ontogeny, extant birds can potentially be used to gain important insights into previously unexplored aspects of bipedal non-avian theropod locomotion.

  2. Walking like dinosaurs: chickens with artificial tails provide clues about non-avian theropod locomotion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Grossi

    Full Text Available Birds still share many traits with their dinosaur ancestors, making them the best living group to reconstruct certain aspects of non-avian theropod biology. Bipedal, digitigrade locomotion and parasagittal hindlimb movement are some of those inherited traits. Living birds, however, maintain an unusually crouched hindlimb posture and locomotion powered by knee flexion, in contrast to the inferred primitive condition of non-avian theropods: more upright posture and limb movement powered by femur retraction. Such functional differences, which are associated with a gradual, anterior shift of the centre of mass in theropods along the bird line, make the use of extant birds to study non-avian theropod locomotion problematic. Here we show that, by experimentally manipulating the location of the centre of mass in living birds, it is possible to recreate limb posture and kinematics inferred for extinct bipedal dinosaurs. Chickens raised wearing artificial tails, and consequently with more posteriorly located centre of mass, showed a more vertical orientation of the femur during standing and increased femoral displacement during locomotion. Our results support the hypothesis that gradual changes in the location of the centre of mass resulted in more crouched hindlimb postures and a shift from hip-driven to knee-driven limb movements through theropod evolution. This study suggests that, through careful experimental manipulations during the growth phase of ontogeny, extant birds can potentially be used to gain important insights into previously unexplored aspects of bipedal non-avian theropod locomotion.

  3. The evolution of cranial form and function in theropod dinosaurs: insights from geometric morphometrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, S L; Sakamoto, M; Montanari, S; Harcourt Smith, W E H

    2012-02-01

    Theropod dinosaurs, an iconic clade of fossil species including Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, developed a great diversity of body size, skull form and feeding habits over their 160+ million year evolutionary history. Here, we utilize geometric morphometrics to study broad patterns in theropod skull shape variation and compare the distribution of taxa in cranial morphospace (form) to both phylogeny and quantitative metrics of biting behaviour (function). We find that theropod skulls primarily differ in relative anteroposterior length and snout depth and to a lesser extent in orbit size and depth of the cheek region, and oviraptorosaurs deviate most strongly from the "typical" and ancestral theropod morphologies. Noncarnivorous taxa generally fall out in distinct regions of morphospace and exhibit greater overall disparity than carnivorous taxa, whereas large-bodied carnivores independently converge on the same region of morphospace. The distribution of taxa in morphospace is strongly correlated with phylogeny but only weakly correlated with functional biting behaviour. These results imply that phylogeny, not biting function, was the major determinant of theropod skull shape. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Cretacic tectonics in Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Rifas, C.

    2012-01-01

    This work is about Cretacic tectonics in Uruguay, this formation is characterized by high level cortex because the basament is cratonized since Middle Devonian. There were formed two main grabens such as Santa Lucia and Mirim-Pelotas which are filled with basalt and sediments.

  5. Bony cranial ornamentation linked to rapid evolution of gigantic theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates, Terry A.; Organ, Chris; Zanno, Lindsay E.

    2016-09-01

    Exaggerated cranial structures such as crests and horns, hereafter referred to collectively as ornaments, are pervasive across animal species. These structures perform vital roles in visual communication and physical interactions within and between species. Yet the origin and influence of ornamentation on speciation and ecology across macroevolutionary time scales remains poorly understood for virtually all animals. Here, we explore correlative evolution of osseous cranial ornaments with large body size in theropod dinosaurs using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We find that body size evolved directionally toward phyletic giantism an order of magnitude faster in theropod species possessing ornaments compared with unadorned lineages. In addition, we find a body mass threshold below which bony cranial ornaments do not originate. Maniraptoriform dinosaurs generally lack osseous cranial ornaments despite repeatedly crossing this body size threshold. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for a shift in selective pressures on socio-sexual display mechanisms in theropods coincident with the evolution of pennaceous feathers.

  6. Developmental and evolutionary novelty in the serrated teeth of theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brink, K S; Reisz, R R; LeBlanc, A R H; Chang, R S; Lee, Y C; Chiang, C C; Huang, T; Evans, D C

    2015-07-28

    Tooth morphology and development can provide valuable insights into the feeding behaviour and evolution of extinct organisms. The teeth of Theropoda, the only clade of predominantly predatory dinosaurs, are characterized by ziphodonty, the presence of serrations (denticles) on their cutting edges. Known today only in varanid lizards, ziphodonty is much more pervasive in the fossil record. Here we present the first model for the development of ziphodont teeth in theropods through histological, SEM, and SR-FTIR analyses, revealing that structures previously hypothesized to prevent tooth breakage instead first evolved to shape and maintain the characteristic denticles through the life of the tooth. We show that this novel complex of dental morphology and tissues characterizes Theropoda, with the exception of species with modified feeding behaviours, suggesting that these characters are important for facilitating the hypercarnivorous diet of most theropods. This adaptation may have played an important role in the initial radiation and subsequent success of theropods as terrestrial apex predators.

  7. David Bowie’s Influence on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco-Alessio Ursini

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This article analyses the influence of David Bowie’s work in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, a manga known for its wealth of references to western popular culture. It is argued that David Bowie’s cultural reception can be attested via the presence of three narrative themes featuring in this manga series. The first theme is the exploration of diverse genres and an innovative, genre-defying attitude. The second theme is the use of avant-garde, flamboyant and gender-ambiguous aesthetics for its fictional characters. The third theme is a self-reflexive approach to the creation of fictional characters, intended as an awareness of the temporary, transient nature of their role as reluctant heroes in their own stories.

  8. Dreams of the rarebit fiend: Food and diet as instigators of bizarre and disturbing dreams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tore eNielsen

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In the early 1900s, the Dream of the Rarebit Fiend comic strip conveyed how the spicy cheese dish Welsh rarebit leads to bizarre and disturbing dreams. Today, the perception that foods disturb dreaming persists. But apart from case studies, some exploratory surveys, and a few lab studies on how hunger affects dreaming, there is little empirical evidence addressing this topic. The present study examines 3 aspects of the food/dreaming relationship; it attempts to: 1 assess the prevalence of the perception of food-dependent dreaming and the types of foods most commonly blamed; 2 determine if perceived food-dependent dreaming is associated with dietary, sleep or motivational factors; and 3 explore whether these factors, independent of food/dreaming perceptions, are associated with reports of vivid and disturbing dreaming. 396 students completed questionnaires evaluating sleep, dreams, and dietary habits and motivations. Items queried whether they had noticed if foods produced bizarre or disturbing dreams and if eating late at night influenced their dreams. The perception of food-dependent dreaming had a prevalence of 17.8%; dairy products were the most frequently blamed food type (39%-44%. Those who perceived food-dependent dreaming differed from others by reporting more frequent and disturbing dreams, poorer sleep, higher coffee intake, and lower Intuitive Eating Scale scores. Reports of disturbing dreams were associated with a pathological constellation of measures that include poorer sleep, binge-eating, and eating for emotional reasons. Reports of vivid dreams were associated with measures indicative of wellness: better sleep, a healthier diet, and longer times between meals (fasting. Results clarify the relationship between food and dreaming and suggest 4 explanations for the perception of food-dependent dreaming: 1 food specific effects; 2 food-induced distress; 3 folklore influences, and 4 causal misattributions. Clinical implications are

  9. Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend: food and diet as instigators of bizarre and disturbing dreams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Tore; Powell, Russell A.

    2015-01-01

    In the early 1900s, the Dream of the Rarebit Fiend comic strip conveyed how the spicy cheese dish Welsh rarebit leads to bizarre and disturbing dreams. Today, the perception that foods disturb dreaming persists. But apart from case studies, some exploratory surveys, and a few lab studies on how hunger affects dreaming, there is little empirical evidence addressing this topic. The present study examines three aspects of the food/dreaming relationship; it attempts to: (1) assess the prevalence of the perception of food-dependent dreaming and the types of foods most commonly blamed; (2) determine if perceived food-dependent dreaming is associated with dietary, sleep or motivational factors; and (3) explore whether these factors, independent of food/dreaming perceptions, are associated with reports of vivid and disturbing dreams. Three hundred and ninety six students completed questionnaires evaluating sleep, dreams, and dietary habits and motivations. Items queried whether they had noticed if foods produced bizarre or disturbing dreams and if eating late at night influenced their dreams. The perception of food-dependent dreaming had a prevalence of 17.8%; with dairy products being the most frequently blamed food category (39–44%). Those who perceived food-dependent dreaming differed from others by reporting more frequent and disturbing dreams, poorer sleep, higher coffee intake, and lower Intuitive Eating Scale scores. Reports of disturbing dreams were associated with a pathological constellation of measures that includes poorer sleep, binge-eating, and eating for emotional reasons. Reports of vivid dreams were associated with measures indicative of wellness: better sleep, a healthier diet, and longer times between meals (fasting). Results clarify the relationship between food and dreaming and suggest four explanations for the perception of food-dependent dreaming: (1) food specific effects; (2) food-induced distress; (3) folklore influences, and (4) causal

  10. Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend: food and diet as instigators of bizarre and disturbing dreams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Tore; Powell, Russell A

    2015-01-01

    In the early 1900s, the Dream of the Rarebit Fiend comic strip conveyed how the spicy cheese dish Welsh rarebit leads to bizarre and disturbing dreams. Today, the perception that foods disturb dreaming persists. But apart from case studies, some exploratory surveys, and a few lab studies on how hunger affects dreaming, there is little empirical evidence addressing this topic. The present study examines three aspects of the food/dreaming relationship; it attempts to: (1) assess the prevalence of the perception of food-dependent dreaming and the types of foods most commonly blamed; (2) determine if perceived food-dependent dreaming is associated with dietary, sleep or motivational factors; and (3) explore whether these factors, independent of food/dreaming perceptions, are associated with reports of vivid and disturbing dreams. Three hundred and ninety six students completed questionnaires evaluating sleep, dreams, and dietary habits and motivations. Items queried whether they had noticed if foods produced bizarre or disturbing dreams and if eating late at night influenced their dreams. The perception of food-dependent dreaming had a prevalence of 17.8%; with dairy products being the most frequently blamed food category (39-44%). Those who perceived food-dependent dreaming differed from others by reporting more frequent and disturbing dreams, poorer sleep, higher coffee intake, and lower Intuitive Eating Scale scores. Reports of disturbing dreams were associated with a pathological constellation of measures that includes poorer sleep, binge-eating, and eating for emotional reasons. Reports of vivid dreams were associated with measures indicative of wellness: better sleep, a healthier diet, and longer times between meals (fasting). Results clarify the relationship between food and dreaming and suggest four explanations for the perception of food-dependent dreaming: (1) food specific effects; (2) food-induced distress; (3) folklore influences, and (4) causal

  11. Bizarreness in dream reports and waking fantasies of psychotic schizophrenic and manic patients: empirical evidences and theoretical consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limosani, Ivan; D'Agostino, Armando; Manzone, Maria Laura; Scarone, Silvio

    2011-09-30

    Several overlapping features have frequently been described between psychosis and the subjective experience of dreaming from the neurobiological to the phenomenological level, but whether this similarity reflects the cognitive organization of schizophrenic thought or rather that of psychotic mentation independent of diagnostic categories is still unclear. In this study, 40 actively psychotic inpatients were equally divided in two age- and education-matched groups according to their diagnosis (Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder). Participants were asked to report their dreams upon awakening and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) was administered to elicit waking fantasies; the same procedure was used in a control group of 20 non-psychiatric subjects. Two highly trained judges scored the collected material according to a Dream Bizarreness scale. The same level of cognitive bizarreness was found in TAT and dream reports of schizophrenic and manic subjects but was almost completely absent in the TAT stories of the control group. Two-way analysis of variance for repeated measures assessed the effect of diagnosis and experimental conditions (TAT stories and dream reports) on bizarreness yielding a significant interaction. Cognitive bizarreness seems to be a shared feature of dreaming and psychotic mentation, beyond diagnostic categorizations. Although these findings must be considered preliminary, this experimental measure of the cognitive architecture of thought processes seems to support the view that dreaming could be a useful model for the psychoses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Diverse dinosaur-dominated ichnofaunas from the Potomac Group (Lower Cretaceous) Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Lockley, Martin G.; Weems, Robert E.

    2007-01-01

    Until recently fossil footprints were virtually unknown from the Cretaceous of the eastern United States. The discovery of about 300 footprints in iron-rich siliciclastic facies of the Patuxent Formation (Potomac Group) of Aptian age is undoubtedly one of the most significant Early Cretaceous track discoveries since the Paluxy track discoveries in Texas in the 1930s. The Patuxent tracks include theropod, sauropod, ankylosaur and ornithopod dinosaur footprints, pterosaur tracks, and miscellaneous mammal and other vertebrate ichnites that collectively suggest a diversity of about 14 morphotypes. This is about twice the previous maximum estimate for any known Early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofauna. Among the more distinctive forms are excellent examples of hypsilophodontid tracks and a surprisingly large mammal footprint. A remarkable feature of the Patuxent track assemblage is the high proportion of small tracks indicative of hatchlings, independently verified by the discovery of a hatchling-sized dinosaur. Such evidence suggests the proximity of nest sites. The preservation of such small tracks is very rare in the Cretaceous track record, and indeed throughout most of the Mesozoic.This unusual preservation not only provides us with a window into a diverse Early Cretaceous ecosystem, but it also suggests the potential of such facies to provide ichnological bonanzas. A remarkable feature of the assemblage is that it consists largely of reworked nodules and clasts that may have previously been reworked within the Patuxent Formation. Such unusual contexts of preservation should provide intriguing research opportunities for sedimentologists interested in the diagenesis and taphonomy of a unique track-bearing facies.

  13. New Mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian dinosaurs fromWinton, Queensland, Australia.

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    Scott A Hocknull

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus.

  14. New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocknull, Scott A.; White, Matt A.; Tischler, Travis R.; Cook, Alex G.; Calleja, Naomi D.; Sloan, Trish; Elliott, David A.

    2009-01-01

    Background Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian) Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. Conclusion/Significance The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator) and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus). PMID:19584929

  15. A dromaeosaur from the Maastrichtian of James Ross Island and the Late Cretaceous Antarctic dinosaur fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Case, Judd A.; Martin, James E.; Reguero, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    The recovery of material of a small theropod from the Early Maastrichtian, Cape Lamb Member of the Snow Hill Island Formation is an unusual occurrence from primarily marine sediments. The pedal morphology of the specimen that includes a Metatarsal II with a lateral expansion caudal to Metatarsal III, a third metatarsal that is proximally narrow and distally wide, a Metatarsal III with a distal end that is incipiently ginglymoidal and a second pedal digit with sickle-like ungual are all diagnostic of a theropod that belongs to the family of predatory dinosaurs, the Dromaeosauridae. Yet this Antarctic dromaeosaur retains plesiomorphic features in its ankle and foot morphology. As new dromaeosaur species are being recovered from the mid-Cretaceous of South America and the retention of primitive characters in the Antarctic dromaeosaur, a new biogeographic hypothesis on dromaeosaur distribution has been generated. Gondwanan dromaeosaurs are not North America immigrants into South America and Antarctica; rather they are the relicts of a cosmopolitan dromaeosaur distribution, which has been separated by the vicariant break up of Pangea and created an endemic clade of dromaeosaurs in Gondwana.

  16. Jaw biomechanics and the evolution of biting performance in theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Manabu

    2010-01-01

    Despite the great diversity in theropod craniomandibular morphology, the presence and distribution of biting function types across Theropoda has rarely been assessed. A novel method of biomechanical profiling using mechanical advantage computed for each biting position along the entirety of the tooth row was applied to 41 extinct theropod taxa. Multivariate ordination on the polynomial coefficients of the profiles reveals the distribution of theropod biting performance in function space. In particular, coelophysoids are found to occupy a unique region of function space, while tetanurans have a wide but continuous function space distribution. Further, the underlying phylogenetic structure and evolution of biting performance were investigated using phylogenetic comparative methods. There is a strong phylogenetic signal in theropod biomechanical profiles, indicating that evolution of biting performance does not depart from Brownian motion evolution. Reconstructions of ancestral function space occupation conform to this pattern, but phylogenetically unexpected major shifts in function space occupation can be observed at the origins of some clades. However, uncertainties surround ancestor estimates in some of these internal nodes, so inferences on the nature of these evolutionary changes must be viewed with caution. PMID:20534620

  17. A late-surviving basal theropod dinosaur from the latest Triassic of North America.

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    Sues, Hans-Dieter; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Berman, David S; Henrici, Amy C

    2011-11-22

    The oldest theropod dinosaurs are known from the Carnian of Argentina and Brazil. However, the evolutionary diversification of this group after its initial radiation but prior to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary is still poorly understood because of a sparse fossil record near that boundary. Here, we report on a new basal theropod, Daemonosaurus chauliodus gen. et sp. nov., from the latest Triassic 'siltstone member' of the Chinle Formation of the Coelophysis Quarry at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. Based on a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis, Daemonosaurus is more closely related to coeval neotheropods (e.g. Coelophysis bauri) than to Herrerasauridae and Eoraptor. The skeletal structure of Daemonosaurus and the recently discovered Tawa bridge a morphological gap between Eoraptor and Herrerasauridae on one hand and neotheropods on the other, providing additional support for the theropod affinities of both Eoraptor and Herrerasauridae and demonstrating that lineages from the initial radiation of Dinosauria persisted until the end of the Triassic. Various features of the skull of Daemonosaurus, including the procumbent dentary and premaxillary teeth and greatly enlarged premaxillary and anterior maxillary teeth, clearly set this taxon apart from coeval neotheropods and demonstrate unexpected disparity in cranial shape among theropod dinosaurs just prior to the end of the Triassic.

  18. Dinosaur tracks from the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Arches National Park, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockley, Martin G.; White, Diane K.; Kirkland, James I.; Santucci, Vincent L.

    2004-01-01

    The seventh and largest known dinosaur tracksite from the Cedar Mountain Formation is reported from two important stratigraphic levels in the Ruby Ranch Member within the boundaries of Arches National Park. Previous reports of sites with a few isolated tracks are of limited utility in indicating the fauna represented by track makers. The Arches site reveals evidence of several theropod morphotypes, including a possible match for the coelurosaur Nedcolbertia and an apparently didactyl Utahraptor-like dromeosaurid. Sauropod tracks indicate a wide-gauge morphotype (cf. Brontopodus). Ornithischian tracks suggest the presence of an iguandontid-like ornithopod and a large ankylosaur. Dinosaur track diversity is high in comparison with other early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofaunas, and it correlates well with faunal lists derived from skeletal remains, thus providing a convincing census of the known fauna.

  19. Cretaceous - Tertiary Mass Extinction -8 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The acid rain caused by the Cretaceous volcanic activity is estimated to be 14 times greater than the fossil-fuel-based acid rain that poured over Europe and the United States in. 1976, estimated at 120 million tonnes. Besides the DT, explosive volcanic ash beds broadly coinciding with the close of the Cretaceous have been ...

  20. The special treatment of first rank auditory hallucinations and bizarre delusions in the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinn, Ann K; Heckers, Stephan; Öngür, Dost

    2013-05-01

    The presence of a single first-rank auditory hallucination (FRAH) or bizarre delusion (BD) is sufficient to satisfy the symptom criterion for a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of schizophrenia. We queried two independent databases to investigate how prevalent FRAH and BD are in schizophrenia spectrum disorders and whether the diagnosis depends on them. FRAH was common in both datasets (42.2% and 55.2%) and BD was present in the majority of patients (62.5% and 69.7%). However, FRAH and BD rarely determined the diagnosis. In the first database, we found only seven cases among 325 patients (2.1%) and in the second database we found only one case among 201 patients (0.5%) who were diagnosed based on FRAH or BD alone. Among patients with FRAH, 96% had delusions, 14-42% had negative symptoms, 15-21% had disorganized or catatonic behavior, and 20-23% had disorganized speech. Among patients with BD, 88-99% had hallucinations, 17-49% had negative symptoms, 20-27% had disorganized or catatonic behavior, and 21-25% had disorganized speech. We conclude that FRAH and BD are common features of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, typically occur in the context of other psychotic symptoms, and very rarely constitute the sole symptom criterion for a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Coexistence of atypical adenoma, adenoma with bizarre nuclei and follicular variant of papillary carcinoma of the thyroid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Pusiol

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Coexistence of atypical adenoma, adenoma with bizarre nuclei and follicular variant of papillary carcinoma is described in the same thyroid, with study of p53 expression. A 72-year-old woman presented to the endocrinology out-patient unit for a routine follow-up visit. Patient underwent a total thyroidectomy. Histological examination revealed a solid nodular neoplasm with the longest diameter of 0.8 cm in the upper pole of the left lobe. The neoplasm showed the histological features of follicular variant of papillary carcinoma with moderate diffuse immunoreactivity for p53. The lower pole of the right lobe showed two adjacent nodules with histological features respectively of atypical adenoma and adenoma with bizarre nuclei, with strong diffuse immunoreactivity for p53.

  2. LIDAR-based characterization and conservation of the first theropod dinosaur trackways from Arkansas, USA.

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    Brian F Platt

    Full Text Available LIDAR-based analyses of the first theropod dinosaur trackways known from the state of Arkansas, USA are reported. The trackways were found on a limestone bedding plane in the Albian De Queen Formation in an active gypsum quarry. Because limited access precluded thorough field study, fieldwork focused on preserving the entire site digitally with ground-based LIDAR, and detailed measurements were later taken digitally from point cloud data. The site contains eight tridactyl trackways associated with sauropod trackways and numerous isolated tracks. Although there appear to be two different tridactyl morphotypes, we show that the tracks are all likely from a single species of trackmaker. We apply a simple method of estimating substrate consistency by comparing the differences between true track dimensions and apparent track dimensions. The tridactyl tracks at the southern end of the site are preserved with significantly greater differences in true vs. apparent dimensions and are shallower than the rest of the tridactyl tracks at the site, which we interpret as the result of outward expansion of the soft tissues of the foot upon contact with a firm substrate. We interpret the firm substrate as having high bulk density and high shear strength, which also explain associated manus-only sauropod tracks. We show that the tridactyl tracks are likely from theropod trackmakers and that footprint lengths, trackway paces, stride lengths, and pace angulations of the De Queen trackways are statistically indistinguishable from equivalent measurements of theropod trackways in the Glen Rose Formation. The Glen Rose tracks are attributed to the large-bodied theropod, Acrocanthosaurus and we likewise attribute the De Queen tracks to Acrocanthosaurus, which is known from skeletal remains in temporally equivalent units and from the mine itself.

  3. LIDAR-based characterization and conservation of the first theropod dinosaur trackways from Arkansas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Brian F; Suarez, Celina A; Boss, Stephen K; Williamson, Malcolm; Cothren, Jackson; Kvamme, Jo Ann C

    2018-01-01

    LIDAR-based analyses of the first theropod dinosaur trackways known from the state of Arkansas, USA are reported. The trackways were found on a limestone bedding plane in the Albian De Queen Formation in an active gypsum quarry. Because limited access precluded thorough field study, fieldwork focused on preserving the entire site digitally with ground-based LIDAR, and detailed measurements were later taken digitally from point cloud data. The site contains eight tridactyl trackways associated with sauropod trackways and numerous isolated tracks. Although there appear to be two different tridactyl morphotypes, we show that the tracks are all likely from a single species of trackmaker. We apply a simple method of estimating substrate consistency by comparing the differences between true track dimensions and apparent track dimensions. The tridactyl tracks at the southern end of the site are preserved with significantly greater differences in true vs. apparent dimensions and are shallower than the rest of the tridactyl tracks at the site, which we interpret as the result of outward expansion of the soft tissues of the foot upon contact with a firm substrate. We interpret the firm substrate as having high bulk density and high shear strength, which also explain associated manus-only sauropod tracks. We show that the tridactyl tracks are likely from theropod trackmakers and that footprint lengths, trackway paces, stride lengths, and pace angulations of the De Queen trackways are statistically indistinguishable from equivalent measurements of theropod trackways in the Glen Rose Formation. The Glen Rose tracks are attributed to the large-bodied theropod, Acrocanthosaurus and we likewise attribute the De Queen tracks to Acrocanthosaurus, which is known from skeletal remains in temporally equivalent units and from the mine itself.

  4. Cretaceous Crocodyliforms from the Sahara

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    Paul Sereno

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Diverse crocodyliforms have been discovered in recent years in Cretaceous rocks on southern landmasses formerly composing Gondwana.  We report here on six species from the Sahara with an array of trophic adaptations that significantly deepen our current understanding of African crocodyliform diversity during the Cretaceous period.  We describe two of these species (Anatosuchus minor, Araripesuchus wegeneri from nearly complete skulls and partial articulated skeletons from the Lower Cretaceous Elrhaz Formation (Aptian-Albian of Niger. The remaining four species (Araripesuchus rattoides sp. n., Kaprosuchus saharicus gen. n. sp. n., Laganosuchus thaumastos gen. n. sp. n., Laganosuchus maghrebensis gen. n. sp. n. come from contemporaneous Upper Cretaceous formations (Cenomanian in Niger and Morocco.

  5. Didactyl tracks of paravian theropods (Maniraptora from the ?Middle Jurassic of Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Mudroch

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A new dinosaur tracksite from ?Middle Jurassic sediments of the Irhazer Group on the plains of Agadez (Rep. Niger, northwest Africa revealed extraordinarily well preserved didactyl tracks of a digitigrade bipedal trackmaker. The distinct morphology of the pes imprints indicates a theropod trackmaker from a paravian maniraptoran closely related to birds. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The early age and the morphological traits of the tracks allow for description of the new ichnotaxon Paravipus didactyloides. A total of 120 tracks are assigned to 5 individual trackways. The 'medium-sized' tracks with an average footprint length of 27.5 cm and footprint width of 23.1 cm are deeply imprinted into the track bearing sandstone. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A comparison with other didactyl tracks gives new insights into the foot morphology of advanced maniraptoran theropods and contributes to knowledge of their evolutionary history. The new ichnotaxon takes an important position in the ichnological fossil record of Gondwana and the mid-Jurassic biota worldwide, because it is among the earliest known records of paravian maniraptorans and of didactyl theropod tracks from Africa.

  6. Florid reactive periostitis and bizarre parosteal osteochondromatous proliferation: pre-biopsy imaging evolution, treatment and outcome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sundaram, M.; Wang, L.; Rotman, M.; Howard, R.; Saboeiro, A.P.

    2001-01-01

    Objective. To report on the imaging evolution of florid reactive periostitis (FRP) and bizarre parosteal osteochondromatous proliferation (BPOP) of the phalanges of the hands from prospective diagnosis to operation and on postsurgical outcome.Design and patients. Three patients (2 female, 1 male; age range 11-34 years) presented with a swollen digit of the hand. Following presumptive radiographic diagnosis of FRP, they were closely observed both clinically and radiographically until operation. All three patients had radiographs of the involved digit, and one patient had an MR imaging examination. The interval between presumptive diagnosis and operation ranged from 2 to 8 months. Following operation, the patients have been clinically followed for 9-13 months (mean 10 months).Results. In each of the patients, maturing of periosteal reaction without bone destruction was observed within 1-2 weeks of the presumptive diagnosis of FRP. Periosteal reaction was initially minimal in relation to the extent of soft tissue swelling and subsequently became more florid. In one patient, the lesion ossified, became adherent to the phalanx, and had an ''osteochondromatous'' appearance. In another patient, periosteal reaction was seen on both sides of the phalanx with an intact phalanx. In the sole patient who had MR imaging, edema was seen in the phalanx distal to the symptomatic site and the metacarpal proximal to the symptomatic site.Conclusions. Close clinical and radiographic correlation permits an accurate pre-biopsy diagnosis of FRP. The first follow-up radiograph taken within 2 weeks usually provides reassurance of the accuracy of the diagnosis. FRP may progress to BPOP. Arbitrary antibiotic treatment can be avoided, and a planned surgical approach can be adopted. (orig.)

  7. Air-filled postcranial bones in theropod dinosaurs: physiological implications and the 'reptile'-bird transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Butler, Richard J; Carrano, Matthew T; O'Connor, Patrick M

    2012-02-01

    Pneumatic (air-filled) postcranial bones are unique to birds among extant tetrapods. Unambiguous skeletal correlates of postcranial pneumaticity first appeared in the Late Triassic (approximately 210 million years ago), when they evolved independently in several groups of bird-line archosaurs (ornithodirans). These include the theropod dinosaurs (of which birds are extant representatives), the pterosaurs, and sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Postulated functions of skeletal pneumatisation include weight reduction in large-bodied or flying taxa, and density reduction resulting in energetic savings during foraging and locomotion. However, the influence of these hypotheses on the early evolution of pneumaticity has not been studied in detail previously. We review recent work on the significance of pneumaticity for understanding the biology of extinct ornithodirans, and present detailed new data on the proportion of the skeleton that was pneumatised in 131 non-avian theropods and Archaeopteryx. This includes all taxa known from significant postcranial remains. Pneumaticity of the cervical and anterior dorsal vertebrae occurred early in theropod evolution. This 'common pattern' was conserved on the line leading to birds, and is likely present in Archaeopteryx. Increases in skeletal pneumaticity occurred independently in as many as 12 lineages, highlighting a remarkably high number of parallel acquisitions of a bird-like feature among non-avian theropods. Using a quantitative comparative framework, we show that evolutionary increases in skeletal pneumaticity are significantly concentrated in lineages with large body size, suggesting that mass reduction in response to gravitational constraints at large body sizes influenced the early evolution of pneumaticity. However, the body size threshold for extensive pneumatisation is lower in theropod lineages more closely related to birds (maniraptorans). Thus, relaxation of the relationship between body size and pneumatisation preceded

  8. A long-snouted, multihorned tyrannosaurid from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Carr, Thomas D; Erickson, Gregory M; Bever, Gabe S; Norell, Mark A

    2009-10-13

    Tyrannosaurid theropods are characterized by a generalized body plan, and all well-known taxa possess deep and robust skulls that are optimized for exerting powerful bite forces. The fragmentary Late Cretaceous Alioramus appears to deviate from this trend, but its holotype and only known specimen is incomplete and poorly described. A remarkable new tyrannosaurid specimen from the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) of Mongolia, including a nearly complete and well-preserved skull and an extensive postcranium, represents a new species of Alioramus, Alioramus altai. This specimen conclusively demonstrates that Alioramus is a small, gracile, long-snouted carnivore that deviates from other tyrannosaurids in its body plan and presumably its ecological habits. As such, it increases the range of morphological diversity in one of the most familiar extinct clades. Phylogenetic analysis places Alioramus deep within the megapredatory Tyrannosauridae, and within the tyrannosaurine subclade that also includes Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus. Both pneumatization and ornamentation are extreme compared with other tyrannosaurids, and the skull contains eight discrete horns. The new specimen is histologically aged at nine years old but is smaller than other tyrannosaurids of similar age. Despite its divergent cranial form, Alioramus is characterized by a similar sequence of ontogenetic changes as the megapredatory Tyrannosaurus and Albertosaurus, indicating that ontogenetic change is conservative in tyrannosaurids.

  9. Dinosaur footprints and other ichnofauna from the cretaceous Kem Kem beds of Morocco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Nizar; Varricchio, David J; Sereno, Paul C; Wilson, Jeffery A; Wilson, Jeff A; Dutheil, Didier B; Martill, David M; Baidder, Lahssen; Zouhri, Samir

    2014-01-01

    We describe an extensive ichnofossil assemblage from the likely Cenomanian-age 'lower' and 'upper' units of the 'Kem Kem beds' in southeastern Morocco. In the lower unit, trace fossils include narrow vertical burrows in cross-bedded sandstones and borings in dinosaur bone, with the latter identified as the insect ichnotaxon Cubiculum ornatus. In the upper unit, several horizons preserve abundant footprints from theropod dinosaurs. Sauropod and ornithischian footprints are much rarer, similar to the record for fossil bone and teeth in the Kem Kem assemblage. The upper unit also preserves a variety of invertebrate traces including Conichnus (the resting trace of a sea-anemone), Scolicia (a gastropod trace), Beaconites (a probable annelid burrow), and subvertical burrows likely created by crabs for residence and detrital feeding on a tidal flat. The ichnofossil assemblage from the Upper Cretaceous Kem Kem beds contributes evidence for a transition from predominantly terrestrial to marine deposition. Body fossil and ichnofossil records together provide a detailed view of faunal diversity and local conditions within a fluvial and deltaic depositional setting on the northwestern coast of Africa toward the end of the Cretaceous.

  10. Dinosaur footprints and other ichnofauna from the cretaceous Kem Kem beds of Morocco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nizar Ibrahim

    Full Text Available We describe an extensive ichnofossil assemblage from the likely Cenomanian-age 'lower' and 'upper' units of the 'Kem Kem beds' in southeastern Morocco. In the lower unit, trace fossils include narrow vertical burrows in cross-bedded sandstones and borings in dinosaur bone, with the latter identified as the insect ichnotaxon Cubiculum ornatus. In the upper unit, several horizons preserve abundant footprints from theropod dinosaurs. Sauropod and ornithischian footprints are much rarer, similar to the record for fossil bone and teeth in the Kem Kem assemblage. The upper unit also preserves a variety of invertebrate traces including Conichnus (the resting trace of a sea-anemone, Scolicia (a gastropod trace, Beaconites (a probable annelid burrow, and subvertical burrows likely created by crabs for residence and detrital feeding on a tidal flat. The ichnofossil assemblage from the Upper Cretaceous Kem Kem beds contributes evidence for a transition from predominantly terrestrial to marine deposition. Body fossil and ichnofossil records together provide a detailed view of faunal diversity and local conditions within a fluvial and deltaic depositional setting on the northwestern coast of Africa toward the end of the Cretaceous.

  11. Dinosaur Footprints and Other Ichnofauna from the Cretaceous Kem Kem Beds of Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Nizar; Varricchio, David J.; Sereno, Paul C.; Wilson, Jeff A.; Dutheil, Didier B.; Martill, David M.; Baidder, Lahssen; Zouhri, Samir

    2014-01-01

    We describe an extensive ichnofossil assemblage from the likely Cenomanian-age ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ units of the ‘Kem Kem beds’ in southeastern Morocco. In the lower unit, trace fossils include narrow vertical burrows in cross-bedded sandstones and borings in dinosaur bone, with the latter identified as the insect ichnotaxon Cubiculum ornatus. In the upper unit, several horizons preserve abundant footprints from theropod dinosaurs. Sauropod and ornithischian footprints are much rarer, similar to the record for fossil bone and teeth in the Kem Kem assemblage. The upper unit also preserves a variety of invertebrate traces including Conichnus (the resting trace of a sea-anemone), Scolicia (a gastropod trace), Beaconites (a probable annelid burrow), and subvertical burrows likely created by crabs for residence and detrital feeding on a tidal flat. The ichnofossil assemblage from the Upper Cretaceous Kem Kem beds contributes evidence for a transition from predominantly terrestrial to marine deposition. Body fossil and ichnofossil records together provide a detailed view of faunal diversity and local conditions within a fluvial and deltaic depositional setting on the northwestern coast of Africa toward the end of the Cretaceous. PMID:24603467

  12. Using step width to compare locomotor biomechanics between extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs and modern obligate bipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, P J; Clemente, C J; Weems, R E; Graham, D F; Lamas, L P; Hutchinson, J R; Rubenson, J; Wilson, R S; Hocknull, S A; Barrett, R S; Lloyd, D G

    2017-07-01

    How extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs locomoted is a subject of considerable interest, as is the manner in which it evolved on the line leading to birds. Fossil footprints provide the most direct evidence for answering these questions. In this study, step width-the mediolateral (transverse) distance between successive footfalls-was investigated with respect to speed (stride length) in non-avian theropod trackways of Late Triassic age. Comparable kinematic data were also collected for humans and 11 species of ground-dwelling birds. Permutation tests of the slope on a plot of step width against stride length showed that step width decreased continuously with increasing speed in the extinct theropods ( p < 0.001), as well as the five tallest bird species studied ( p < 0.01). Humans, by contrast, showed an abrupt decrease in step width at the walk-run transition. In the modern bipeds, these patterns reflect the use of either a discontinuous locomotor repertoire, characterized by distinct gaits (humans), or a continuous locomotor repertoire, where walking smoothly transitions into running (birds). The non-avian theropods are consequently inferred to have had a continuous locomotor repertoire, possibly including grounded running. Thus, features that characterize avian terrestrial locomotion had begun to evolve early in theropod history. © 2017 The Author(s).

  13. Anza palaeoichnological site. Late Cretaceous. Morocco. Part II. Problems of large dinosaur trackways and the first African Macropodosaurus trackway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masrour, Moussa; Lkebir, Noura; Pérez-Lorente, Félix

    2017-10-01

    The Anza site shows large ichnological surfaces indicating the coexistence in the same area of different vertebrate footprints (dinosaur and pterosaur) and of different types (tridactyl and tetradactyl, semiplantigrade and rounded without digit marks) and the footprint variability of long trackways. This area may become a world reference in ichnology because it contains the second undebatable African site with Cretaceous pterosaur footprints - described in part I - and the first African site with Macropodosaurus footprints. In this work, problems related to long trackways are also analyzed, such as their sinuosity, the order-disorder of the variability (long-short) of the pace length and the difficulty of morphological classification of the theropod footprints due to their morphological variability.

  14. Reidentification of avian embryonic remains from the cretaceous of mongolia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Varricchio

    Full Text Available Embryonic remains within a small (4.75 by 2.23 cm egg from the Late Cretaceous, Mongolia are here re-described. High-resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRCT was used to digitally prepare and describe the enclosed embryonic bones. The egg, IGM (Mongolian Institute for Geology, Ulaanbaatar 100/2010, with a three-part shell microstructure, was originally assigned to Neoceratopsia implying extensive homoplasy among eggshell characters across Dinosauria. Re-examination finds the forelimb significantly longer than the hindlimbs, proportions suggesting an avian identification. Additional, postcranial apomorphies (strut-like coracoid, cranially located humeral condyles, olecranon fossa, slender radius relative to the ulna, trochanteric crest on the femur, and ulna longer than the humerus identify the embryo as avian. Presence of a dorsal coracoid fossa and a craniocaudally compressed distal humerus with a strongly angled distal margin support a diagnosis of IGM 100/2010 as an enantiornithine. Re-identification eliminates the implied homoplasy of this tri-laminate eggshell structure, and instead associates enantiornithine birds with eggshell microstructure composed of a mammillary, squamatic, and external zones. Posture of the embryo follows that of other theropods with fore- and hindlimbs folded parallel to the vertebral column and the elbow pointing caudally just dorsal to the knees. The size of the egg and embryo of IGM 100/2010 is similar to the two other Mongolian enantiornithine eggs. Well-ossified skeletons, as in this specimen, characterize all known enantiornithine embryos suggesting precocial hatchlings, comparing closely to late stage embryos of modern precocial birds that are both flight- and run-capable upon hatching. Extensive ossification in enantiornithine embryos may contribute to their relatively abundant representation in the fossil record. Neoceratopsian eggs remain unrecognized in the fossil record.

  15. Reidentification of avian embryonic remains from the cretaceous of mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varricchio, David J; Balanoff, Amy M; Norell, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    Embryonic remains within a small (4.75 by 2.23 cm) egg from the Late Cretaceous, Mongolia are here re-described. High-resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRCT) was used to digitally prepare and describe the enclosed embryonic bones. The egg, IGM (Mongolian Institute for Geology, Ulaanbaatar) 100/2010, with a three-part shell microstructure, was originally assigned to Neoceratopsia implying extensive homoplasy among eggshell characters across Dinosauria. Re-examination finds the forelimb significantly longer than the hindlimbs, proportions suggesting an avian identification. Additional, postcranial apomorphies (strut-like coracoid, cranially located humeral condyles, olecranon fossa, slender radius relative to the ulna, trochanteric crest on the femur, and ulna longer than the humerus) identify the embryo as avian. Presence of a dorsal coracoid fossa and a craniocaudally compressed distal humerus with a strongly angled distal margin support a diagnosis of IGM 100/2010 as an enantiornithine. Re-identification eliminates the implied homoplasy of this tri-laminate eggshell structure, and instead associates enantiornithine birds with eggshell microstructure composed of a mammillary, squamatic, and external zones. Posture of the embryo follows that of other theropods with fore- and hindlimbs folded parallel to the vertebral column and the elbow pointing caudally just dorsal to the knees. The size of the egg and embryo of IGM 100/2010 is similar to the two other Mongolian enantiornithine eggs. Well-ossified skeletons, as in this specimen, characterize all known enantiornithine embryos suggesting precocial hatchlings, comparing closely to late stage embryos of modern precocial birds that are both flight- and run-capable upon hatching. Extensive ossification in enantiornithine embryos may contribute to their relatively abundant representation in the fossil record. Neoceratopsian eggs remain unrecognized in the fossil record.

  16. Seasonality and paleoecology of the late Cretaceous multi-taxa vertebrate assemblage of "Lo Hueco" (central eastern Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Domingo

    Full Text Available Isotopic studies of multi-taxa terrestrial vertebrate assemblages allow determination of paleoclimatic and paleoecological aspects on account of the different information supplied by each taxon. The late Campanian-early Maastrichtian "Lo Hueco" Fossil-Lagerstätte (central eastern Spain, located at a subtropical paleolatitude of ~31°N, constitutes an ideal setting to carry out this task due to its abundant and diverse vertebrate assemblage. Local δ18OPO4 values estimated from δ18OPO4 values of theropods, sauropods, crocodyliforms, and turtles are close to δ18OH2O values observed at modern subtropical latitudes. Theropod δ18OH2O values are lower than those shown by crocodyliforms and turtles, indicating that terrestrial endothermic taxa record δ18OH2O values throughout the year, whereas semiaquatic ectothermic taxa δ18OH2O values represent local meteoric waters over a shorter time period when conditions are favorable for bioapatite synthesis (warm season. Temperatures calculated by combining theropod, crocodyliform, and turtle δ18OH2O values and gar δ18OPO4 have enabled us to estimate seasonal variability as the difference between mean annual temperature (MAT, yielded by theropods and temperature of the warmest months (TWMs, provided by crocodyliforms and turtles. ΔTWMs-MAT value does not point to a significantly different seasonal thermal variability when compared to modern coastal subtropical meteorological stations and Late Cretaceous rudists from eastern Tethys. Bioapatite and bulk organic matter δ13C values point to a C3 environment in the "Lo Hueco" area. The estimated fractionation between sauropod enamel and diet is ~15‰. While waiting for paleoecological information yielded by the ongoing morphological study of the "Lo Hueco" crocodyliforms, δ13C and δ18OCO3 results point to incorporation of food items with brackish influence, but preferential ingestion of freshwater. "Lo Hueco" turtles showed the lowest δ13C and δ18OCO3

  17. The evolutionary continuum of limb function from early theropods to birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, John R; Allen, Vivian

    2009-04-01

    The bipedal stance and gait of theropod dinosaurs evolved gradually along the lineage leading to birds and at some point(s), flight evolved. How and when did these changes occur? We review the evidence from neontology and paleontology, including pectoral and pelvic limb functional morphology, fossil footprints/trackways and biomechanical models and simulations. We emphasise that many false dichotomies or categories have been applied to theropod form and function, and sometimes, these impede research progress. For example, dichotomisation of locomotor function into 'non-avian' and 'avian' modes is only a conceptual crutch; the evidence supports a continuous transition. Simplification of pelvic limb function into cursorial/non-cursorial morphologies or flexed/columnar poses has outlived its utility. For the pectoral limbs, even the classic predatory strike vs. flight wing-stroke distinction and separation of theropods into non-flying and flying--or terrestrial and arboreal--categories may be missing important subtleties. Distinguishing locomotor function between taxa, even with quantitative approaches, will always be fraught with ambiguity, making it difficult to find real differences if that ambiguity is properly acknowledged. There must be an 'interpretive asymptote' for reconstructing dinosaur limb function that available methods and evidence cannot overcome. We may be close to that limit, but how far can it be stretched with improved methods and evidence, if at all? The way forward is a combination of techniques that emphasises integration of neontological and paleontological evidence and quantitative assessment of limb function cautiously applied with validated techniques and sensitivity analysis of unknown variables.

  18. New theropod, thyreophoran, and small sauropod tracks from the Middle Jurassic Bagå Formation, Bornholm, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Milàn, Jesper

    2011-01-01

    Three new dinosaur tracks are described from the Middle Jurassic Bagå Formation of Bornholm, Denmark. The tracks are all preserved as natural casts on the underside of fluvial sandstone blocks originating from the old Hasle Klinkefabrik’s clay pit, now called Pyritsøen. The new tracks are from...... a medium-sized theropod, a thyreophoran, and a small sauropod. Together with a hyreophoran track and large sauropod tracks described in 2005, the Middle Jurassic dinosaur fauna of Bornholm now comprises theropods, two sizes of sauropods and at least one type of thyreophoran dinosaur. This is important...

  19. Phylogenetic eigenvectors and nonstationarity in the evolution of theropod dinosaur skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz-Filho, J A F; Alves, D M C C; Villalobos, F; Sakamoto, M; Brusatte, S L; Bini, L M

    2015-07-01

    Despite the long-standing interest in nonstationarity of both phenotypic evolution and diversification rates, only recently have methods been developed to study this property. Here, we propose a methodological expansion of the phylogenetic signal-representation (PSR) curve based on phylogenetic eigenvectors to test for nonstationarity. The PSR curve is built by plotting the coefficients of determination R(2) from phylogenetic eigenvector regression (PVR) models increasing the number of phylogenetic eigenvectors against the accumulated eigenvalues. The PSR curve is linear under a stationary model of trait evolution (i.e. the Brownian motion model). Here we describe the distribution of shifts in the models R(2) and used a randomization procedure to compare observed and simulated shifts along the PSR curve, which allowed detecting nonstationarity in trait evolution. As an applied example, we show that the main evolutionary pattern of variation in the theropod dinosaur skull was nonstationary, with a significant shift in evolutionary rates in derived oviraptorosaurs, an aberrant group of mostly toothless, crested, birdlike theropods. This result is also supported by a recently proposed Bayesian-based method (AUTEUR). A significant deviation between Ceratosaurus and Limusaurus terminal branches was also detected. We purport that our new approach is a valuable tool for evolutionary biologists, owing to its simplicity, flexibility and comprehensiveness. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  20. Dental morphology and variation in theropod dinosaurs: implications for the taxonomic identification of isolated teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joshua B; Vann, David R; Dodson, Peter

    2005-08-01

    Isolated theropod teeth are common Mesozoic fossils and would be an important data source for paleoecology biogeography if they could be reliably identified as having come from particular taxa. However, obtaining identifications is confounded by a paucity of easily identifiable characters. Here we discuss a quantitative methodology designed to provide defensible identifications of isolated teeth using Tyrannosaurus as a comparison taxon. We created a standard data set based as much as possible on teeth of known taxonomic affinity against which to compare isolated crowns. Tooth morphology was described using measured variables describing crown length, base length and width, and derived variables related to basal shape, squatness, mesial curve shape, apex location with respect to base, and denticle size. Crown curves were described by fitting the power function Y = a + bX(0.5) to coordinate data collected from lateral-view images of mesial curve profiles. The b value from these analyses provides a measure of curvature. Discriminant analyses compared isolated teeth of various taxonomic affinities against the standard. The analyses classified known Tyrannosaurus teeth with Tyrannosaurus and separated most teeth known not to be Tyrannosaurus from Tyrannosaurus. They had trouble correctly classifying teeth that were very similar to Tyrannosaurus and for which there were few data in the standard. However, the results indicate that expanding the standard should facilitate the identification of numerous types of isolated theropod teeth. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co-evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, R J; Barrett, P M; Kenrick, P; Penn, M G

    2009-03-01

    Palaeobiologists frequently attempt to identify examples of co-evolutionary interactions over extended geological timescales. These hypotheses are often intuitively appealing, as co-evolution is so prevalent in extant ecosystems, and are easy to formulate; however, they are much more difficult to test than their modern analogues. Among the more intriguing deep time co-evolutionary scenarios are those that relate changes in Cretaceous dinosaur faunas to the primary radiation of flowering plants. Demonstration of temporal congruence between the diversifications of co-evolving groups is necessary to establish whether co-evolution could have occurred in such cases, but is insufficient to prove whether it actually did take place. Diversity patterns do, however, provide a means for falsifying such hypotheses. We have compiled a new database of Cretaceous dinosaur and plant distributions from information in the primary literature. This is used as the basis for plotting taxonomic diversity and occurrence curves for herbivorous dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Stegosauria, Ankylosauria, Ornithopoda, Ceratopsia, Pachycephalosauria and herbivorous theropods) and major groups of plants (angiosperms, Bennettitales, cycads, cycadophytes, conifers, Filicales and Ginkgoales) that co-occur in dinosaur-bearing formations. Pairwise statistical comparisons were made between various floral and faunal groups to test for any significant similarities in the shapes of their diversity curves through time. We show that, with one possible exception, diversity patterns for major groups of herbivorous dinosaurs are not positively correlated with angiosperm diversity. In other words, at the level of major clades, there is no support for any diffuse co-evolutionary relationship between herbivorous dinosaurs and flowering plants. The diversification of Late Cretaceous pachycephalosaurs (excluding the problematic taxon Stenopelix) shows a positive correlation, but this might be spuriously related to

  2. Multivariate and Cladistic Analyses of Isolated Teeth Reveal Sympatry of Theropod Dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic of Northern Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerke, Oliver; Wings, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Remains of theropod dinosaurs are very rare in Northern Germany because the area was repeatedly submerged by a shallow epicontinental sea during the Mesozoic. Here, 80 Late Jurassic theropod teeth are described of which the majority were collected over decades from marine carbonates in nowadays abandoned and backfilled quarries of the 19th century. Eighteen different morphotypes (A-R) could be distinguished and 3D models based on micro-CT scans of the best examples of all morphotypes are included as supplements. The teeth were identified with the assistance of discriminant function analysis and cladistic analysis based on updated datamatrices. The results show that a large variety of theropod groups were present in the Late Jurassic of northern Germany. Identified specimens comprise basal Tyrannosauroidea, as well as Allosauroidea, Megalosauroidea cf. Marshosaurus, Megalosauridae cf. Torvosaurus and probably Ceratosauria. The formerly reported presence of Dromaeosauridae in the Late Jurassic of northern Germany could not be confirmed. Some teeth of this study resemble specimens described as pertaining to Carcharodontosauria (morphotype A) and Abelisauridae (morphotype K). This interpretation is however, not supported by discriminant function analysis and cladistic analysis. Two smaller morphotypes (N and Q) differ only in some probably size-related characteristics from larger morphotypes (B and C) and could well represent juveniles of adult specimens. The similarity of the northern German theropods with groups from contemporaneous localities suggests faunal exchange via land-connections in the Late Jurassic between Germany, Portugal and North America.

  3. Multivariate and Cladistic Analyses of Isolated Teeth Reveal Sympatry of Theropod Dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic of Northern Germany.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Gerke

    Full Text Available Remains of theropod dinosaurs are very rare in Northern Germany because the area was repeatedly submerged by a shallow epicontinental sea during the Mesozoic. Here, 80 Late Jurassic theropod teeth are described of which the majority were collected over decades from marine carbonates in nowadays abandoned and backfilled quarries of the 19th century. Eighteen different morphotypes (A-R could be distinguished and 3D models based on micro-CT scans of the best examples of all morphotypes are included as supplements. The teeth were identified with the assistance of discriminant function analysis and cladistic analysis based on updated datamatrices. The results show that a large variety of theropod groups were present in the Late Jurassic of northern Germany. Identified specimens comprise basal Tyrannosauroidea, as well as Allosauroidea, Megalosauroidea cf. Marshosaurus, Megalosauridae cf. Torvosaurus and probably Ceratosauria. The formerly reported presence of Dromaeosauridae in the Late Jurassic of northern Germany could not be confirmed. Some teeth of this study resemble specimens described as pertaining to Carcharodontosauria (morphotype A and Abelisauridae (morphotype K. This interpretation is however, not supported by discriminant function analysis and cladistic analysis. Two smaller morphotypes (N and Q differ only in some probably size-related characteristics from larger morphotypes (B and C and could well represent juveniles of adult specimens. The similarity of the northern German theropods with groups from contemporaneous localities suggests faunal exchange via land-connections in the Late Jurassic between Germany, Portugal and North America.

  4. Do brooding and polygamy behaviors exist on Cretaceous oviraptoroid dinosaurs of China: a paleobiological perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, T.-R.; Cheng, Y.-N.; Yang, K.-M.

    2012-04-01

    Brooding, parental care, and polygamy represent three different stages in bird's reproduction. The oringin of these behaviors is still in debate. Several samples excavated from China strengthen the phylogenetic relationship between birds and dinosaurs, for example, feathered dinosaurs, paired-eggs in pelvic region of an oviraptorid dinosaur, and small theropod fossils. Previous studies in past two decades, including an oviraptor sitting on a clutch and comparison of the ratio of clutch-volume to adult-body-size between Aves and Mesozoic dinosaurs, proposed that these behaviors had appeared on some Cretaceous theropods (e.g., oviraptor and troodon). These researches also indicate the possibility of endothermy and male care first. In conclusion, this reproduction strategy might support females having more remnant energy to build a larger clutch contributed eggs from multiple females, and brooded by males only. From our cluster analysis through paleoecological perspectives, the eggs in Cretaceous oviraptor's nest should not be corporately laid by multiple females. In morphological observation, the fossilized clutches from Ganzhou, Jiangxi, Mainland China, are 2-layered interbeded with matrix of reddish-brown siltstone or clays. The inner-layer eggs are hampered from directly contacting with adult dinosaurs body. Furthermore, the blunt ends of the eggs point to the center, and incline away forming a mound-shape nest, which is completely different from those of precocial and male-caring megapode. The ornamentation of eggshell surface and microstructures from thin sections of eggs from oviraptors and ostrich (Struthioniformes) are totally different. Comparison of thickness in different part of oviraptor's egg also reveal possible physiological structure in the egg and ecological behaviors. The detailed comparison implies that the Mesozoic oviraptoroid dinosaurs hold absolutely different incubation and caring behaviors from extant birds. We propose an alternative

  5. Complete forelimb myology of the basal theropod dinosaur Tawa hallae based on a novel robust muscle reconstruction method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burch, Sara H

    2014-09-01

    The forelimbs of nonavian theropod dinosaurs have been the subject of considerable study and speculation due to their varied morphology and role in the evolution of flight. Although many studies on the functional morphology of a limb require an understanding of its musculature, comparatively little is known about the forelimb myology of theropods and other bipedal dinosaurs. Previous phylogenetically based myological reconstructions have been limited to the shoulder, restricting their utility in analyses of whole-limb function. The antebrachial and manual musculature in particular have remained largely unstudied due to uncertain muscular homologies in archosaurs. Through analysis of the musculature of extant taxa in a robust statistical framework, this study presents new hypotheses of homology for the distal limb musculature of archosaurs and provides the first complete reconstruction of dinosaurian forelimb musculature, including the antebrachial and intrinsic manual muscles. Data on the forelimb myology of a broad sample of extant birds, crocodylians, lizards, and turtles were analyzed using maximum likelihood ancestral state reconstruction and examined together with the osteology of the early theropod Tawa hallae from the Late Triassic of New Mexico to formulate a complete plesiomorphic myology for the theropod forelimb. Comparisons with previous reconstructions show that the shoulder musculature of basal theropods is more similar to that of basal ornithischians and sauropodomorphs than to that of dromaeosaurids. Greater development of the supracoracoideus and deltoideus musculature in theropods over other bipedal dinosaurs correlates with stronger movements of the forelimb at the shoulder and an emphasis on apprehension of relatively large prey. This emphasis is further supported by the morphology of the antebrachium and the intrinsic manual musculature, which exhibit a high degree of excursion and a robust morphology well-suited for powerful digital flexion

  6. Influence of rotational inertia on turning performance of theropod dinosaurs: clues from humans with increased rotational inertia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, D R; Walter, R M; Lee, D V

    2001-11-01

    The turning agility of theropod dinosaurs may have been severely limited by the large rotational inertia of their horizontal trunks and tails. Bodies with mass distributed far from the axis of rotation have much greater rotational inertia than bodies with the same mass distributed close to the axis of rotation. In this study, we increased the rotational inertia about the vertical axis of human subjects 9.2-fold, to match our estimate for theropods the size of humans, and measured the ability of the subjects to turn. To determine the effect of the increased rotational inertia on maximum turning capability, five subjects jumped vertically while attempting to rotate as far as possible about their vertical axis. This test resulted in a decrease in the average angle turned to 20 % of the control value. We also tested the ability of nine subjects to run as rapidly as possible through a tight slalom course of six 90 degrees turns. When the subjects ran with the 9.2-fold greater rotational inertia, the average velocity through the course decreased to 77% of the control velocity. When the subjects ran the same course but were constrained as to where they placed their feet, the average velocity through the course decreased to 65 % of the control velocity. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that rotational inertia may have limited the turning performance of theropods. They also indicate that the effect of rotational inertia on turning performance is dependent on the type of turning behavior. Characters such as retroverted pubes, reduced tail length, decreased body size, pneumatic vertebrae and the absence of teeth reduced rotational inertia in derived theropods and probably, therefore, improved their turning agility. To reduce rotational inertia, theropods may have run with an arched back and tail, an S-curved neck and forelimbs held backwards against the body.

  7. New occurrences of fossilized feathers: systematics and taphonomy of the Santana Formation of the Araripe Basin (Cretaceous, NE, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo M.E.M. Prado

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Here we describe three fossil feathers from the Early Cretaceous Santana Formation of the Araripe Basin, Brazil. Feathers are the most complex multiform vertebrate integuments; they perform different functions, occurring in both avian and non-avian dinosaurs. Despite their rarity, fossil feathers have been found across the world. Most of the Brazilian feather fossil record comes from the Santana Formation. This formation is composed of two members: Crato (lake and Romualdo (lagoon; both of which are predominantly reduced deposits, precluding bottom dwelling organisms, resulting in exceptional preservation of the fossils. Despite arid and hot conditions during the Cretaceous, life teemed in the adjacency of this paleolake. Feathered non-avian dinosaurs have not yet been described from the Crato Member, even though there are suggestions of their presence in nearby basins. Our description of the three feathers from the Crato laminated limestone reveals that, despite the small sample size, they can be referred to coelurosaurian theropods. Moreover, based on comparisons with extant feather morphotypes they can be identified as one contour feather and two downy feathers. Despite their rareness and low taxonomic potential, fossilized feathers can offer insights about the paleobiology of its owners and the paleoecology of the Araripe Basin.

  8. Spectroscopic Analysis of a Theropod Dinosaur (Reptilia, Archosauria from the Ipubi Formation, Araripe Basin, Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Hermínio da Silva

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Araripe Sedimentary Basin is known by the excellence of its fossils, regarding the preservation, diversity, and quantity. Here, we present a spectroscopic analysis using several experimental techniques (X-ray energy dispersion spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as well as X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analysis applied in small fragments of bones from the posterior members of a theropod dinosaur. The results agree regarding the different composition of the stone matrix and the fossilized bone, indicating a partial substitution of the material by elements present in the depositional environment. However, differently from what is believed to occur, there is evidence that pyritization is not the only mechanism of fossilization for a specimen of Ipubi formation, but calcification, additionally, plays an important role in the fossil production of this Formation.

  9. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    A skeleton discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Sierra Barrosa Formation (Turonian-Coniacian) of Neuquén Province, Argentina represents a new species of theropod dinosaur related to the long snouted, highly pneumatized Megaraptoridae. The holotype specimen of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen et n.sp. (MCF-PVPH-411) includes much of the skull, axial skeleton, pelvis and tibia. Murusraptor is unique in having several diagnostic features that include anterodorsal process of lacrimal longer than height of preorbital process, and a thick, shelf-like thickening on the lateral surface of surangular ventral to the groove between the anterior surangular foramen and the insert for the uppermost intramandibular process of the dentary. Other characteristic features of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen. et n. sp.include a large mandibular fenestra, distal ends of caudal neural spines laterally thickened into lateral knob-like processes, short ischia distally flattened and slightly expanded dorsoventrally. Murusraptor belongs to a Patagonian radiation of megaraptorids together with Aerosteon, Megaraptor and Orkoraptor. In spite being immature, it is a larger but more gracile animal than existing specimens of Megaraptor, and is comparable in size with Aerosteon and Orkoraptor. The controversial phylogeny of the Megaraptoridae as members of the Allosauroidea or a clade of Coelurosauria is considered analyzing two alternative data sets. PMID:27439002

  10. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coria, Rodolfo A; Currie, Philip J

    2016-01-01

    A skeleton discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Sierra Barrosa Formation (Turonian-Coniacian) of Neuquén Province, Argentina represents a new species of theropod dinosaur related to the long snouted, highly pneumatized Megaraptoridae. The holotype specimen of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen et n.sp. (MCF-PVPH-411) includes much of the skull, axial skeleton, pelvis and tibia. Murusraptor is unique in having several diagnostic features that include anterodorsal process of lacrimal longer than height of preorbital process, and a thick, shelf-like thickening on the lateral surface of surangular ventral to the groove between the anterior surangular foramen and the insert for the uppermost intramandibular process of the dentary. Other characteristic features of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen. et n. sp.include a large mandibular fenestra, distal ends of caudal neural spines laterally thickened into lateral knob-like processes, short ischia distally flattened and slightly expanded dorsoventrally. Murusraptor belongs to a Patagonian radiation of megaraptorids together with Aerosteon, Megaraptor and Orkoraptor. In spite being immature, it is a larger but more gracile animal than existing specimens of Megaraptor, and is comparable in size with Aerosteon and Orkoraptor. The controversial phylogeny of the Megaraptoridae as members of the Allosauroidea or a clade of Coelurosauria is considered analyzing two alternative data sets.

  11. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo A Coria

    Full Text Available A skeleton discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Sierra Barrosa Formation (Turonian-Coniacian of Neuquén Province, Argentina represents a new species of theropod dinosaur related to the long snouted, highly pneumatized Megaraptoridae. The holotype specimen of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen et n.sp. (MCF-PVPH-411 includes much of the skull, axial skeleton, pelvis and tibia. Murusraptor is unique in having several diagnostic features that include anterodorsal process of lacrimal longer than height of preorbital process, and a thick, shelf-like thickening on the lateral surface of surangular ventral to the groove between the anterior surangular foramen and the insert for the uppermost intramandibular process of the dentary. Other characteristic features of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen. et n. sp.include a large mandibular fenestra, distal ends of caudal neural spines laterally thickened into lateral knob-like processes, short ischia distally flattened and slightly expanded dorsoventrally. Murusraptor belongs to a Patagonian radiation of megaraptorids together with Aerosteon, Megaraptor and Orkoraptor. In spite being immature, it is a larger but more gracile animal than existing specimens of Megaraptor, and is comparable in size with Aerosteon and Orkoraptor. The controversial phylogeny of the Megaraptoridae as members of the Allosauroidea or a clade of Coelurosauria is considered analyzing two alternative data sets.

  12. Predatory behaviour of carnivorous dinosaurs: Ecological interpretations based on tooth marked dinosaur bones and wear patterns of theropod teeth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    Predation marks on bones are a source on information on the feeding behaviour of the carnivores involved. Although predator damaged bone is common in the fossil record, published reports of such marks on dinosaur bones are rare. Patterns of bone modification by mammalian carnivores overlap patterns...... left by theropod dinosaurs.Differences in tooth morphology can also be correlated with characteristics of the marks left by the teeth. In a study of tooth marks on dinosaur bones from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, it was possible to identify the feeding theropods to family, generic...... different taxa and different skeletal elements produced some interesting results. The frequency of tooth marked dinosaur bones is higher than expected. Up to 14 % of the observed hadrosaur bones were predator damaged. The lower incidence of damage in ceratopsian bones can be explained by the fact...

  13. The tail of Tyrannosaurus: reassessing the size and locomotive importance of the M. caudofemoralis in non-avian theropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, W Scott; Currie, Philip J

    2011-01-01

    Unlike extant birds and mammals, most non-avian theropods had large muscular tails, with muscle arrangements similar to those of modern reptiles. Examination of ornithomimid and tyrannosaurid tails revealed sequential diagonal scarring on the lateral faces of four or more hemal spines that consistently correlates with the zone of the tail just anterior to the disappearance of the vertebral transverse processes. This sequential scarring is interpreted as the tapering boundary between the insertions of the M. caudofemoralis and the M. ilioischiocaudalis. Digital muscle reconstructions based on measurements of fossil specimens and dissections of modern reptiles showed that the M. caudofemoralis of many non-avian theropods was exceptionally large. These high caudofemoral mass estimates are consistent with the elevation of the transverse processes of the caudal vertebra above the centrum, which creates an enlarged hypaxial region. Dorsally elevated transverse processes are characteristic of even primitive theropods and suggest that a large M. caudofemoralis is a basal characteristic of the group. In the genus Tyrannosaurus, the mass of the M. caudofemoralis was further increased by dorsoventrally lengthening the hemal arches. The expanded M. caudofemoralis of Tyrannosaurus may have evolved as compensation for the animal's immense size. Because the M. caudofemoralis is the primary hind limb retractor, large M. caudofemoralis masses and the resulting contractile force and torque estimates presented here indicate a sizable investment in locomotive muscle among theropods with a range of body sizes and give new evidence in favor of greater athleticism, in terms of overall cursoriality, balance, and turning agility. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Tiarajudens eccentricus and Anomocephalus africanus, two bizarre anomodonts (Synapsida, Therapsida) with dental occlusion from the Permian of Gondwana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisneros, Juan Carlos; Abdala, Fernando; Jashashvili, Tea; de Oliveira Bueno, Ana; Dentzien-Dias, Paula

    2015-01-01

    Anomodontia was a highly successful tetrapod clade during the Permian and the Triassic. New morphological information regarding two bizarre basal anomodonts is provided and their palaeoecological significance is explored. The osteology of the recently discovered Tiarajudens eccentricus Cisneros et al. 2011, from the Brazilian Permian, is described in detail. The taxon exhibits unusual postcranial features, including the presence of gastralia. Additional preparation and computed tomography scans of the holotype of Anomocephalus africanus Modesto et al. 1999 discovered in the Karoo Basin of South Africa allow a reappraisal of this genus. Anomocephalus is similar to Tiarajudens with regard to several traits, including a battery of large, transversally expanded, palatal teeth. Molariform teeth are present in the mandible of the African taxon, providing additional insight into the function of the earliest tooth-occlusion mechanism known in therapsids. At least two waves of tooth replacement can be recognized in the palate of Anomocephalus. The outsized, blade-like caniniforms of the herbivorous Tiarajudens allow several non-exclusive ecological interpretations, among which we favour intraspecific display or combat. This behaviour was an alternative to the head-butting practised by the contemporary dinocephalians. Combat specializations that are considered typical of Cenozoic herbivores likely evolved during the Middle Permian, at the time the first communities with diverse, abundant tetrapod herbivores were being assembled. PMID:26587266

  15. The "ways" we look at dreams: evidence from unilateral spatial neglect (with an evolutionary account of dream bizarreness).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doricchi, Fabrizio; Iaria, Giuseppe; Silvetti, Massimo; Figliozzi, Francesca; Siegler, Isabelle

    2007-04-01

    Despite decades of research, the question of whether the rapid eye movements (REMs) of paradoxical sleep (PS) are equivalent to waking saccades and whether their direction is congruent with visual spatial events in the dream scene is still very controversial. We gained an insight into these questions through the study of a right brain damaged patient suffering attentional neglect for the left side of space and drop of the optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) with alternating rightward slow/leftward fast phases evoked by rightward optic flow. During PS the patient had frequent Nystagmoid REMs with alternating leftward slow/rightward fast phases and reported dreams with visual events evoking corresponding OKN such as a train running leftward. By contrast, just as in waking OKN, Nystagmoid REMs with alternating rightward slow/leftward fast phases were virtually absent. REMs followed by staring eye position or by consecutive REMs were also observed: these showed no asymmetry comparable to that of Nystagmoid ones. The selective disappearance of Nystagmoid REMs in one horizontal direction proves, for the first time, that in humans different types of REMs exists and that these are driven by different premotor mechanisms. Concomitant drop of OKN and Nystagmoid REMs toward the same horizontal direction demonstrates that phylogenetically ancient oculomotor mechanisms, such as the OKN, are shared by waking and PS. On this evidence and converging findings from animal, neuropsychological and brain imaging studies, a new evolutionary account of dream bizarreness is proposed. Classification and labelling of the different types of REMs are also provided.

  16. Tetradactyl Footprints of an Unknown Affinity Theropod Dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic of Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouri, Jaouad; Díaz-Martínez, Ignacio; Pérez-Lorente, Félix

    2011-01-01

    Background New tetradactyl theropod footprints from Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian-Kimmeridgian) have been found in the Iouaridène syncline (Morocco). The tracksites are at several layers in the intermediate lacustrine unit of Iouaridène Formation. The footprints were named informally in previous works “Eutynichnium atlasipodus”. We consider as nomen nudum. Methodology/Principal Findings Boutakioutichnium atlasicus ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov. is mainly characterized by the hallux impression. It is long, strong, directed medially or forward, with two digital pads and with the proximal part of the first pad in lateral position. More than 100 footprints in 15 trackways have been studied with these features. The footprints are large, 38–48 cm in length, and 26–31 cm in width. Conclusions/Significance Boutakioutichnium mainly differs from other ichnotaxa with hallux impression in lacking metatarsal marks and in not being a very deep footprint. The distinct morphology of the hallux of the Boutakioutichnium trackmaker –i.e. size and hallux position- are unique in the dinosaur autopodial record to date. PMID:22180775

  17. The asymmetry of the carpal joint and the evolution of wing folding in maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Corwin; Hone, David W. E.; Xu, Xing; Zhang, Fucheng

    2010-01-01

    In extant birds, the hand is permanently abducted towards the ulna, and the wrist joint can bend extensively in this direction to fold the wing when not in use. Anatomically, this asymmetric mobility of the wrist results from the wedge-like shape of one carpal bone, the radiale, and from the well-developed convexity of the trochlea at the proximal end of the carpometacarpus. Among the theropod precursors of birds, a strongly convex trochlea is characteristic of Coelurosauria, a clade including the highly derived Maniraptora in addition to tyrannosaurs and compsognathids. The shape of the radiale can be quantified using a ‘radiale angle’ between the proximal and distal articular surfaces. Measurement of the radiale angle and reconstruction of ancestral states using squared-change parsimony shows that the angle was small (15°) in primitive coelurosaurs but considerably larger (25°) in primitive maniraptorans, indicating that the radiale was more wedge-shaped and the carpal joint more asymmetric. The radiale angle progressively increased still further within Maniraptora, with concurrent elongation of the forelimb feathers and the forelimb itself. Carpal asymmetry would have permitted avian-like folding of the forelimb in order to protect the plumage, an early advantage of the flexible, asymmetric wrist inherited by birds. PMID:20200032

  18. Isolated theropod teeth from the Middle Jurassic of Niger and the early dental evolution of Spinosauridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Serrano-Martínez

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Four isolated theropod teeth from the ?Bathonian “Argiles de l’Irhazer” in Niger are described. The teeth were found in association with the holotype of the basal sauropod Spinophorosaurus nigerensis. These specimens have been assigned to two different taxa by independent analyses, such as direct comparison with teeth previously described in the literature, discriminant and morphometric analyses from metric characters, and cladistic and cluster analyses from discrete characters. The results suggest that three teeth share affinities with those of Megalosauridae and Allosauridae, belonging most likely to the former. The fourth tooth might be from a member of the stem group Spinosauridae. If so, this would be the oldest representative of this clade. This tooth shows a combination of characters that are unusual in typical spinosaurid teeth (crown moderately compressed labiolingually and curved distally with minute denticles on the carina and a deeply veined enamel surface texture without apicobasal ridges. This could shed light on the morphological transition from the plesiomorphic ziphodont dental pattern to that of Spinosauridae. This tooth would also allow a better understanding of the origin of the spinosaurids, supporting a Gondwanan origin for the group.

  19. Tetradactyl footprints of an unknown affinity theropod dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic of Morocco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaouad Nouri

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: New tetradactyl theropod footprints from Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian-Kimmeridgian have been found in the Iouaridène syncline (Morocco. The tracksites are at several layers in the intermediate lacustrine unit of Iouaridène Formation. The footprints were named informally in previous works "Eutynichnium atlasipodus". We consider as nomen nudum. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Boutakioutichnium atlasicus ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov. is mainly characterized by the hallux impression. It is long, strong, directed medially or forward, with two digital pads and with the proximal part of the first pad in lateral position. More than 100 footprints in 15 trackways have been studied with these features. The footprints are large, 38-48 cm in length, and 26-31 cm in width. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Boutakioutichnium mainly differs from other ichnotaxa with hallux impression in lacking metatarsal marks and in not being a very deep footprint. The distinct morphology of the hallux of the Boutakioutichnium trackmaker -i.e. size and hallux position- are unique in the dinosaur autopodial record to date.

  20. New specimens of the crested theropod dinosaur Elmisaurus rarus from Mongolia

    OpenAIRE

    Philip J. Currie; Gregory F. Funston; Halszka Osmólska

    2016-01-01

    New specimens of Elmisaurus rarus from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia (Nemegt Formation) preserve bones not previously found in “elmisaurids” that help elucidate their relationships to Leptorhynchos elegans and other oviraptorosaurs. Elmisaurus rarus and the North American Leptorhynchos elegans are known from numerous but incomplete specimens that are closely related to, but nevertheless clearly distinguished from, Chirostenotes pergracilis and Epichirostenotes curriei. These specimens incl...

  1. Biostratigraphy of Echinoid spines, Cretaceous of Texas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirkland, P.L.

    1984-04-01

    Echinoid (sea urchin) spines from Cretaceous strata have widely varying morphology. They are common, and most are small enough to be recovered from well cuttings. Many forms have restricted ranges; consequently, echinoid spine have substantial biostratigraphic utility. There have been established 115 form taxa of echinoid spines and 14 form taxa of ophiuroid-asteroid spines for the Cretaceous of Texas. The specimens used for establishing the form taxa were processed from 533 outcrop samples (78 localities) from 30 Cretaceous formations, each with a well-defined age based on faunal zones of ammonites and Foraminifera. A dichotomous key in 9 parts and a catalog of scanning electron micrographs (87 plates) have been set up to assist identification of the form taxa. Range charts for the echinoid and ophiuroid-asteroid form taxa have utility through the Cretaceous of much of the Gulf Coastal area. The most precise zonation has been possible for the Albian.

  2. Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Davis, Katie E; Pisani, Davide; Tarver, James E; Ruta, Marcello; Sakamoto, Manabu; Hone, David W.E; Jennings, Rachel; Benton, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    The observed diversity of dinosaurs reached its highest peak during the mid- and Late Cretaceous, the 50 Myr that preceded their extinction, and yet this explosion of dinosaur diversity may be explained largely by sampling bias. It has long been debated whether dinosaurs were part of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR), from 125–80 Myr ago, when flowering plants, herbivorous and social insects, squamates, birds and mammals all underwent a rapid expansion. Although an apparent explosion of dinosaur diversity occurred in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the emergence of new groups (e.g. neoceratopsians, ankylosaurid ankylosaurs, hadrosaurids and pachycephalosaurs), results from the first quantitative study of diversification applied to a new supertree of dinosaurs show that this apparent burst in dinosaurian diversity in the last 18 Myr of the Cretaceous is a sampling artefact. Indeed, major diversification shifts occurred largely in the first one-third of the group's history. Despite the appearance of new clades of medium to large herbivores and carnivores later in dinosaur history, these new originations do not correspond to significant diversification shifts. Instead, the overall geometry of the Cretaceous part of the dinosaur tree does not depart from the null hypothesis of an equal rates model of lineage branching. Furthermore, we conclude that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR. PMID:18647715

  3. A Large Accumulation of Avian Eggs from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia (Argentina) Reveals a Novel Nesting Strategy in Mesozoic Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Mariela S.; García, Rodolfo A.; Fiorelli, Lucas; Scolaro, Alejandro; Salvador, Rodrigo B.; Cotaro, Carlos N.; Kaiser, Gary W.; Dyke, Gareth J.

    2013-01-01

    We report the first evidence for a nesting colony of Mesozoic birds on Gondwana: a fossil accumulation in Late Cretaceous rocks mapped and collected from within the campus of the National University of Comahue, Neuquén City, Patagonia (Argentina). Here, Cretaceous ornithothoracine birds, almost certainly Enanthiornithes, nested in an arid, shallow basinal environment among sand dunes close to an ephemeral water-course. We mapped and collected 65 complete, near-complete, and broken eggs across an area of more than 55 m2. These eggs were laid either singly, or occasionally in pairs, onto a sandy substrate. All eggs were found apparently in, or close to, their original nest site; they all occur within the same bedding plane and may represent the product of a single nesting season or a short series of nesting attempts. Although there is no evidence for nesting structures, all but one of the Comahue eggs were half-buried upright in the sand with their pointed end downwards, a position that would have exposed the pole containing the air cell and precluded egg turning. This egg position is not seen in living birds, with the exception of the basal galliform megapodes who place their eggs within mounds of vegetation or burrows. This accumulation reveals a novel nesting behaviour in Mesozoic Aves that was perhaps shared with the non-avian and phylogenetically more basal troodontid theropods. PMID:23613776

  4. Continental fossil vertebrates from the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) Alcântara Formation, Brazil, and their relationship with contemporaneous faunas from North Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candeiro, Carlos Roberto A.; Fanti, Federico; Therrien, François; Lamanna, Matthew C.

    2011-05-01

    The Albian-Cenomanian Alcântara Formation of northeastern Brazil preserves the most diverse continental vertebrate fauna of this age yet known from northern South America. The Alcântara vertebrate assemblage, consisting of elasmobranchs, actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, turtles, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and non-avian dinosaurs, displays close similarities to contemporaneous faunas from North Africa. The co-occurrence of as many as eight freshwater or estuarine fish taxa ( Onchopristis, Bartschichthys, Lepidotes, Stephanodus, Mawsonia, Arganodus, Ceratodus africanus, and possibly Ceratodus humei) and up to seven terrestrial archosaur taxa ( Sigilmassasaurus, Rebbachisauridae, Baryonychinae, Spinosaurinae, Carcharodontosauridae, possibly Pholidosauridae, and doubtfully Bahariasaurus) suggests that a land route connecting northeastern Brazil and North Africa existed at least until the Albian. Interestingly, most components of this mid-Cretaceous northern South American/North African assemblage are not shared with coeval southern South American faunas, which are themselves characterized by a number of distinct freshwater and terrestrial vertebrate taxa (e.g., chelid turtles, megaraptoran and unenlagiine theropods). These results suggest that, although mid-Cretaceous faunal interchange was probably possible between northern South America and North Africa, paleogeographic, paleoclimatic, and/or paleoenvironmental barriers may have hindered continental vertebrate dispersal between northern and southern South America during this time.

  5. The taxonomy of a new parvicursorine alvarezsauroid specimen IVPP V20341 (Dinosauria: Theropoda from the Upper Cretaceous Wulansuhai Formation of Bayan Mandahu, Inner Mongolia, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Pittman

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A new parvicursorine alvarezsauroid theropod specimen IVPP V20341 from the Upper Cretaceous Wulansuhai Formation of Bayan Mandahu, Inner Mongolia, China is described. IVPP V20341 appears to be distinguishable amongst alvarezsauroids by possible cervical procoely and relatively larger semi-circular caudal neural canals, but these features are not proposed as autapomorphies because current knowledge of alvarezsauroid necks and tails remains sparse. IVPP V20341 is distinguishable from Linhenykus—the sole parvicursorine at Bayan Mandahu—by the location of the origination points of the anterior caudal transverse processes; in IVPP V20341 this is the anterodorsal corner of the centra, whereas in Linhenykus it is the posterior end of the prezygapophyses. A number of additional tentative differences between IVPP V20341 and Linhenykus are also identified, but cannot be confirmed until further details of anatomical variation along the neck and tail are revealed by future finds. Thus, following the study of IVPP V20341 there are still seven parvicursorine species from the Upper Cretaceous Gobi Basin, but future finds could increase this to eight species.

  6. The influence of speed and size on avian terrestrial locomotor biomechanics: Predicting locomotion in extinct theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, P J; Graham, D F; Lamas, L P; Hutchinson, J R; Rubenson, J; Hancock, J A; Wilson, R S; Hocknull, S A; Barrett, R S; Lloyd, D G; Clemente, C J

    2018-01-01

    How extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs moved is a subject of considerable interest and controversy. A better understanding of non-avian theropod locomotion can be achieved by better understanding terrestrial locomotor biomechanics in their modern descendants, birds. Despite much research on the subject, avian terrestrial locomotion remains little explored in regards to how kinematic and kinetic factors vary together with speed and body size. Here, terrestrial locomotion was investigated in twelve species of ground-dwelling bird, spanning a 1,780-fold range in body mass, across almost their entire speed range. Particular attention was devoted to the ground reaction force (GRF), the force that the feet exert upon the ground. Comparable data for the only other extant obligate, striding biped, humans, were also collected and studied. In birds, all kinematic and kinetic parameters examined changed continuously with increasing speed, while in humans all but one of those same parameters changed abruptly at the walk-run transition. This result supports previous studies that show birds to have a highly continuous locomotor repertoire compared to humans, where discrete 'walking' and 'running' gaits are not easily distinguished based on kinematic patterns alone. The influences of speed and body size on kinematic and kinetic factors in birds are developed into a set of predictive relationships that may be applied to extinct, non-avian theropods. The resulting predictive model is able to explain 79-93% of the observed variation in kinematics and 69-83% of the observed variation in GRFs, and also performs well in extrapolation tests. However, this study also found that the location of the whole-body centre of mass may exert an important influence on the nature of the GRF, and hence some caution is warranted, in lieu of further investigation.

  7. The influence of speed and size on avian terrestrial locomotor biomechanics: Predicting locomotion in extinct theropod dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P J Bishop

    Full Text Available How extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs moved is a subject of considerable interest and controversy. A better understanding of non-avian theropod locomotion can be achieved by better understanding terrestrial locomotor biomechanics in their modern descendants, birds. Despite much research on the subject, avian terrestrial locomotion remains little explored in regards to how kinematic and kinetic factors vary together with speed and body size. Here, terrestrial locomotion was investigated in twelve species of ground-dwelling bird, spanning a 1,780-fold range in body mass, across almost their entire speed range. Particular attention was devoted to the ground reaction force (GRF, the force that the feet exert upon the ground. Comparable data for the only other extant obligate, striding biped, humans, were also collected and studied. In birds, all kinematic and kinetic parameters examined changed continuously with increasing speed, while in humans all but one of those same parameters changed abruptly at the walk-run transition. This result supports previous studies that show birds to have a highly continuous locomotor repertoire compared to humans, where discrete 'walking' and 'running' gaits are not easily distinguished based on kinematic patterns alone. The influences of speed and body size on kinematic and kinetic factors in birds are developed into a set of predictive relationships that may be applied to extinct, non-avian theropods. The resulting predictive model is able to explain 79-93% of the observed variation in kinematics and 69-83% of the observed variation in GRFs, and also performs well in extrapolation tests. However, this study also found that the location of the whole-body centre of mass may exert an important influence on the nature of the GRF, and hence some caution is warranted, in lieu of further investigation.

  8. The evolution of the manus of early theropod dinosaurs is characterized by high inter- and intraspecific variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel E; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Norell, Mark A

    2018-01-01

    The origin of the avian hand, with its reduced and fused carpals and digits, from the five-fingered hands and complex wrists of early dinosaurs represents one of the major transformations of manus morphology among tetrapods. Much attention has been directed to the later part of this transition, from four- to three-fingered taxa. However, earlier anatomical changes may have influenced these later modifications, possibly paving the way for a later frameshift in digit identities. We investigate the five- to four-fingered transition among early dinosaurs, along with changes in carpus morphology. New three-dimensional reconstructions from computed tomography data of the manus of the Triassic and Early Jurassic theropod dinosaurs Coelophysis bauri and Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis are described and compared intra- and interspecifically. Several novel findings emerge from these reconstructions and comparisons, including the first evidence of an ossified centrale and a free intermedium in some C. bauri specimens, as well as confirmation of the presence of a vestigial fifth metacarpal in this taxon. Additionally, a specimen of C. bauri and an unnamed coelophysoid from the Upper Triassic Hayden Quarry, New Mexico, are to our knowledge the only theropods (other than alvarezsaurs and birds) in which all of the distal carpals are completely fused together into a single unit. Several differences between the manus of C. bauri and M. rhodesiensis are also identified. We review the evolution of the archosauromorph manus more broadly in light of these new data, and caution against incorporating carpal characters in phylogenetic analyses of fine-scale relationships of Archosauromorpha, in light of the high degree of observed polymorphism in taxa for which large sample sizes are available, such as the theropod Coelophysis and the sauropodomorph Plateosaurus. We also find that the reduction of the carpus and ultimate loss of the fourth and fifth digits among early dinosaurs did not

  9. Tapantiomyia enigmatica, new genus and species proposed for a stilt-legged and otherwise bizarre coenosiine fly (Diptera: Muscidae) from Costa Rica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, Verner

    2017-01-01

    of its bizarre, stilt-legged appearance in combination with several other unique apomorphies that preclude placement in any known genus of Muscidae. Tapantiomyia enigmatica is so strange that it tend to run out to Scathophagidae rather than Muscidae in keys to families of Diptera. However, the morphology...... of the male genitalia provides decisive evidence for a placement in Coenosiinae, a large and diverse group of predatory Muscidae. Two tribes, Limnophorini and Coenosiini, are currently recognized within Coenosiinae, but the monophyly of Limnophorini remains uncertain. Tapantiomyia is tentatively assigned...

  10. A new dinosaur (Theropoda, Spinosauridae from the Cretaceous (Cenomanian Alcântara Formation, Cajual Island, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander WA. Kellner

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available A new spinosaurid taxon, Oxalaia quilombensis gen. et sp. nov., is described based on the anterior part of a snout and a fragment of a maxilla. These specimens were collected at the Laje do Coringa site, Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian of the São Luis Basin. Unlike Cristatusaurus and Suchomimus, Oxalaia quilombensis lacks serrations on the teeth. The new species differs from Angaturama limai by having the anterior part of the premaxillae more expanded and by lacking a sagittal premaxillary crest. It further differs from Spinosaurus cf. S. aegyptiacus and the Algerian spinosaurid by the rounder shape of the terminal expansion. Furthermore, xalaia quilobensis has one functional tooth followed by two replacement teeth, a feature not previously observed in theropods. Oxalaia quilombensis appears to be more closely related to the spinosaurids found in North Africa than to the Brazilian members of this clade and thus further increases the diversity of these enigmatic predatory dinosaurs in this country.Um novo espinossaurideo, Oxalaia quilombensis gen. et sp. nov., e descrito com base na parte anterior de um rostro e de um fragmento da maxila. Os especimes sao procedentes do deposito Laje do Coringa, formado durante o Cretacéo Superior (Cenomaniano da Bacia de São Luis. Ao contrario de Cristatusaurus e Suchoius, xalaia quilobensis nao possui dentes serrilhados. A nova especie difere de Angaturama limai pela ausencia de crista sagital e por possuir a região do rostro mais expandida. Tambem difere de Spinosaurus cf. S. aegyptiacus e do espinossaurideo da Argelia pelo rostro mais arredondado. Além disso, Oxalaia quilombensis possui dois dentes de substituição no terceiro par de dentes pre-maxilares, uma feição até então desconhecida em teropodes. Oxalaia quilombensis esta aparentemente mais proximamente relacionado aos espinossaurideos da regiao norte da frica do que as formas brasileiras e aumenta a diversidade deste grupo enigmatico de

  11. Red Iron-Pigmented Tooth Enamel in a Multituberculate Mammal from the Late Cretaceous Transylvanian "Haţeg Island".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Thierry; Codrea, Vlad

    2015-01-01

    Mammals that inhabit islands are characterized by peculiar morphologies in comparison to their mainland relatives. Here we report the discovery of a partial skull associated with the lower jaws of a Late Cretaceous (≈70 Ma) multituberculate mammal from the Carpathian "Haţeg Island" of Transylvania, Romania. The mammal belongs to the Kogaionidae, one of the rare families that survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction in Europe. The excellent preservation of this specimen allows for the first time description of the complete dentition of a kogaionid and demonstration that the enigmatic Barbatodon transylvanicus presents a mosaic of primitive and derived characters, and that it is phylogenetically basal among the Cimolodonta. Another peculiarity is the presence of red pigmentation in its tooth enamel. The red coloration is present on the anterior side of the incisors and on the cusps of most of the teeth. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) analysis reveals that the pigmented enamel contains iron, as in living placentals. Such a red pigmentation is known in living soricine shrews and many families of rodents, where it is thought to increase the resistance of the enamel to the abrasion that occurs during "grinding" mastication. The extended pattern of red pigment distribution in Barbatodon is more similar to that in eulipotyplan insectivores than to that in rodents and suggests a very hard diet and, importantly, demonstrates that its grasping incisors were not ever-growing. As inferred for other endemic Transylvanian vertebrates such as dwarf herbivorous dinosaurs and unusual theropod dinosaurs, insularity was probably the main factor of survival of such a primitive mammalian lineage relative to other mainland contemporaries of the Northern hemisphere.

  12. First Ornithomimid (Theropoda, Ornithomimosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous Djadokhta Formation of Tögrögiin Shiree, Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinzorig, Tsogtbaatar; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu; Tsogtbaatar, Khishigjav; Currie, Philip J; Watabe, Mahito; Barsbold, Rinchen

    2017-07-19

    The Upper Cretaceous Djadokhta Formation has been intensively surveyed for its fossil vertebrate fauna for nearly a century. Amongst other theropods, dromaeosaurids and parvicursorines are common in the formation, but ornithomimosaurs are extremely rare. A new ornithomimosaur material was discovered from the Djadokhta Formation, represented by eolian deposits, of the Tögrögiin Shiree locality, Mongolia. This is only the third ornithomimosaur specimen reported from this formation, and includes the astragalus, the calcaneum, the third distal tarsal, and a complete pes. The new material is clearly belonged to Ornithomimidae by its arctometatarsalian foot condition and has the following unique characters; unevenly developed pair of concavities of the third distal tarsal, curved contacts between the proximal ends of second and fourth metatarsals, the elongate fourth digit, and a laterally inclined medial condyle on phalanx IV-1. These diagnostic characters of the Djadokhtan ornithomimosaur indicate that this is a new taxon. Our phylogenetic analysis supports three clades within derived ornithomimosaurs, and the new taxon is placed a member of the derived ornithomimosaurs. The present specimen is the first ornithomimid record from eolian Tögrögiin Shiree locality, and is indicative of their capability to adapt to arid environments.

  13. Intra-trackway morphological variations due to substrate consistency: the El Frontal dinosaur tracksite (Lower Cretaceous, Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Novella L Razzolini

    Full Text Available An ichnological and sedimentological study of the El Frontal dinosaur tracksite (Early Cretaceous, Cameros basin, Soria, Spain highlights the pronounced intra-trackway variation found in track morphologies of four theropod trackways. Photogrammetric 3D digital models revealed various and distinct intra-trackway morphotypes, which reflect changes in footprint parameters such as the pace length, the track length, depth, and height of displacement rims. Sedimentological analyses suggest that the original substrate was non-homogenous due to lateral changes in adjoining microfacies. Multidata analyses indicate that morphological differences in these deep and shallow tracks represent a part of a continuum of track morphologies and geometries produced by a gradient of substrate consistencies across the site. This implies that the large range of track morphologies at this site resulted from similar trackmakers crossing variable facies. The trackways at the El Frontal site present an exemplary case of how track morphology, and consequently potential ichnotaxa, can vary, even when produced by a single trackmaker.

  14. A new theropod dinosaur from India with remarks on the Gondwana-Laurasia connection in the Late Triassic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, S.

    Walkeria maleriensis (n. g., n. sp.) from the Late Triassic Maleri Formation of the Godavari Valley of India is the earliest known dinosaur from Asia. It is a small podokesaurid theropod, very similar to Procompsognathus of Germany, Coelophysis of North America, and Syntarsus from Zimbabwe and North America. The podokesaurs are of particular interest to students of organic evolution because they are the earliest known theropods from which Archaeopteryx, the oldest known fossil bird, was probably evolved. Traditionally, India has been regarded as a part of Gondwana. It is generally believed that Gondwana remained an integral geographic unit throughout the Triassic. If this is so, a strong faunal correlation between India and other Gondwana continents should be expected in Late Triassic time. Contrary to this, the Maleri fauna is overwhelmingly "northern". Walkeria occurs in association with metoposaurs, parasuchids, protorosaurs, aetosaurs, rhynchosaurs, and traversodonts. Most of these taxa have been identified in the Dockum fauna of North America, indicating a close paleontologic link between India and Laurasia. Possibly the route of faunal migration between India and North America during the Late Triassic was via northern Africa.

  15. Functional variation of neck muscles and their relation to feeding style in Tyrannosauridae and other large theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snively, Eric; Russell, Anthony P

    2007-08-01

    Reconstructed neck muscles of large theropod dinosaurs suggest influences on feeding style that paralleled variation in skull mechanics. In all examined theropods, the head dorsiflexor m. transversospinalis capitis probably filled in the posterior dorsal concavity of the neck, for a more crocodilian- than avian-like profile in this region. The tyrannosaurine tyrannosaurids Daspletosaurus and Tyrannosaurus had relatively larger moment arms for latero-flexion by m. longissimus capitis superficialis and m. complexus than albertosaurine tyrannosaurids, and longer dorsiflexive moment arms for m. complexus. Areas of dorsiflexor origination are significantly larger relative to neck length in adult Tyrannosaurus rex than in other tyrannosaurids, suggesting relatively large muscle cross-sections and forces. Tyrannosaurids were not particularly specialized for neck ventro-flexion. In contrast, the hypothesis that Allosaurus co-opted m. longissimus capitis superficialis for ventro-flexion is strongly corroborated. Ceratosaurus had robust insertions for the ventro-flexors m. longissimus capitis profundus and m. rectus capitis ventralis. Neck muscle morphology is consistent with puncture-and-pull and powerful shake feeding in tyrannosaurids, relatively rapid strikes in Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus, and ventroflexive augmentation of weaker jaw muscle forces in the non tyrannosaurids. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. Record-Breaking Pain: The Largest Number and Variety of Forelimb Bone Maladies in a Theropod Dinosaur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phil Senter

    Full Text Available Bone abnormalities are common in theropod dinosaur skeletons, but before now no specimen was known with more than four afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and/or forelimb. Here we describe the pathology of a specimen of the theropod dinosaur Dilophosaurus wetherilli with eight afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and forelimb. On its left side the animal has a fractured scapula and radius and large fibriscesses in the ulna and the proximal thumb phalanx. On its right side the animal has abnormal torsion of the humeral shaft, bony tumors on the radius, a truncated distal articular surface of metacarpal III, and angular deformities of the first phalanx of the third finger. Healing and remodeling indicates that the animal survived for months and possibly years after its ailments began, but its right third finger was permanently deformed and lacked the capability of flexion. The deformities of the humerus and the right third finger may be due to developmental osteodysplasia, a condition known in extant birds but unreported in non-avian dinosaurs before now.

  17. Record-Breaking Pain: The Largest Number and Variety of Forelimb Bone Maladies in a Theropod Dinosaur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senter, Phil; Juengst, Sara L

    2016-01-01

    Bone abnormalities are common in theropod dinosaur skeletons, but before now no specimen was known with more than four afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and/or forelimb. Here we describe the pathology of a specimen of the theropod dinosaur Dilophosaurus wetherilli with eight afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and forelimb. On its left side the animal has a fractured scapula and radius and large fibriscesses in the ulna and the proximal thumb phalanx. On its right side the animal has abnormal torsion of the humeral shaft, bony tumors on the radius, a truncated distal articular surface of metacarpal III, and angular deformities of the first phalanx of the third finger. Healing and remodeling indicates that the animal survived for months and possibly years after its ailments began, but its right third finger was permanently deformed and lacked the capability of flexion. The deformities of the humerus and the right third finger may be due to developmental osteodysplasia, a condition known in extant birds but unreported in non-avian dinosaurs before now.

  18. A new Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem from Gondwana with the description of a new sauropod dinosaur

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge O. Calvo

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available A unique site at the northern area of Patagonia (Neuquén, Argentina reveals a terrestrial ecosystem preserved in a detail never reported before in a Late Cretaceous deposit. An extraordinary diversity and abundance of fossils was found concentrated in a 0.5 m horizon in the same quarry, including a new titanosaur sauropod, Futalognkosaurus dukei n.gen., n.sp, which is the most complete giant dinosaur known so far. Several plant leaves, showing a predominance of angiosperms over gymnosperms that likely constituted the diet of F. dukei were found too. Other dinosaurs (sauropods, theropods, ornithopods, crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, and fishes were also discovered, allowing a partial reconstruction of this Gondwanan continental ecosystem.Um depósito fóssil na região norte da Patagônia (Neuquén, Argentina revela um ecossistema nunca antes registrado a este nível de detalhes em depósitos do Cretáceo Superior. Uma diversidade e abundância extraordinária de fósseis encontra-se concentrada em uma camada de 0,5 m no mesmo sítio, incluindo um novo saurópodo titanossaurídeo, Futalognkosaurus dukei n. gen, n. sp., que é o mais completo dinossauro gigante encontrado até a presente data. Foram descobertas váriasfolhas de plantas indicando a predominância de angiospermas sobre gimnospermas que possivelmente formavam a base da dieta de F. dukei. Outros dinossauros (saurópodes, terópodes, ornitópodes, crocodilomorfos, pterossauros e peixes foram também encontrados possibilitando a reconstrução parcialdeste ecossistema continental do Gondwana.

  19. An opilioacarid mite in Cretaceous Burmese amber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Jason A.; de Oliveira Bernardi, Leopoldo Ferreira

    2014-09-01

    A fossil opilioacarid mite (Parasitiformes: Opilioacarida) in Burmese amber is described as ? Opilioacarus groehni sp. nov. This ca. 99 Ma record (Upper Cretaceous: Cenomanian) represents only the third fossil example of this putatively basal mite lineage, the others originating from Eocene Baltic amber (ca. 44-49 Ma). Our new record is not only the oldest record of Opilioacarida, but it is also one of the oldest examples of the entire Parasitiformes clade. The presence of Opilioacarida—potentially Opiloacarus—in the Cretaceous of SE Asia suggests that some modern genus groups were formerly more widely distributed across the northern hemisphere, raising questions about previously suggested Gondwanan origins for these mites.

  20. Telling Apart Ornithopod and Theropod Trackways : A Closer Look at a Large, Late Jurassic Tridactyl Dinosaur Trackway at Serwah, Republic of Yemen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, Anne S.; Al-Wosabi, Mohammed

    2012-01-01

    A large bipedal tridactyl dinosaur trackway from the Late Jurassic of Serwah, near Madar, Arhab district, Republic of Yemen, has been attributed to an ornithopod trackmaker. As the distinction between theropod and ornithopod dinosaurs can pose a challenge, we present additional data to support and

  1. The first oviraptorosaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) bonebed: evidence of gregarious behaviour in a maniraptoran theropod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funston, Gregory F; Currie, Philip J; Eberth, David A; Ryan, Michael J; Chinzorig, Tsogtbaatar; Badamgarav, Demchig; Longrich, Nicholas R

    2016-10-21

    A monodominant bonebed of Avimimus from the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia is the first oviraptorosaur bonebed described and the only recorded maniraptoran bonebed from the Late Cretaceous. Cranial elements recovered from the bonebed provide insights on the anatomy of the facial region, which was formerly unknown in Avimimus. Both adult and subadult material was recovered from the bonebed, but small juveniles are underrepresented. The taphonomic and sedimentological evidence suggests that the Avimimus bonebed represents a perimortem gregarious assemblage. The near absence of juveniles in the bonebed may be evidence of a transient age-segregated herd or 'flock', but the behaviour responsible for this assemblage is unclear. Regardless, the Avimimus bonebed is the first evidence of gregarious behaviour in oviraptorosaurs, and highlights a potential trend of increasing gregariousness in dinosaurs towards the end of the Mesozoic.

  2. New specimens of the crested theropod dinosaur Elmisaurus rarus from Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip J. Currie

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available New specimens of Elmisaurus rarus from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia (Nemegt Formation preserve bones not previously found in “elmisaurids” that help elucidate their relationships to Leptorhynchos elegans and other oviraptorosaurs. Elmisaurus rarus and the North American Leptorhynchos elegans are known from numerous but incomplete specimens that are closely related to, but nevertheless clearly distinguished from, Chirostenotes pergracilis and Epichirostenotes curriei. These specimens include the first known cranial bone attributed to Elmisaurus, the frontal, which clearly shows this animal had a cranial crest (most of which would have been formed by the nasal bones. The first vertebrae, scapula, femora, and tibiae from Elmisaurus are also described. The Elmisaurinae can be distinguished from the Caenagnathinae by the coossification of the tarsometatarsus and smaller size at maturity. Examination of oviraptorosaur hindlimbs reveals four distinct morphotypes, possibly attributable to paleoecological differences.

  3. New material of Beelzebufo, a hyperossified frog (Amphibia: Anura from the late cretaceous of Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan E Evans

    Full Text Available The extant anuran fauna of Madagascar is exceptionally rich and almost completely endemic. In recent years, many new species have been described and understanding of the history and relationships of this fauna has been greatly advanced by molecular studies, but very little is known of the fossil history of frogs on the island. Beelzebufo ampinga, the first named pre-Holocene frog from Madagascar, was described in 2008 on the basis of numerous disarticulated cranial and postcranial elements from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian Maevarano Formation of Madagascar. These specimens documented the presence of a hyperossified taxon that differed strikingly from extant Malagasy frogs in its large size and heavy coarse cranial exostosis. Here we describe and analyse new, articulated, and more complete material of the skull, vertebral column, and hind limb, as well as additional isolated elements discovered since 2008. μCT scans allow a detailed understanding of both internal and external morphology and permit a more accurate reconstruction. The new material shows Beelzebufo to have been even more bizarre than originally interpreted, with large posterolateral skull flanges and sculptured vertebral spine tables. The apparent absence of a tympanic membrane, the strong cranial exostosis, and vertebral morphology suggest it may have burrowed during seasonally arid conditions, which have been interpreted for the Maevarano Formation from independent sedimentological and taphonomic evidence. New phylogenetic analyses, incorporating both morphological and molecular data, continue to place Beelzebufo with hyloid rather than ranoid frogs. Within Hyloidea, Beelzebufo still groups with the South American Ceratophryidae thus continuing to pose difficulties with both biogeographic interpretations and prior molecular divergence dates.

  4. Possible lattice organs in Cretaceous Thylacocephala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lange, Sven; Schram, Frederick R.

    2002-01-01

    Structures, reminiscent of the lattice organs in thecostracan crustaceans, are described from the carapace cuticle of Cretaceous thylacocephalans. The new lattice organ like structures occur in pairs along the dorsal midline. While these have a similar outline to true lattice organs, they seem to

  5. Hydrocarbon generative potential of cretaceous sediments of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The hydrocarbon potential and paleodepositional environment of Cretaceous sediments from the Borno Basin, Nigeria, were assessed by Rock-eval pyrolysis and biomarker geochemistry. The Total Organic Carbon (TOC), soluble organic matter (SOM) and genetic potential (GP) values ranged from 0.52 – 0.82wt%, 455.64 ...

  6. Biotic and environmental dynamics through the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous transition: evidence for protracted faunal and ecological turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennant, Jonathan P; Mannion, Philip D; Upchurch, Paul; Sutton, Mark D; Price, Gregory D

    2017-05-01

    The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous interval represents a time of environmental upheaval and cataclysmic events, combined with disruptions to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Historically, the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary was classified as one of eight mass extinctions. However, more recent research has largely overturned this view, revealing a much more complex pattern of biotic and abiotic dynamics than has previously been appreciated. Here, we present a synthesis of our current knowledge of Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous events, focusing particularly on events closest to the J/K boundary. We find evidence for a combination of short-term catastrophic events, large-scale tectonic processes and environmental perturbations, and major clade interactions that led to a seemingly dramatic faunal and ecological turnover in both the marine and terrestrial realms. This is coupled with a great reduction in global biodiversity which might in part be explained by poor sampling. Very few groups appear to have been entirely resilient to this J/K boundary 'event', which hints at a 'cascade model' of ecosystem changes driving faunal dynamics. Within terrestrial ecosystems, larger, more-specialised organisms, such as saurischian dinosaurs, appear to have suffered the most. Medium-sized tetanuran theropods declined, and were replaced by larger-bodied groups, and basal eusauropods were replaced by neosauropod faunas. The ascent of paravian theropods is emphasised by escalated competition with contemporary pterosaur groups, culminating in the explosive radiation of birds, although the timing of this is obfuscated by biases in sampling. Smaller, more ecologically diverse terrestrial non-archosaurs, such as lissamphibians and mammaliaforms, were comparatively resilient to extinctions, instead documenting the origination of many extant groups around the J/K boundary. In the marine realm, extinctions were focused on low-latitude, shallow marine shelf-dwelling faunas

  7. South Atlantic paleobathymetry since early Cretaceous.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Díaz, Lucía; Eagles, Graeme

    2017-09-18

    We present early Cretaceous to present paleobathymetric reconstructions and quantitative uncertainty estimates for the South Atlantic, offering a strong basis for studies of paleocirculation, paleoclimate and paleobiogeography. Circulation in an initially salty and anoxic ocean, restricted by the topography of the Falkland Plateau, Rio Grande Ridge and Walvis Rise, favoured deposition of thick evaporites in shallow water of the Brazilian-Angolan margins. This ceased as seafloor spreading propagated northwards, opening an equatorial gateway to shallow and intermediate circulation. This gateway, together with subsiding volcano-tectonic barriers would have played a key role in Late Cretaceous climate changes. Later deepening and widening of the South Atlantic, together with gateway opening at Drake Passage would lead, by mid-Miocene (∼15 Ma) to the establishment of modern-style thermohaline circulation.

  8. Significance of Tocopherols during Cretaceous Oae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brassell, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Most biomarker studies of Cretaceous OAE have tended to focus on investigations of hydrocarbon constituents, which means that evidence of environmental conditions contained in the distributions and abundance of more polar components has rarely been utilized with the notable exception of GDGTs as paleotemperature proxies. One group of functionalized lipids, tocopherols, fulfills various critical functions in plants and bacteria, including optimization of photosynthetic activity and macronutrient homeostasis in cyanobacteria. These compounds are often prevalent constituents of immature Cretaceous sediments rich in organic matter (OM) in those instances where analytical protocols have assessed their presence. They occur in Cenomanian-Turonian (OAE2), early Aptian (OAE1a), Valanginian, and other Cretaceous sediments, and their concentrations can exceed 2-5 mg/g dry sediment. One possible explanation for the abundance of tocopherols is that environmental conditions prevailing during OAE led to enhanced biochemical production of these components by phytoplankton, given their key biophysiochemical role of protecting lipids and membranes against oxidative stress. High concentrations of tocopherols (>250 mg/g dry weight) have been reported in haptophytes and marine green algae, and their production in cyanobacteria increases under high light intensity. Hence, environmental conditions during Cretaceous OAE may have been conducive to production of copious amounts of tocopherols by phytoplankton in response to environment stresses. Previous work in contemporary systems has suggested that the propensity of tocopherols to autooxidation would make their survival in sediments unlikely. However, this scenario and interpretation is clearly not applicable during Cretaceous episodes of enhanced OM sequestration and/or dysoxia. Since tocopherols serve to protect plant cells from oxidative damage it seems plausible that they might fulfill a similar function in settling, particulate, and

  9. An Ornithopod-Dominated Tracksite from the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation (Barremian–Albian) of Qijiang, South-Central China: New Discoveries, Ichnotaxonomy, Preservation and Palaeoecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Lida; Lockley, Martin G.; Marty, Daniel; Zhang, Jianping; Wang, Yan; Klein, Hendrik; McCrea, Richard T.; Buckley, Lisa G.; Belvedere, Matteo; Mateus, Octávio; Gierliński, Gerard D.; Piñuela, Laura; Persons, W. Scott; Wang, Fengping; Ran, Hao; Dai, Hui; Xie, Xianming

    2015-01-01

    The historically-famous Lotus Fortress site, a deep 1.5–3.0-meter-high, 200-meter-long horizonal notch high up in near-vertical sandstone cliffs comprising the Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation, has been known since the 13th Century as an impregnable defensive position. The site is also extraordinary for having multiple tetrapod track-bearing levels, of which the lower two form the floor of part of the notch, and yield very well preserved asseamblages of ornithopod, bird (avian theropod) and pterosaur tracks. Trackway counts indicate that ornithopods dominate (69%) accounting for at least 165 trackmakers, followed by bird (18%), sauropod (10%), and pterosaur (3%). Previous studies designated Lotus Fortress as the type locality of Caririchnium lotus and Wupus agilis both of which are recognized here as valid ichnotaxa. On the basis of multiple parallel trackways both are interpreted as representing the trackways of gregarious species. C. lotus is redescribed here in detail and interpreted to indicate two age cohorts representing subadults that were sometimes bipedal and larger quadrupedal adults. Two other previously described dinosaurian ichnospecies, are here reinterpreted as underprints and considered nomina dubia. Like a growing number of significant tetrapod tracksites in China the Lotus Fortress site reveals new information about the composition of tetrapod faunas from formations in which the skeletal record is sparse. In particular, the site shows the relatively high abundance of Caririchium in a region where saurischian ichnofaunas are often dominant. It is also the only site known to have yielded Wupus agilis. In combination with information from other tracksites from the Jiaguan formation and other Cretaceous formations in the region, the track record is proving increasingly impotant as a major source of information on the vertebrate faunas of the region. The Lotus Fortress site has been developed as a spectacular, geologically-, paleontologically- and a

  10. An Ornithopod-Dominated Tracksite from the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation (Barremian-Albian) of Qijiang, South-Central China: New Discoveries, Ichnotaxonomy, Preservation and Palaeoecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Lida; Lockley, Martin G; Marty, Daniel; Zhang, Jianping; Wang, Yan; Klein, Hendrik; McCrea, Richard T; Buckley, Lisa G; Belvedere, Matteo; Mateus, Octávio; Gierliński, Gerard D; Piñuela, Laura; Persons, W Scott; Wang, Fengping; Ran, Hao; Dai, Hui; Xie, Xianming

    2015-01-01

    The historically-famous Lotus Fortress site, a deep 1.5-3.0-meter-high, 200-meter-long horizonal notch high up in near-vertical sandstone cliffs comprising the Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation, has been known since the 13th Century as an impregnable defensive position. The site is also extraordinary for having multiple tetrapod track-bearing levels, of which the lower two form the floor of part of the notch, and yield very well preserved asseamblages of ornithopod, bird (avian theropod) and pterosaur tracks. Trackway counts indicate that ornithopods dominate (69%) accounting for at least 165 trackmakers, followed by bird (18%), sauropod (10%), and pterosaur (3%). Previous studies designated Lotus Fortress as the type locality of Caririchnium lotus and Wupus agilis both of which are recognized here as valid ichnotaxa. On the basis of multiple parallel trackways both are interpreted as representing the trackways of gregarious species. C. lotus is redescribed here in detail and interpreted to indicate two age cohorts representing subadults that were sometimes bipedal and larger quadrupedal adults. Two other previously described dinosaurian ichnospecies, are here reinterpreted as underprints and considered nomina dubia. Like a growing number of significant tetrapod tracksites in China the Lotus Fortress site reveals new information about the composition of tetrapod faunas from formations in which the skeletal record is sparse. In particular, the site shows the relatively high abundance of Caririchium in a region where saurischian ichnofaunas are often dominant. It is also the only site known to have yielded Wupus agilis. In combination with information from other tracksites from the Jiaguan formation and other Cretaceous formations in the region, the track record is proving increasingly impotant as a major source of information on the vertebrate faunas of the region. The Lotus Fortress site has been developed as a spectacular, geologically-, paleontologically- and a

  11. An Ornithopod-Dominated Tracksite from the Lower Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation (Barremian-Albian of Qijiang, South-Central China: New Discoveries, Ichnotaxonomy, Preservation and Palaeoecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lida Xing

    Full Text Available The historically-famous Lotus Fortress site, a deep 1.5-3.0-meter-high, 200-meter-long horizonal notch high up in near-vertical sandstone cliffs comprising the Cretaceous Jiaguan Formation, has been known since the 13th Century as an impregnable defensive position. The site is also extraordinary for having multiple tetrapod track-bearing levels, of which the lower two form the floor of part of the notch, and yield very well preserved asseamblages of ornithopod, bird (avian theropod and pterosaur tracks. Trackway counts indicate that ornithopods dominate (69% accounting for at least 165 trackmakers, followed by bird (18%, sauropod (10%, and pterosaur (3%. Previous studies designated Lotus Fortress as the type locality of Caririchnium lotus and Wupus agilis both of which are recognized here as valid ichnotaxa. On the basis of multiple parallel trackways both are interpreted as representing the trackways of gregarious species. C. lotus is redescribed here in detail and interpreted to indicate two age cohorts representing subadults that were sometimes bipedal and larger quadrupedal adults. Two other previously described dinosaurian ichnospecies, are here reinterpreted as underprints and considered nomina dubia. Like a growing number of significant tetrapod tracksites in China the Lotus Fortress site reveals new information about the composition of tetrapod faunas from formations in which the skeletal record is sparse. In particular, the site shows the relatively high abundance of Caririchium in a region where saurischian ichnofaunas are often dominant. It is also the only site known to have yielded Wupus agilis. In combination with information from other tracksites from the Jiaguan formation and other Cretaceous formations in the region, the track record is proving increasingly impotant as a major source of information on the vertebrate faunas of the region. The Lotus Fortress site has been developed as a spectacular, geologically

  12. Delineating the Jurassic to mid cretaceous part of the Pacific ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    These results indicate that the Pacific plate drifted southward during the Jurassic to Early-Cretaceous period. Additionally, the results demonstrate that there is an apparent consistent correspondence between changes of plate motion and significant shifts of the Jurassic to Mid-Cretaceous apparent polar wander path.

  13. Fossil evidence for Cretaceous escalation in angiosperm leaf vein evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feild, Taylor S; Brodribb, Timothy J; Iglesias, Ari; Chatelet, David S; Baresch, Andres; Upchurch, Garland R; Gomez, Bernard; Mohr, Barbara A R; Coiffard, Clement; Kvacek, Jiri; Jaramillo, Carlos

    2011-05-17

    The flowering plants that dominate modern vegetation possess leaf gas exchange potentials that far exceed those of all other living or extinct plants. The great divide in maximal ability to exchange CO(2) for water between leaves of nonangiosperms and angiosperms forms the mechanistic foundation for speculation about how angiosperms drove sweeping ecological and biogeochemical change during the Cretaceous. However, there is no empirical evidence that angiosperms evolved highly photosynthetically active leaves during the Cretaceous. Using vein density (D(V)) measurements of fossil angiosperm leaves, we show that the leaf hydraulic capacities of angiosperms escalated several-fold during the Cretaceous. During the first 30 million years of angiosperm leaf evolution, angiosperm leaves exhibited uniformly low vein D(V) that overlapped the D(V) range of dominant Early Cretaceous ferns and gymnosperms. Fossil angiosperm vein densities reveal a subsequent biphasic increase in D(V). During the first mid-Cretaceous surge, angiosperm D(V) first surpassed the upper bound of D(V) limits for nonangiosperms. However, the upper limits of D(V) typical of modern megathermal rainforest trees first appear during a second wave of increased D(V) during the Cretaceous-Tertiary transition. Thus, our findings provide fossil evidence for the hypothesis that significant ecosystem change brought about by angiosperms lagged behind the Early Cretaceous taxonomic diversification of angiosperms.

  14. Ecological Aspects of the Cretaceous Flowering Plant Radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wing, Scott L.; Boucher, Lisa D.

    The first flowering plant fossils occur as rare, undiverse pollen grains in the Early Cretaceous (Valanginian-Hauterivian). Angiosperms diversified slowly during the Barremian-Aptian but rapidly during the Albian-Cenomanian. By the end of the Cretaceous, at least half of the living angiosperm orders were present, and angiosperms were greater than 70% of terrestrial plant species globally. The rapid diversification of the group, and its dominance in modern vegetation, has led to the idea that the Cretaceous radiation of angiosperms also represents their rise to vegetational dominance. Paleoecological data cast a different light on the Cretaceous radiation of angiosperms. Analyses of sedimentary environments indicate that angiosperms not only originated in unstable habitats but remained centered there through most of the Cretaceous. Morphology of leaves, seeds, and wood is consistent with the status of most Cretaceous angiosperms as herbs to small trees with early successional strategy. The diversification of flowering plants in the Cretaceous represents the evolution of a highly speciose clade of weeds but not necessarily a major change in global vegetation.

  15. New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poropat, Stephen F.; Mannion, Philip D.; Upchurch, Paul; Hocknull, Scott A.; Kear, Benjamin P.; Kundrát, Martin; Tischler, Travis R.; Sloan, Trish; Sinapius, George H. K.; Elliott, Judy A.; Elliott, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Australian dinosaurs have played a rare but controversial role in the debate surrounding the effect of Gondwanan break-up on Cretaceous dinosaur distribution. Major spatiotemporal gaps in the Gondwanan Cretaceous fossil record, coupled with taxon incompleteness, have hindered research on this effect, especially in Australia. Here we report on two new sauropod specimens from the early Late Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia, that have important implications for Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography. Savannasaurus elliottorum gen. et sp. nov. comprises one of the most complete Cretaceous sauropod skeletons ever found in Australia, whereas a new specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae includes the first ever cranial remains of an Australian sauropod. The results of a new phylogenetic analysis, in which both Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus are recovered within Titanosauria, were used as the basis for a quantitative palaeobiogeographical analysis of macronarian sauropods. Titanosaurs achieved a worldwide distribution by at least 125 million years ago, suggesting that mid-Cretaceous Australian sauropods represent remnants of clades which were widespread during the Early Cretaceous. These lineages would have entered Australasia via dispersal from South America, presumably across Antarctica. High latitude sauropod dispersal might have been facilitated by Albian–Turonian warming that lifted a palaeoclimatic dispersal barrier between Antarctica and South America. PMID:27763598

  16. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.

    2009-04-01

    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  17. Sexo com animais como prática extrema no pornô bizarro* Sex with animals as an extreme practice in bizarre porn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Elvira Díaz-Benítez

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Dentro do segmento do mercado pornô conhecido como bizarro, a prática considerada extrema por excelência é alocada ao sexo com animais. O Brasil possui uma indústria de produção desses filmes reconhecida mundialmente. Este artigo discute o estigma dessas produções no interior da indústria pornô, traz dados etnográficos sobre a produção desse mercado, introduz uma discussão sobre legalidade, consentimento e direitos, e finalmente, trata essa temática do ponto de vista do erotismo e dos prazeres pensando o lugar do gênero e da sexualidade nessas práticas. Acredita-se que a temática é um campo vasto para pensarmos as relações humano/animal, normal/anormal, prazer/perigo, natureza/cultura.Within the bizarre porn market, the extreme practice is that of sex with animals. Brazil has a worldwide known industry producing this kind of porn. This paper discusses the stigma associated to this kind of production within the porn industry, adds ethnographic data on this market's production, introduces a discussion on the legality, consent and rights and treats the theme from the point of view of eroticism and pleasure, thinking about gender and sexuality in these practices. The question is seen as a vast field to think about dyadic relations like human/animal, normal/abnormal, pleasure/danger, nature/culture.

  18. Molecular evidence for pre-Cretaceous angiosperm origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, William; Gierl, Alfons; Saedler, Heinz

    1989-05-01

    FLOWERING plants or angiosperms have dominated the Earth's flora since at least the late Cretaceous1 and were already highly diversified by Barremian times, about 120 million years (Myr) ago. However, because of the paucity of fossilized angiosperm reproductive structures from lower Cretaceous sediments2,3 and the absence of generally recognized angiosperm fossils from pre-Cretaceous strata4,5, their origins and early evolution remain obscure. Similarly, attempts to understand pre-Cretaceous angiosperm evolution4-11 have been impaired by difficulties in defining and interpreting angiospermous characters in fossil specimens8,12. We report here molecular evidence suggesting that angiosperm ancestors underwent diversification more than 300 Myr ago.

  19. Dinosaur morphological diversity and the end-Cretaceous extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Norell, Mark A

    2012-05-01

    The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago is a perpetual topic of fascination, and lasting debate has focused on whether dinosaur biodiversity was in decline before end-Cretaceous volcanism and bolide impact. Here we calculate the morphological disparity (anatomical variability) exhibited by seven major dinosaur subgroups during the latest Cretaceous, at both global and regional scales. Our results demonstrate both geographic and clade-specific heterogeneity. Large-bodied bulk-feeding herbivores (ceratopsids and hadrosauroids) and some North American taxa declined in disparity during the final two stages of the Cretaceous, whereas carnivorous dinosaurs, mid-sized herbivores, and some Asian taxa did not. Late Cretaceous dinosaur evolution, therefore, was complex: there was no universal biodiversity trend and the intensively studied North American record may reveal primarily local patterns. At least some dinosaur groups, however, did endure long-term declines in morphological variability before their extinction.

  20. Island life in the Cretaceous - faunal composition, biogeography, evolution, and extinction of land-living vertebrates on the Late Cretaceous European archipelago

    OpenAIRE

    Csiki Sava,Zoltan; Buffetaut,Eric; Ősi,Attila; Pereda-Suberbiola,Xabier; Brusatte,Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The Late Cretaceous was a time of tremendous global change, as the final stages of the Age of Dinosaurs were shaped by climate and sea level fluctuations and witness to marked paleogeographic and faunal changes, before the end-Cretaceous bolide impact. The terrestrial fossil record of Late Cretaceous Europe is becoming increasingly better understood, based largely on intensive fieldwork over the past two decades, promising new insights into latest Cretaceous faunal evolution. We revi...

  1. Cretaceous paleogeography and depositional cycles of western South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macellari, C. E.

    The western margin of South America was encroached upon by a series of marine advances that increased in extent from the Early Cretaceous to a maximum in the early Late Cretaceous for northern South America (Venezuela to Peru). In southern South America, however, the area covered by the marine advances decreased from a maximum in the Early Cretaceous to a minimum during mid-Cretaceous time, followed by a widespread advance at the end of the period. A series of unconformity-bounded depositional cycles was recognized in these sequences: five cycles in northern South America, and six (but not exactly equivalent) cycles in the Cretaceous back-arc basins of southern South America (Neuquén and Austral, or Magallanes, Basins). Both widespread anoxic facies and maximum flooding of the continent in northern South America coincide in general terms with recognized global trends, but this is not the case in southern South America. Here, anoxic facies are restricted to the Lower Cretaceous and seem to be controlled by local aspects of the basin evolution and configuration. The contrasts observed between northern and southern South America can be explained by differences in tectonic setting and evolution. To the north, sediments were deposited around the tectonically stable Guayana-Brazilian Massifs, and thus registered global "signals" such as anoxic events and major eustatic changes. The southern portion of the continent, on the contrary, developed in an active tectonic setting. Here, the mid-Cretaceous Peruvian Orogeny overprinted, to a large extent, world-wide trends and only the earliest and latest Cretaceous conform to global depositional patterns.

  2. What is bizarre in bizarre delusions? A critical review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cermolacce, Michel René Joseph; Jensen, Lars Meldgaard Sass; Parnas, J

    2010-01-01

    or incomprehensible. Then, we provide a critical review of contemporary studies on the reliability of BD and their methodological and conceptual limitations. Current approaches have focused intensely on BD's reliability and have defined BD strictly in terms of delusional content--mainly in terms of the physical...

  3. Late Triassic sauropodomorph and Middle Jurassic theropod tracks from the Xichang Basin, Sichuan Province, southwestern China: First report of the ichnogenus Carmelopodus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Da Xing

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Upper Triassic and Middle Jurassic strata of the Xichang Basin in Sichuan Province, southwestern China, yielded important dinosaur ichnofossils. From the Xujiahe Formation of the Yiguojiao tracksite, we report a Late Triassic footprint assemblage in China and the first discovery of diagnostic Triassic sauropodomorph tracks in this region. The tracks share a number of features in common with the ichnogenera Eosauropus (Late Triassic and Liujianpus (Early Jurassic. The neighboring Bingtu tracksite is stratigraphically younger (Shaximiao Formation, Middle Jurassic and preserves small tridactyl theropod tracks that represent the first occurrence of the ichnotaxon Carmelopodus in China and Asia. While these tracks are morphologically comparable to those from the Middle Jurassic type locality in North America, the specimens from China show the proximal margin of the digit IV impression in a more cranial position, which may indicate a trackmaker with a relatively short metatarsal IV. In addition to the skeletal record, the Carmelopodus footprints document the presence of small theropods in the dinosaur fauna of the Middle Jurassic Shaximiao Formation.

  4. The bizarre request for amputation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rachel

    2011-12-01

    Apotemnophilia is a condition where sufferers wish to be an amputee. Currently, belief in the medical profession is that it is part of the spectrum of body dysmorphic disorder and as such patients are denied surgical correction. This can lead sufferers to extreme lengths. Proponents seek to have the disorder reclassified to a body identity integrity disorder such as gender identity disorder. In this way treatment modalities could be reassessed.

  5. Bizarre spectrum of SS 433

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Margon, B.

    1980-01-01

    SS 433 is an emission-line star, a radio source, and an x-ray source centered in a supernova remnant, W50. Through observations and spectroscopic studies much has been learned of this object. The spectrum of SS 433 is characterized by Doppler-shifted emission lines of hydrogen and helium. This implies the presence of a gas. The wavelengths of these lines vary. Some of the moving lines of the spectrum are red-shifted and some are blue-shifted. Since the wavelengths of the Doppler-shifted features change rapidly with time, the velocity of both approaching gas and receding gas is changing. On any given night the average velocity is 12,000 km/sec. Also, the variations in velocity are periodic, with a 164-day period. These characteristics of the spectrum of SS 433 are explained by assuming the following hypothetical model. The object responsible for ejecting two jets in opposite directions is thought to be part of a binary system, consisting of a comparatively normal star bound in close orbit to a neutron star, which is in the process of pulling material away from the companion by virtue of its strong gravitational field. The gas streaming from the normal star forms a rotating accretion disk around the neutron star, and it is from the faces of this disk that the two jets are ejected in opposite directions. Precession of the plane of the disk is presumably what causes the axis of the jets to rotate, hence the 164-day period

  6. Microspectroscopic evidence of cretaceous bone proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Lindgren

    Full Text Available Low concentrations of the structural protein collagen have recently been reported in dinosaur fossils based primarily on mass spectrometric analyses of whole bone extracts. However, direct spectroscopic characterization of isolated fibrous bone tissues, a crucial test of hypotheses of biomolecular preservation over deep time, has not been performed. Here, we demonstrate that endogenous proteinaceous molecules are retained in a humerus from a Late Cretaceous mosasaur (an extinct giant marine lizard. In situ immunofluorescence of demineralized bone extracts shows reactivity to antibodies raised against type I collagen, and amino acid analyses of soluble proteins extracted from the bone exhibit a composition indicative of structural proteins or their breakdown products. These data are corroborated by synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopic studies demonstrating that amino acid containing matter is located in bone matrix fibrils that express imprints of the characteristic 67 nm D-periodicity typical of collagen. Moreover, the fibrils differ significantly in spectral signature from those of potential modern bacterial contaminants, such as biofilms and collagen-like proteins. Thus, the preservation of primary soft tissues and biomolecules is not limited to large-sized bones buried in fluvial sandstone environments, but also occurs in relatively small-sized skeletal elements deposited in marine sediments.

  7. Mammal disparity decreases during the Cretaceous angiosperm radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossnickle, David M; Polly, P David

    2013-11-22

    Fossil discoveries over the past 30 years have radically transformed traditional views of Mesozoic mammal evolution. In addition, recent research provides a more detailed account of the Cretaceous diversification of flowering plants. Here, we examine patterns of morphological disparity and functional morphology associated with diet in early mammals. Two analyses were performed: (i) an examination of diversity based on functional dental type rather than higher-level taxonomy, and (ii) a morphometric analysis of jaws, which made use of modern analogues, to assess changes in mammalian morphological and dietary disparity. Results demonstrate a decline in diversity of molar types during the mid-Cretaceous as abundances of triconodonts, symmetrodonts, docodonts and eupantotherians diminished. Multituberculates experience a turnover in functional molar types during the mid-Cretaceous and a shift towards plant-dominated diets during the late Late Cretaceous. Although therians undergo a taxonomic expansion coinciding with the angiosperm radiation, they display small body sizes and a low level of morphological disparity, suggesting an evolutionary shift favouring small insectivores. It is concluded that during the mid-Cretaceous, the period of rapid angiosperm radiation, mammals experienced both a decrease in morphological disparity and a functional shift in dietary morphology that were probably related to changing ecosystems.

  8. Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T.

    2016-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap between Archaeopteryx and crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. PMID:27053742

  9. Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Lloyd, Graeme T

    2016-04-13

    The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap between Archaeopteryx and crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Structural extremes in a cretaceous dinosaur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Sereno

    Full Text Available Fossils of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur, Nigersaurus taqueti, document for the first time the cranial anatomy of a rebbachisaurid sauropod. Its extreme adaptations for herbivory at ground-level challenge current hypotheses regarding feeding function and feeding strategy among diplodocoids, the larger clade of sauropods that includes Nigersaurus. We used high resolution computed tomography, stereolithography, and standard molding and casting techniques to reassemble the extremely fragile skull. Computed tomography also allowed us to render the first endocast for a sauropod preserving portions of the olfactory bulbs, cerebrum and inner ear, the latter permitting us to establish habitual head posture. To elucidate evidence of tooth wear and tooth replacement rate, we used photographic-casting techniques and crown thin sections, respectively. To reconstruct its 9-meter postcranial skeleton, we combined and size-adjusted multiple partial skeletons. Finally, we used maximum parsimony algorithms on character data to obtain the best estimate of phylogenetic relationships among diplodocoid sauropods. Nigersaurus taqueti shows extreme adaptations for a dinosaurian herbivore including a skull of extremely light construction, tooth batteries located at the distal end of the jaws, tooth replacement as fast as one per month, an expanded muzzle that faces directly toward the ground, and hollow presacral vertebral centra with more air sac space than bone by volume. A cranial endocast provides the first reasonably complete view of a sauropod brain including its small olfactory bulbs and cerebrum. Skeletal and dental evidence suggests that Nigersaurus was a ground-level herbivore that gathered and sliced relatively soft vegetation, the culmination of a low-browsing feeding strategy first established among diplodocoids during the Jurassic.

  11. Molecular fossils in Cretaceous condensate from western India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Dutta, Suryendu; Dutta, Ratul

    2014-06-01

    The present study reports the biomarker distribution of condensate belonging to the early Cretaceous time frame using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The early Cretaceous palaeoenvironment was inscribed into these molecular fossils which reflected the source and conditions of deposition of the condensate. The saturate fraction of the condensate is characterized by normal alkanes ranging from n-C9 to n-C29 (CPI-1.13), cycloalkanes and C14 and C15 sesquiterpanes. The aromatic fraction comprises of naphthalene, phenanthrene, their methylated derivatives and cyclohexylbenzenes. Isohexylalkylnaphthalenes, a product of rearrangement process of terpenoids, is detected in the condensate. Several aromatic sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids have been recorded. Dihydro- ar-curcumene, cadalene and ionene form the assemblage of sesquiterpenoids which are indicative of higher plant input. Aromatic diterpenoid fraction comprises of simonellite and retene. These compounds are also indicative of higher plants, particularly conifer source which had been a predominant flora during the Cretaceous time.

  12. On the age of the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lena, Luis; Ramos, Victor; Pimentel, Marcio; Aguirre-Urreta, Beatriz; Naipauer, Maximiliano; Schaltegger, Urs

    2017-04-01

    Calibrating the geologic time is of utmost importance to understanding geological and biological processes throughout Earth history. The Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary has proven to be one of the most problematic boundaries to calibrate in the geologic time. The present definition of the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary still remains contentious mainly because of the dominant endemic nature of the flora and fauna in stratigraphic sections, which hinders an agreement on a GSSP. Consequently, an absolute and precise age for the boundary is yet to meet an agreement among the community. Additionally, integrating chemical, paleomagnetic or astronomical proxies to aid the definition of the boundary has also proven to be difficult because the boundary lacks any abrupt geochemical changes or recognizable geological events. However, the traditional Berriasella jacobi Subzone is disregarded as a primary marker and the use of calpionellids has been gaining momentum for defining the boundary. The Jurassic Cretaceous boundary in the Vaca Muerta Fm. in the Nuequen Basin of the Andes is a potential candidate for the boundary stratotype because of its high density of ammonites, nannofossils and interbedded datable horizons. Consequently, the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary is very well defined in the Vaca Muerta Fm. On the basis of both ammonites and nannofossils. Here we present new high-precision U-Pb age determinations from two volcanic ash beds that bracket the age of the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary: 1) ash bed LLT_14_9, with a 206Pb/238U age of 139.7 Ma, which is 2 meters above Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary based on the Argetiniceras noduliferum (Early Berriasian ) and Substeueroceras Koeneni (Late Tithonian) ammonites zone; and 2) bed LLT_14_10, with an age of 140.1 Ma, located 3m below the J-K boundary based on last occurrence of the nannofossils N. kamptneri minor and N. steinmanni minor. Therefore, we propose that the age of the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary should be close to 140

  13. Marine reptiles from the Late Cretaceous of northern Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasparini, Z.; Casadio, S.; Fernández, M.; Salgado, L.

    2001-04-01

    During the Campanian-Maastrichtian, Patagonia was flooded by the Atlantic and reduced to an archipelago. Several localities of northern Patagonia have yielded marine reptiles. Analysis of several assemblages suggests that the diversity and abundance of pelagic marine reptiles in northern Patagonia was higher by the end of the Cretaceous than previously thought. Several plesiosaurids, including Aristonectes parvidens and the polycotylid Sulcusuchus, and the first remains of mosasaurinae have been found. The Cretaceous marine reptile record from South America is scanty. Nevertheless, materials described here suggest that Tethyan and Weddelian forms converged in northern Patagonia, as seen with invertebrates.

  14. Arctic black shale formation during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenniger, Marc; Nøhr-Hansen, Henrik; Hills, Len V.

    2014-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales. Although the paleoceanographic response and the spatial extent of bottom-water anoxia in low and mid-paleolatitudes are re......The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales. Although the paleoceanographic response and the spatial extent of bottom-water anoxia in low and mid...

  15. Paleoecology and Paleoenvironmental Interpretations of the Late Cretaceous Lower Cantwell Formation, Denali National Park, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomsich, C. S.; Salazar Jaramillo, S.; Jacobus, R. T.; McCarthy, P. J.; Fowell, S. J.; Fiorillo, A. R.

    2010-12-01

    The level of diversity of an ancient high-latitude fauna or flora is of interest not just for the study of species evolution and paleogeographic migration patterns, but also for the imminent response to an amplified climate change rate. Climate modelers thus focus increasingly on proxies of Polar Regions. A rich floral and faunal record indicative of a warm high-latitude paleoclimate is presently emerging from the late Campanian-Maastrichtian lower Cantwell Formation in Denali National Park, south-central Alaska. This thick (up to 4000m) alluvial fan succession was deposited during the latest accretionary phase of the Wrangellia terrane to the former southern margin of Alaska. Facies descriptions from outcrops near Sable Mountain and Polychrome Mountain record heterogeneous and laterally discontinuous lithologies characteristic of alluvial and marginal alluvial fan environments: braided channel, sandy channel, crevasse splay, sheetflood, floodplain, and lacustrine. Trace and plant fossils occur predominantly at lithological boundaries. The vertebrate fossil record encompasses tracks that can be attributed to fishes, pterosaurs, large and small non-avian theropods, birds, hadrosaurs, and ceratopsians. Hadrosaur footprints are abundant and record populations with multiple generations present. The pterosaur tracks constitute the northernmost fossil occurrence for these flying reptiles. Bird traces range from small, shore-wading bird tracks to those of a large crane-like bird. Diverse invertebrate tracks include freshwater bivalve, ostracode and gastropod trails, crayfish burrows, beetle and mole cricket tracks, wood borings and feeding traces on angiosperm leaves. Plant impression fossils represent dicotyledonous angiosperm leaves referable to nymphaealean, menispermoid, platanoid, trochodendroid and higher hamamelid groups; magnoliid seeds; diverse broad-leaved and blade-like monocot leaf fragments; the leafy shoots, leaves, cones, seeds and wood of cupressaceous and

  16. Taphonomy of a Baurusuchus (Crocodyliformes, Baurusuchidae) from the Adamantina Formation (Upper Cretaceous, Bauru Basin), Brazil: Implications for preservational modes, time resolution and paleoecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo Júnior, Hermínio Ismael de; Silva Marinho, Thiago da

    2013-11-01

    Upper Cretaceous vertebrate accumulations from the Adamantina Formation are known due to their high taxonomic diversity. On the other hand, taphonomic analyses still are rare, limiting the understanding of processes related to the biostratinomic and fossildiagenetic histories of this lithostratigraphic unit. In 2005, fossils were collected from an outcrop located at Jales municipality, state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. From this outcrop, a well-preserved Baurusuchus was recovered, which displays a peculiar set of taphonomic signatures. This paper identifies and interprets taphonomic features of a specimen of Baurusuchus (Crocodyliformes, Baurusuchidae; UFRJ DG 418-R) from the Adamantina Formation (Upper Cretaceous of the Bauru Basin), in Jales municipality, state of São Paulo. Brief taphonomic comparisons with other specimens previously studied (crocodiles and dinosaurs) and a lithofaciological analysis of the outcrop were undertaken in order to enhance the knowledge of the stratigraphy and paleoenvironment and improve the time resolution for the Adamantina Formation in the region of Jales. Furthermore, paleoecological data were interpreted based on the taphonomic analysis. The fossil is composed of an articulated segment of vertebral column, ribs, part of the pelvic girdle and gastralia. There is no hydraulic equivalence between both the specimen of Baurusuchus and the size of quartz grain predominant in the fossiliferous layer, suggesting death in situ or short transport as a “water carcass”. Teeth marks identified on the pubes were assigned to a small/juvenile baurusuchid crocodyliform or a theropod dinosaur. The repositioning of some elements (ribs and dorsal osteoderms) is suggestive of mummification. Desiccation marks were observed and attributed to the stage 1 of weathering. These features suggest subaerial exposure of the carcass prior to burial, however, probably after the mummification. On the other hand, the subaerial exposure was short

  17. Torvosaurus gurneyi n. sp., the largest terrestrial predator from Europe, and a proposed terminology of the maxilla anatomy in nonavian theropods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Hendrickx

    Full Text Available The Lourinhã Formation (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian of Central West Portugal is well known for its diversified dinosaur fauna similar to that of the Morrison Formation of North America; both areas share dinosaur taxa including the top predator Torvosaurus, reported in Portugal. The material assigned to the Portuguese T. tanneri, consisting of a right maxilla and an incomplete caudal centrum, was briefly described in the literature and a thorough description of these bones is here given for the first time. A comparison with material referred to Torvosaurus tanneri allows us to highlight some important differences justifying the creation of a distinct Eastern species. Torvosaurus gurneyi n. sp. displays two autapomorphies among Megalosauroidea, a maxilla possessing fewer than eleven teeth and an interdental wall nearly coincidental with the lateral wall of the maxillary body. In addition, it differs from T. tanneri by a reduced number of maxillary teeth, the absence of interdental plates terminating ventrally by broad V-shaped points and falling short relative to the lateral maxillary wall, and the absence of a protuberant ridge on the anterior part of the medial shelf, posterior to the anteromedial process. T. gurneyi is the largest theropod from the Lourinhã Formation of Portugal and the largest land predator discovered in Europe hitherto. This taxon supports the mechanism of vicariance that occurred in the Iberian Meseta during the Late Jurassic when the proto-Atlantic was already well formed. A fragment of maxilla from the Lourinhã Formation referred to Torvosaurus sp. is ascribed to this new species, and several other bones, including a femur, a tibia and embryonic material all from the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian of Portugal, are tentatively assigned to T. gurneyi. A standard terminology and notation of the theropod maxilla is also proposed and a record of the Torvosaurus material from Portugal is given.

  18. A sequence of events across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, J.; Romein, A.J.T.

    1985-01-01

    The lithological and biological sequence of events across the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T), as developed in thick and complete landbased sections and termed the standard K/T event sequence, is also found in many DSDP cores from all over the globe. Microtektite-like spherules have been found in

  19. Facies analysis and paleoenvironments of the upper cretaceous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The depositional model for the Upper Cretaceous sediments in the study area is strongly dominated by alluvial processes which in places evolved into shallow marine processes and frequently incised by fluvial channels. The clay deposits of the floodplain may offer economic resource potential in the area.

  20. Stratigraphy of Guichon Formation (lower cretaceous) in litoral basin, Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goso, C.; Perea, D.; Perinotto, J.

    1999-01-01

    This report is about the stratigraphic al analysis of the Guichon Formation (lower cretaceous, litoral basin in Uruguay). The facies association is represented by conglomerates mainly fine sandstones and mud stones wi ch is interpreted as an alluvial system. A regional palaeogeography and a new geochronological alternative are established for this formation. (author).

  1. Patterns of larval development in Cretaceous pipid frogs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk; van Dijk, E.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 51, č. 1 (2006), s. 111-126 ISSN 0567-7920 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3013206 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Anura * Pipidae * Cretaceous Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.076, year: 2006 http://app.pan.pl/archive/published/app51/app51-111.pdf

  2. Late Cretaceous seasonal ocean variability from the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Andrew; Kemp, Alan E S; Pike, Jennifer

    2009-07-09

    The modern Arctic Ocean is regarded as a barometer of global change and amplifier of global warming and therefore records of past Arctic change are critical for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Little is known of the state of the Arctic Ocean in the greenhouse period of the Late Cretaceous epoch (65-99 million years ago), yet records from such times may yield important clues to Arctic Ocean behaviour in near-future warmer climates. Here we present a seasonally resolved Cretaceous sedimentary record from the Alpha ridge of the Arctic Ocean. This palaeo-sediment trap provides new insight into the workings of the Cretaceous marine biological carbon pump. Seasonal primary production was dominated by diatom algae but was not related to upwelling as was previously hypothesized. Rather, production occurred within a stratified water column, involving specially adapted species in blooms resembling those of the modern North Pacific subtropical gyre, or those indicated for the Mediterranean sapropels. With increased CO(2) levels and warming currently driving increased stratification in the global ocean, this style of production that is adapted to stratification may become more widespread. Our evidence for seasonal diatom production and flux testify to an ice-free summer, but thin accumulations of terrigenous sediment within the diatom ooze are consistent with the presence of intermittent sea ice in the winter, supporting a wide body of evidence for low temperatures in the Late Cretaceous Arctic Ocean, rather than recent suggestions of a 15 degrees C mean annual temperature at this time.

  3. Molybdenum drawdown during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goldberg, T.; Poulton, S.W.; Wagner, T.; Kolonic, S.F.; Rehkämper, M.

    2016-01-01

    During the Cretaceous greenhouse, episodes of widespread ocean deoxygenation were associated with globally occurring events of black shale deposition. Possibly the most pronounced of these oceanic anoxic events (OAE's) was the Cenomanian-Turonian OAE2 (~94 Ma). However, although certain redox

  4. Late Cretaceous neosuchian crocodiles from the Sultanate of Oman

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buscalioni, Angela D.; Schulp, Anne S.; Jagt, John W M; Hanna, Samir S.; Hartman, Axel Frans

    Two apparently new crocodilian taxa from the Late Cretaceous (Late Campanian-Maastrichtian) Al-Khod Conglomerate of the Sultanate of Oman are described. The fragmentary state of preservation precludes formal naming, yet enables comparisons to be made with other taxa. One is a short-snouted

  5. Bird remains from the Maastrichtian type area (Late Cretaceous)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dyke, Gareth J.; Schulp, A. S.; Jagt, J. W M

    2008-01-01

    Remains of Late Cretaceous birds are rare, which is especially true for Europe and the type area of the Maastrichtian Stage (southeast Netherlands, northeast Belgium) in particular. In the present paper, we record new remains (isolated tarsometatarsus and radius) that document the presence of both

  6. Reproductive structures of Cretaceous Matoniaceae - new genus Konijnenburgia

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dašková, Jiřina; Kvaček, J.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 2008, č. 2 (2008), s. 57-57 ISSN 0946-8978. [International Palynological Congress /12./ ; International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conference /8./. 30.08.2008-05.09.2008, Bonn] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : palynology * Cretaceous * fern Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  7. Soil development on loess overlying Cretaceous sediments and Devonian limestones

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žigová, Anna; Šťastný, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 3 (2015), s. 267-278 ISSN 1214-9705 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : loess * Cretaceous and Devonian rocks * mineral composition * soil development * Luvic Chernozem * Albic Luvisol Subject RIV: DF - Soil Science Impact factor: 0.561, year: 2015

  8. Iridium profiles and delivery across the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Esmeray-Senlet, Selen; Miller, Kenneth G.; Sherrell, Robert M.; Senlet, Turgay; Vellekoop, Johan; Brinkhuis, Henk

    2017-01-01

    We examined iridium (Ir) anomalies at the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary in siliciclastic shallow marine cores of the New Jersey Coastal Plain, USA, that were deposited at an intermediate distance (∼2500 km) from the Chicxulub, Mexico crater. Although closely spaced and generally

  9. Cretaceous sea-surface temperature evolution: Constraints from TEX

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O'Brien, C.L.; Robinson, S.A.; Pancost, R.D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Schouten, S.; Lunt, D.J.; Alsenz, H.; Bornemann, A.; Bottini, C.; Brassell, S.C.; Farnsworth, A.; Forster, A.; Huber, B.T.; Inglis, G.N.; Jenkyns, H.C.; Linnert, C.; Littler, K.; Markwick, P.; McAnena, A.; Mutterlose, J.; Naafs, B.D.A.; Püttmann, W.; Sluijs, A.; van Helmond, N.A.G.M.; Vellekoop, J.; Wagner, T.; Wrobel, N.E.

    2017-01-01

    It is well established that greenhouse conditions prevailed during the Cretaceous Period (~ 145–66 Ma). Determining the exact nature of the greenhouse-gas forcing, climatic warming and climate sensitivity remains, however, an active topic of research. Quantitative and qualitative geochemical and

  10. Evidence of basement controlled faulting of cretaceous strata in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evidence of basement controlled faulting of cretaceous strata in the Middle Benue Trough, Nigeria from lineament analysis of gravity data. ... anomaly map of part of the Middle Benue Trough, Nigeria, was used to investigate the genetic relationship between the basement and intra-sedimentary structures in the study area.

  11. CRETACEOUS CLIMATE SENSITIVITY STUDY USING DINOSAUR & PLANT PALEOBIOGEOGRAPHY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, A.; Main, D. J.; Noto, C. R.; Moore, T. L.; Scotese, C.

    2009-12-01

    The Early Cretaceous was characterized by cool poles and moderate global temperatures (~16° C). During the mid and late Cretaceous, long-term global warming (~20° - 22° C) was driven by increasing levels of CO2, rising sea level (lowering albedo) and the continuing breakup of Pangea. Paleoclimatic reconstructions for four time intervals during the Cretaceous: Middle Campanian (80 Ma), Cenomanian/Turonian (90 Ma), Early Albian (110 Ma) and Barremian-Hauterivian (130Ma) are presented here. These paleoclimate simulations were prepared using the Fast Ocean and Atmosphere Model (FOAM). The simulated results show the pattern of the pole-to-Equator temperature gradients, rainfall, surface run-off, the location of major rivers and deltas. In order to investigate the effect of potential dispersal routes on paleobiogeographic patterns, a time-slice series of maps from Early - Late Cretaceous were produced showing plots of dinosaur and plant fossil distributions. These Maps were created utilizing: 1) plant fossil localities from the GEON and Paleobiology (PBDB) databases; and 2) dinosaur fossil localities from an updated version of the Dinosauria (Weishampel, 2004) database. These results are compared to two different types of datasets, 1) Paleotemperature database for the Cretaceous and 2) locality data obtained from GEON, PBDB and Dinosauria database. Global latitudinal mean temperatures from both the model and the paelotemperature database were plotted on a series of latitudinal graphs along with the distributions of fossil plants and dinosaurs. It was found that most dinosaur localities through the Cretaceous tend to cluster within specific climate belts, or envelopes. Also, these Cretaceous maps show variance in biogeographic zonation of both plants and dinosaurs that is commensurate with reconstructed climate patterns and geography. These data are particularly useful for understanding the response of late Mesozoic ecosystems to geographic and climatic conditions that

  12. Late Cretaceous environments and communities as recorded at Chrtníky (Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Vodrážka, R.; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela; Zágoršek, K.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 81, č. 1 (2006), s. 43-79 ISSN 1214-1119 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/06/0842 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Bohemian Cretaceous Basin * Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian * paleoecology * taphonomy * sedimentary environment Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  13. A vertebrate assemblage of Las Curtiembres Formation (Upper Cretaceous of northwestern Argentina Una asociación de vertebrados de la Formación Las Curtiembres (Cretácico Superior del Noroeste de la Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustín Scanferla

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We describe an association of fossil vertebrates from the Morales Member of the Las Curtiembres Formation (Campanian near Puente Morales, Salta Province, NW Argentina. The fossils include teleostean fishes, pipid frogs, pleurodiran turtles, mesoeucrocodylians, non-avian theropod dinosaurs, and enantiornithine birds. The vertebrate record is dominated by freshwater taxa. With the exception of pipid frogs, all taxa here described constitute new records for this sedimentary unit. Among them, the turtles are reported for the first time in the Cretaceous of northwestern Argentina (Salta Group. Additionally, the recently published small enantiornithine Intiornis inexpectatus enlarges the diversity of cretaceous birds from South America. Despite the fragmentary nature of the specimens, the information provided by this Late Cretaceous assemblage sheds new light on the composition of the continental vertebrate fauna in a paleontologically poorly known region of South America.Aquí describimos una asociación de fósiles de vertebrados proveniente del Miembro Morales de la Formación Las Curtiembres (Campaniano exhumada en la localidad de Puente Morales, provincia de Salta, Argentina. Esta asociación se encuentra conformada por peces teleósteos, anuros pipidos, tortugas pleurodiras, mesoeucrocodilidos, dinosaurios terópodos no avianos y aves Enantiornithes. Este registro de vertebrados se encuentra dominado por taxa de agua dulce. Con la excepción de los anuros pipidos, todos los demás taxa aquí descriptos constituyen nuevos registros para esta unidad sedimentaria. Entre ellos, el registro de tortugas resulta ser el primero para el Grupo Salta. Adicionalmente, el Enantiornithes Intiornis inexpectatus amplía la diversidad de aves cretácicas de América del Sur. Más allá de la naturaleza fragmentaria de algunos de los especímenes, la información proporcionada por esta asociación del Cretácico Superior aporta novedosa información acerca de la

  14. Descripción de una huella de terópodo de la Formación Misiones: primer fósil mesozoico fidedigno de Paraguay Description of a theropod footprint from the Misiones Formation: first reliable fossil from the Mesozoic of Paraguay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvina de Valais

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available El registro fosilífero del Mesozoico de Paraguay es prácticamente nulo, siendo la única excepción hasta la fecha, la mención de dos rastrilladas de vertebrados -actualmente desaparecidas- en lajas de las explanadas de la Iglesia de la Catedral y de la Iglesia María Auxiliadora. Se considera que las mismas habrían procedido de la cantera San Cristóbal del Departamento de Misiones, al Suroeste de Asunción, perteneciente a la Formación Misiones (probablemente Cretácico Inferior. Recientemente, en una nueva laja de la explanada de la Iglesia María Auxiliadora, proveniente de la misma cantera que los especímenes desaparecidos, fue hallada una huella tridáctila de mediano tamaño, presentada y estudiada en el presente trabajo. La icnita exhibe características propias de las huellas de dinosaurios terópodos. La traza constituye la única prueba fidedigna no solo de la presencia de dinosaurios en Paraguay, sino también del primer fósil mesozoico del país.The Mesozoic fossil record from Paraguay is almost non-existent, being the only exception the mention of two currently missing vertebrate trackways, found in slabs of the sidewalks of the Church de la Catedral and of the Church María Auxiliadora. It is thought that the slabs would have proceeded from the quarry San Cristóbal from the Misiones Department, Southwest of Asunción, from the Misiones Formation (probably Lower Cretaceous. Recently, in a new slab of the sidewalk of the Church María Auxiliadora, coming from the same quarry as the lost specimens, a medium-sized tridactyl footprint was found and studied in this contribution. The track exhibits characteristics belonging to theropod footprints. The footprint is not just the unique reliable evidence for the presence of dinosaurs in Paraguay, but also the first Mesozoic fossil of the country.

  15. Lower Cretaceous Puez key-section in the Dolomites - towards the mid-Cretaceous super-greenhouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukeneder, A.; Halásová, E.; Rehákova, D.; Józsa, Š.; Soták, J.; Kroh, A.; Jovane, L.; Florindo, F.; Sprovieri, M.; Giorgioni, M.; Lukeneder, S.

    2012-04-01

    Investigations on different fossil groups in addition to isotopic, paleomagnetic and geochemical analysis are combined to extract the Early Cretaceous history of environmental changes, as displayed by the sea level and climate changes. Results on biostratigraphy are integrated with other dating methods as magnetostraigraphy, correlation and cyclostratigraphy. The main investigation topics of the submitted project within the above-described framework are the biostratigraphic (Lukeneder and Aspmair, 2006, 2012), palaeoecological (Lukeneder, 2008, 2012), palaeobiogeographic, lithostratigraphic (Lukeneder, 2010, 2011), cyclostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic development of the Early Cretaceous in the Puez area. The main sections occur in expanded outcrops located on the southern margin of the Puez Plateau, within the area of the Puez-Geisler Natural Park, in the northern part of the Dolomites (South Tyrol, North Italy). The cephalopod, microfossil and nannofossil faunas and floras from the marly limestones to marls here indicates Hauterivian to Albian/Cenomanian age. Oxygen isotope values from the Lower Cretaceous Puez Formation show a decreasing trend throughout the log, from -1.5‰ in the Hauterivian to -4.5‰ in the Albian/Cenomanian. The decreasing values mirror an increasing trend in palaeotemperatures from ~ 15-18°C in the Hauterivian up to ~25-30 °C in the Albian/Cenomanian. The trend probably indicates the positive shift in temperature induced by the well known Mid Cretaceous Ocean warming (e.g., Super-Greenhouse). The cooperative project (FWF project P20018-N10; 22 international scientists): An integrative high resolution project. Macro- and microfossils, isotopes, litho-, cyclo-, magneto-and biostratigraphy as tools for investigating the Lower Cretaceous within the Dolomites (Southern Alps, Northern Italy) -The Puez area as a new key region of the Tethyan Realm), is on the way since 2008 by the Natural History Museum in Vienna and the 'Naturmuseum S

  16. Definition of Greater Gulf Basin Lower Cretaceous and Upper Cretaceous Lower Cenomanian Shale Gas Assessment Unit, United States Gulf of Mexico Basin Onshore and State Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennen, Kristin O.; Hackley, Paul C.

    2012-01-01

    An assessment unit (AU) for undiscovered continuous “shale” gas in Lower Cretaceous (Aptian and Albian) and basal Upper Cretaceous (lower Cenomanian) rocks in the USA onshore Gulf of Mexico coastal plain recently was defined by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The AU is part of the Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous-Tertiary Composite Total Petroleum System (TPS) of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. Definition of the AU was conducted as part of the 2010 USGS assessment of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources in Gulf Coast Mesozoic stratigraphic intervals. The purpose of defining the Greater Gulf Basin Lower Cretaceous Shale Gas AU was to propose a hypothetical AU in the Cretaceous part of the Gulf Coast TPS in which there might be continuous “shale” gas, but the AU was not quantitatively assessed by the USGS in 2010.

  17. An Early Cretaceous heterodontosaurid dinosaur with filamentous integumentary structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiao-Ting; You, Hai-Lu; Xu, Xing; Dong, Zhi-Ming

    2009-03-19

    Ornithischia is one of the two major groups of dinosaurs, with heterodontosauridae as one of its major clades. Heterodontosauridae is characterized by small, gracile bodies and a problematic phylogenetic position. Recent phylogenetic work indicates that it represents the most basal group of all well-known ornithischians. Previous heterodontosaurid records are mainly from the Early Jurassic period (205-190 million years ago) of Africa. Here we report a new heterodontosaurid, Tianyulong confuciusi gen. et sp. nov., from the Early Cretaceous period (144-99 million years ago) of western Liaoning Province, China. Tianyulong extends the geographical distribution of heterodontosaurids to Asia and confirms the clade's previously questionable temporal range extension into the Early Cretaceous period. More surprisingly, Tianyulong bears long, singular and unbranched filamentous integumentary (outer skin) structures. This represents the first confirmed report, to our knowledge, of filamentous integumentary structures in an ornithischian dinosaur.

  18. Paleoenvironments of the Jurassic and Cretaceous Oceans: Selected Highlights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogg, J. G.

    2007-12-01

    There are many themes contributing to the sedimentation history of the Mesozoic oceans. This overview briefly examines the roles of the carbonate compensation depth (CCD) and the associated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, of the evolution of marine calcareous microplankton, of major transgressive and regressive trends, and of super-plume eruptions. Initiation of Atlantic seafloor spreading in the Middle Jurassic coincided with an elevated carbonate compensation depth (CCD) in the Pacific-Tethys mega-ocean. Organic-rich sediments that would become the oil wealth of regions from Saudi Arabia to the North Sea were deposited during a continued rise in CCD during the Oxfordian-early Kimmeridgian, which suggests a possible increase in carbon dioxide release by oceanic volcanic activity. Deep-sea deposits in near-equatorial settings are dominated by siliceous shales or cherts, which reflect the productivity of siliceous microfossils in the tropical surface waters. The end-Jurassic explosion in productivity by calcareous microplankton contributed to the lowering of the CCD and onset of the chalk ("creta") deposits that characterize the Tithonian and lower Cretaceous in all ocean basins. During the mid-Cretaceous, the eruption of enormous Pacific igneous provinces (Ontong Java Plateau and coeval edifices) increased carbon dioxide levels. The resulting rise in CCD terminated chalk deposition in the deep sea. The excess carbon was progressively removed in widespread black-shale deposits in the Atlantic basins and other regions - another major episode of oil source rock. A major long-term transgression during middle and late Cretaceous was accompanied by extensive chalk deposition on continental shelves and seaways while the oceanic CCD remained elevated. Pacific guyots document major oscillations (sequences) of global sea level superimposed on this broad highstand. The Cretaceous closed with a progressive sea-level regression and lowering of the CCD that again enabled

  19. Upper Cretaceous source rocks of Northern South America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Talukdar, S.C. (DGSI, The Woodland, TX (United States)); DeToni, B. (Intevep, Los Teques (Venezuela)); Marcano, F. (Maraven, Caracas (Venezuela)); Sweeney, J. (Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)); Rangel, A. (ICP, Bucaramanga (Colombia))

    1993-02-01

    Upper Cretaceous source rocks sourced most of the oil accumulations in Trinidad, Venezuela and Colombia. Extensive areas of mature to overmature organic-rich, calcareous shales and limestones are present in basins throughout the area. Paleogeographic reconstruction shows deposition of the source rocks in open marine, outer shelf-inner slope environments on the passive margin of the Cretaceous South American continent. Deposition is primarily related to marine transgressions caused by eustatic sea level changes and to Upper Cretaceous oceanic anoxic events. Sedimentological and geochemical data show regional variations in organic facies across the huge Upper Cretaceous shelf margin. Source rocks deposited in the pelagic domain in outer shelf-slope towards north and northwest are commonly organic-rich and contain oil prone, type II kerogen with essentially marine amorphous organic matter. In this organic facies, variations in organic content were primary controlled by changes in marine organic productivity and sedimentation rate, while the kerogen quality was influenced by short-term fluctuations in the thickness of oxygen-minimum layer. Source rocks deposited in outer neritic environment, towards south and southeast are usually less organic-rich and include oil and gas prone kerogen between types II and III with both marine amorphous and terrestrial organic matter. Temporal changes in the influx of terrestrial organic matter and fluctuations in relative anoxicity controlled the kerogen quality. Hydrocarbon generation from these source rocks occurred during the Tertiary. Basin modelling quantifies oil and gas generation and expulsion from the various organic facies. Oil characteristics can be predicted by the organic facies in the effective source area.

  20. Fossil evidence for Cretaceous escalation in angiosperm leaf vein evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Feild, Taylor S.; Brodribb, Timothy J.; Iglesias, Ari; Chatelet, David S.; Baresch, Andres; Upchurch, Garland R.; Gomez, Bernard; Mohr, Barbara A. R.; Coiffard, Clement; Kvacek, Jiri; Jaramillo, Carlos

    2011-01-01

    The flowering plants that dominate modern vegetation possess leaf gas exchange potentials that far exceed those of all other living or extinct plants. The great divide in maximal ability to exchange CO2 for water between leaves of nonangiosperms and angiosperms forms the mechanistic foundation for speculation about how angiosperms drove sweeping ecological and biogeochemical change during the Cretaceous. However, there is no empirical evidence that angiosperms evolved highly photosyntheticall...

  1. The Cretaceous opening of the South Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granot, Roi; Dyment, Jérôme

    2015-03-01

    The separation of South America from Africa during the Cretaceous is poorly understood due to the long period of stable polarity of the geomagnetic field, the Cretaceous Normal Superchron (CNS, lasted between ∼121 and 83.6 Myr ago). We present a new identification of magnetic anomalies located within the southern South Atlantic magnetic quiet zones that have arisen due to past variations in the strength of the dipolar geomagnetic field. Using these anomalies, together with fracture zone locations, we calculate the first set of magnetic anomalies-based finite rotation parameters for South America and Africa during that period. The kinematic solutions are generally consistent with fracture zone traces and magnetic anomalies outside the area used to construct them. The rotations indicate that seafloor spreading rates increased steadily throughout most of the Cretaceous and decreased sharply at around 80 Myr ago. A change in plate motion took place in the middle of the superchron, roughly 100 Myr ago, around the time of the final breakup (i.e., separation of continental-oceanic boundary in the Equatorial Atlantic). Prominent misfit between the calculated synthetic flowlines (older than Anomaly Q1) and the fracture zones straddling the African Plate in the central South Atlantic could only be explained by a combination of seafloor asymmetry and internal dextral motion (America, west of the Rio Grande fracture zone. This process has lasted until ∼92 Myr ago after which both Africa and South America (south of the equator) behaved rigidly. The clearing of the continental-oceanic boundaries within the Equatorial Atlantic Gateway was probably completed by ∼95 Myr ago. The clearing was followed by a progressive widening and deepening of the passageway, leading to the emergence of north-south flow of intermediate and deep-water which might have triggered the global cooling of bottom water and the end for the Cretaceous greenhouse period.

  2. Masirah Graben, Oman: A hidden Cretaceous rift basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beauchamp, W.H. [Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States); Ries, A.C. [Ries-Coward Associates Ltd., Caversham (United Kingdom); Coward, M.P. [Imperial College, London (United Kingdom)] [and others

    1995-06-01

    Reflection seismic data, well data, geochemical data, and surface geology suggest that a Cretaceous rift basin exists beneath the thrusted allochthonous sedimentary sequence of the Masirah graben, Oman. The Masirah graben is located east of the Huqf uplift, parallel to the southern coast of Oman. The eastern side of the northeast-trending Huqf anticlinorium is bounded by an extensional fault system that is downthrown to the southeast, forming the western edge of the Masirah graben. This graben is limited to the east by a large wedge of sea floor sediments and oceanic crust, that is stacked as imbricate thrusts. These sediments/ophiolites were obducted onto the southern margin of the Arabian plate during the collision of the Indian/Afghan plates at the end of the Cretaceous. Most of the Masirah graben is covered by an allochthonous sedimentary sequence, which is complexly folded and deformed above a detachment. This complexly deformed sequence contrasts sharply with what is believed to be a rift sequence below the ophiolites. The sedimentary sequence in the Masirah graben was stable until further rifting of the Arabian Sea/Gulf of Aden in the late Tertiary, resulting in reactivation of earlier rift-associated faults. Wells drilled in the Masirah graben in the south penetrated reservoir quality rocks in the Lower Cretaceous Natih and Shuaiba carbonates. Analyses of oil extracted from Infracambrian sedimentary rocks penetrated by these wells suggest an origin from a Mesozoic source rock.

  3. Dinosaur trackways from the early Late Cretaceous of western Cameroon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jeremy E.; Menkem, Elie Fosso; Djomeni, Adrien; Fowe, Paul Gustave; Ntamak-Nida, Marie-Joseph

    2017-10-01

    Dinosaur trackways have rarely been reported in Cretaceous strata across the African continent. To the exception of ichnological occurrences in Morocco, Tunisia, Niger and Cameroon, our knowledge on the composition of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas mostly relies on skeletal evidence. For the first time, we document several dinosaur trackways from the Cretaceous of the Mamfe Basin in western Cameroon. Small and medium-size tridactyl footprints as well as numerous large circular footprints are present on a single horizon showing mudcracks and ripple marks. The age of the locality is considered Cenomanian-Turonian and if confirmed, this ichnological assemblage could be younger than the dinosaur footprints reported from northern Cameroon, and coeval with or younger than skeletal remains reported from the Saharan region. These trackways were left in an adjacent subsiding basin along the southern shore of the Benue Trough during a time of high-sea stand when the Trans-Saharan Seaway was already disconnecting West Africa from the rest of the continent. We predict that other similar track sites may be occurring along the margin of the Benue Trough and may eventually permit to test hypotheses related to provincialism among African dinosaur faunas.

  4. The bivalve Neithea from the Cretaceous of Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jesus Andrade, Edilma; Seeling, Jens; Bengtson, Peter; Souza-Lima, Wagner

    2004-09-01

    On the basis of new collections from the Sergipe and Camamu (Bahia) basins, revision of previously described material from the Pernambuco-Paraíba Basin and a reassessment of previous descriptions, five species of the pectinid bivalve Neithea are described from the Cretaceous of northeastern Brazil: N. ( N.) alpina (d'Orbigny, 1847) from the Albian of the Camamu Basin; N. ( N.) coquandi (Peron, 1877) from the Aptian-Cenomanian of the Sergipe Basin, the Albian of the Camamu Basin, broadly mid-Cretaceous beds of the Tucano Sul Basin (Bahia), and the Cenomanian of the São Luís Basin (Maranhão); N. ( N.) hispanica (d'Orbigny, 1850) from the Albian-lower Turonian of the Sergipe Basin; N. ( N.) bexarensis (Stephenson, 1941) from the Campanian of the Pernambuco-Paraíba Basin; N. ( Neithella) notabilis (Münster in Goldfuss, 1833) from the Cenomanian of the Sergipe Basin. All species show a wide geographical distribution, in sharp contrast to previous studies that have indicated a highly endemic mollusc fauna in the Cretaceous of Brazil.

  5. Fossil record of Ephedra in the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian), Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puebla, Gabriela G; Iglesias, Ari; Gómez, María A; Prámparo, Mercedes B

    2017-11-01

    Fossil plants from the Lower Cretaceous (upper Aptian) of the La Cantera Formation, Argentina, are described. The fossils studied represent a leafy shooting system with several orders of articulated and striated axes and attached leaves with unequivocal ephedroid affinity. We also found associated remains of ovulate cones with four whorls of sterile bracts, which contain two female reproductive units (FRU). Ovulate cone characters fit well within the genus Ephedra. Special characters in the ovulate cones including an outer seed envelope with two types of trichomes, allowed us to consider our remains as a new Ephedra species. Abundant dispersed ephedroid pollen obtained from the macrofossil-bearing strata also confirms the abundance of Ephedraceae in the basin. The co-occurrence of abundant fossil of Ephedra (adapted to dry habitats) associated with thermophilic cheirolepideacean conifer pollen (Classopollis) in the unit would suggest marked seasonality at the locality during the Early Cretaceous. Furthermore, the floristic association is linked to dry sensitive rocks in the entire section. The macro- and microflora from San Luis Basin are similar in composition to several Early Cretaceous floras from the Northern Gondwana floristic province, but it may represent one of the southernmost records of an arid biome in South America.

  6. Cretaceous sauropod diversity and taxonomic succession in South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jesus Faria, Caio César; Riga, Bernardo González; dos Anjos Candeiro, Carlos Roberto; da Silva Marinho, Thiago; David, Leonardo Ortiz; Simbras, Felipe Medeiros; Castanho, Roberto Barboza; Muniz, Fellipe Pereira; Gomes da Costa Pereira, Paulo Victor Luiz

    2015-08-01

    The South American sauropod dinosaurs fossil record is one of the world's most relevant for their abundance (51 taxa) and biogeographical implications. Their historical biogeography was influenced by the continental fragmentation of Gondwana. The scenery of biogeographic and stratigraphic distributions can provide new insight into the causes of the evolution of the sauropods in South America. One of the most important events of the sauropods evolution is the progressive replacement of Diplodocimorpha by the Titanosauriformes during the early Late Cretaceous. The fluctuation of the sea levels is frequently related to the diversity of sauropods, but it is necessary to take into account the geological context in each continent. During the Maastrichthian, a global sea level drop has been described; in contrast, in South America there was a significant rise in sea level (named 'Atlantic transgression') which is confirmed by sedimentary sequences and the fossil record of marine vertebrates. This process occurred during the Maastrichtian, when the hadrosaurs arrived from North America. The titanosaurs were amazingly diverse during the Late Cretaceous, both in size and morphology, but they declined prior to their final extinction in the Cretaceous/Paleocene boundary (65.5Yrs).

  7. Late Cretaceous (Maestrichtian) Calcareous Nannoplankton Biogeography with Emphasis on Events Immediately Preceding the Cretaceous/Paleocene Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-02-01

    late Campanian through early Paleocene. PaleoceanographY , 2.L., 21-47. Barrera, E., and Huber, B. T., 1990. Evolution of Antarctic waters during the...nannofossil assemblages as a response to orbital forcing. I Paleoceanography , 5S6A, 845-865. Beaufort, L. E., and Aubry, M.-P., 1992. Paleoceanographic...planktonic foraminifera from Brazos River,3 Texas. Paleoceanography , 4, 287-332. Kent, D. V., and Gradstein, F. M., 1985. A Cretaceous and Jurassic

  8. Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic exhumation history of the Malay Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    François, Thomas; Daanen, Twan; Matenco, Liviu; Willingshofer, Ernst; van der Wal, Jorien

    2015-04-01

    The evolution of Peninsular Malaysia up to the collisional period in the Triassic is well described but the evolution since the collision between Indochina and the Sukhothai Arc in Triassic times is less well described in the literature. The processes affecting Peninsular Malaysia during the Jurassic up to current day times have to explain the emplacement multiple intrusions (the Stong Complex, and the Kemahang granite), the Jurassic/Cretaceous onland basins, the Cenozoic offshore basins, and the asymmetric extension, which caused the exhumation of Taku Schists dome. The orogenic period in Permo-Triassic times, which also formed the Bentong-Raub suture zone, resulted in thickening of the continental crust of current day Peninsular Malaysia due to the collision of the Indochina continental block and the Sukhothai Arc, and is related to the subduction of oceanic crust once present between these continental blocks. The Jurassic/Cretaceous is a period of extension, resulting in the onland Jurassic/Cretaceous basins, synchronous melting of the crust, resulting in the emplacement Stong Complex and the Kemahang granite and thinning of the continental crust on the scale of the Peninsular, followed by uplift of the Peninsular. Different models can explain these observations: continental root removal, oceanic slab detachment, or slab delamination. These models all describe the melting of the lower crust due to asthenospheric upwelling, resulting in uplift and subsequent extension either due to mantle convective movements or gravitational instabilities related to uplift. The Cenozoic period is dominated by extension and rapid exhumation in the area as documented by low temperature thermocrological ages The extension in this period is most likely related to the subduction, which resumed at 45 Ma, of the Australian plate beneath the Eurasian plate after it terminated in Cretaceous times due to the collision of an Australian microcontinental fragment with the Sunda margin in the

  9. Origin of channel systems in the Upper Cretaceous chalk group of the Paris Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Esmerode, E. V.; Surlyk, Finn

    2009-01-01

    The Upper Cretaceous Chalk Group of the Anglo-Paris Basin is known to show wedging beds and channel-like features which disrupt the quietly deposited pelagic chalk that covered most of NW Europe in the Late Cretaceous. Two-D reflection seismic data from the Brie region, SE of Paris, show the pres......The Upper Cretaceous Chalk Group of the Anglo-Paris Basin is known to show wedging beds and channel-like features which disrupt the quietly deposited pelagic chalk that covered most of NW Europe in the Late Cretaceous. Two-D reflection seismic data from the Brie region, SE of Paris, show...

  10. Island life in the Cretaceous - faunal composition, biogeography, evolution, and extinction of land-living vertebrates on the Late Cretaceous European archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csiki-Sava, Zoltán; Buffetaut, Eric; Ősi, Attila; Pereda-Suberbiola, Xabier; Brusatte, Stephen L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The Late Cretaceous was a time of tremendous global change, as the final stages of the Age of Dinosaurs were shaped by climate and sea level fluctuations and witness to marked paleogeographic and faunal changes, before the end-Cretaceous bolide impact. The terrestrial fossil record of Late Cretaceous Europe is becoming increasingly better understood, based largely on intensive fieldwork over the past two decades, promising new insights into latest Cretaceous faunal evolution. We review the terrestrial Late Cretaceous record from Europe and discuss its importance for understanding the paleogeography, ecology, evolution, and extinction of land-dwelling vertebrates. We review the major Late Cretaceous faunas from Austria, Hungary, France, Spain, Portugal, and Romania, as well as more fragmentary records from elsewhere in Europe. We discuss the paleogeographic background and history of assembly of these faunas, and argue that they are comprised of an endemic ‘core’ supplemented with various immigration waves. These faunas lived on an island archipelago, and we describe how this insular setting led to ecological peculiarities such as low diversity, a preponderance of primitive taxa, and marked changes in morphology (particularly body size dwarfing). We conclude by discussing the importance of the European record in understanding the end-Cretaceous extinction and show that there is no clear evidence that dinosaurs or other groups were undergoing long-term declines in Europe prior to the bolide impact. PMID:25610343

  11. Island life in the Cretaceous - faunal composition, biogeography, evolution, and extinction of land-living vertebrates on the Late Cretaceous European archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltan Csiki-Sava

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The Late Cretaceous was a time of tremendous global change, as the final stages of the Age of Dinosaurs were shaped by climate and sea level fluctuations and witness to marked paleogeographic and faunal changes, before the end-Cretaceous bolide impact. The terrestrial fossil record of Late Cretaceous Europe is becoming increasingly better understood, based largely on intensive fieldwork over the past two decades, promising new insights into latest Cretaceous faunal evolution. We review the terrestrial Late Cretaceous record from Europe and discuss its importance for understanding the paleogeography, ecology, evolution, and extinction of land-dwelling vertebrates. We review the major Late Cretaceous faunas from Austria, Hungary, France, Spain, Portugal, and Romania, as well as more fragmentary records from elsewhere in Europe. We discuss the paleogeographic background and history of assembly of these faunas, and argue that they are comprised of an endemic ‘core’ supplemented with various immigration waves. These faunas lived on an island archipelago, and we describe how this insular setting led to ecological peculiarities such as low diversity, a preponderance of primitive taxa, and marked changes in morphology (particularly body size dwarfing. We conclude by discussing the importance of the European record in understanding the end-Cretaceous extinction and show that there is no clear evidence that dinosaurs or other groups were undergoing long-term declines in Europe prior to the bolide impact.

  12. The origin and early evolution of metatherian mammals: the Cretaceous record

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas E. Williamson

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Metatherians, which comprise marsupials and their closest fossil relatives, were one of the most dominant clades of mammals during the Cretaceous and are the most diverse clade of living mammals after Placentalia. Our understanding of this group has increased greatly over the past 20 years, with the discovery of new specimens and the application of new analytical tools. Here we provide a review of the phylogenetic relationships of metatherians with respect to other mammals, discuss the taxonomic definition and diagnosis of Metatheria, outline the Cretaceous history of major metatherian clades, describe the paleobiology, biogeography, and macroevolution of Cretaceous metatherians, and provide a physical and climatic background of Cretaceous metatherian faunas. Metatherians are a clade of boreosphendian mammals that must have originated by the Late Jurassic, but the first unequivocal metatherian fossil is from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. Metatherians have the distinctive tightly interlocking occlusal molar pattern of tribosphenic mammals, but differ from Eutheria in their dental formula and tooth replacement pattern, which may be related to the metatherian reproductive process which includes an extended period of lactation followed by birth of extremely altricial young. Metatherians were widespread over Laurasia during the Cretaceous, with members present in Asia, Europe, and North America by the early Late Cretaceous. In particular, they were taxonomically and morphologically diverse and relatively abundant in the Late Cretaceous of western North America, where they have been used to examine patterns of biogeography, macroevolution, diversification, and extinction through the Late Cretaceous and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary. Metatherian diversification patterns suggest that they were not strongly affected by a Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, but they clearly underwent a severe extinction across the K-Pg boundary.

  13. The origin and early evolution of metatherian mammals: the Cretaceous record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Thomas E; Brusatte, Stephen L; Wilson, Gregory P

    2014-01-01

    Metatherians, which comprise marsupials and their closest fossil relatives, were one of the most dominant clades of mammals during the Cretaceous and are the most diverse clade of living mammals after Placentalia. Our understanding of this group has increased greatly over the past 20 years, with the discovery of new specimens and the application of new analytical tools. Here we provide a review of the phylogenetic relationships of metatherians with respect to other mammals, discuss the taxonomic definition and diagnosis of Metatheria, outline the Cretaceous history of major metatherian clades, describe the paleobiology, biogeography, and macroevolution of Cretaceous metatherians, and provide a physical and climatic background of Cretaceous metatherian faunas. Metatherians are a clade of boreosphendian mammals that must have originated by the Late Jurassic, but the first unequivocal metatherian fossil is from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. Metatherians have the distinctive tightly interlocking occlusal molar pattern of tribosphenic mammals, but differ from Eutheria in their dental formula and tooth replacement pattern, which may be related to the metatherian reproductive process which includes an extended period of lactation followed by birth of extremely altricial young. Metatherians were widespread over Laurasia during the Cretaceous, with members present in Asia, Europe, and North America by the early Late Cretaceous. In particular, they were taxonomically and morphologically diverse and relatively abundant in the Late Cretaceous of western North America, where they have been used to examine patterns of biogeography, macroevolution, diversification, and extinction through the Late Cretaceous and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. Metatherian diversification patterns suggest that they were not strongly affected by a Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, but they clearly underwent a severe extinction across the K-Pg boundary.

  14. Rise to dominance of angiosperm pioneers in European Cretaceous environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coiffard, Clément; Gomez, Bernard; Daviero-Gomez, Véronique; Dilcher, David L

    2012-12-18

    The majority of environments are dominated by flowering plants today, but it is uncertain how this dominance originated. This increase in angiosperm diversity happened during the Cretaceous period (ca. 145-65 Ma) and led to replacement and often extinction of gymnosperms and ferns. We propose a scenario for the rise to dominance of the angiosperms from the Barremian (ca. 130 Ma) to the Campanian (ca. 84 Ma) based on the European megafossil plant record. These megafossil data demonstrate that angiosperms migrated into new environments in three phases: (i) Barremian (ca. 130-125 Ma) freshwater lake-related wetlands; (ii) Aptian-Albian (ca. 125-100 Ma) understory floodplains (excluding levees and back swamps); and (iii) Cenomanian-Campanian (ca. 100-84 Ma) natural levees, back swamps, and coastal swamps. This scenario allows for the measured evolution of angiosperms in time and space synthesizing changes in the physical environment with concomitant changes in the biological environment. This view of angiosperm radiation in three phases reconciles previous scenarios based on the North American record. The Cretaceous plant record that can be observed in Europe is exceptional in many ways. (i) Angiosperms are well preserved from the Barremian to the Maastrichtian (ca. 65 Ma). (ii) Deposits are well constrained and dated stratigraphically. (iii) They encompass a full range of environments. (iv) European paleobotany provides many detailed studies of Cretaceous floras for analysis. These factors make a robust dataset for the study of angiosperm evolution from the Barremian to the Campanian that can be traced through various ecosystems and related to other plant groups occupying the same niches.

  15. Cretaceous metamorphic core complexes in the Otago Schist, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forster, M.A.; Lister, G.S.

    2003-01-01

    The median antiformal axis of the Otago Schist, New Zealand, is marked by a zone of relatively high-grade (up to garnet-biotite-albite) greenschist facies rocks 40 Ar/ 39 Ar geochronology has been earned out in conjunction with structural analysis in regions distant from the effects of the Alpine Fault to determine the origin of this metamorphic welt. We have determined that the metamorphic welt is bounded on its northern and southern sides by multistage ductile shear zone(s) marked by intensely developed fabrics, and/or low-angle normal faults. These structures extend over a strike length of > ∼ 200 km and on the southern side of the metamorphic welt they mark the boundary between the Caples and the Torlesse terranes. The oldest such shear zone formed between 122 and 118 Ma. The metamorphic welt was exhumed beneath low-angle normal faults and ductile shear zones that formed from 112 to 109 Ma. The shear zones form the carapace to elongate domal culminations in the central Otago Schist. These geomorphological features are Cretaceous metamorphic core complexes dissected by younger Quaternary faults. Exhumation of the shear zones occurred shortly before volcanogenic sediments began to deposit on a Cretaceous unconformity. We propose that both the Cretaceous unconformity and the underlying ductile shear zones and low-angle faults are a direct result of extensional tectonism. The ductile shear zones display both 'cross-belt' and 'belt-parallel' stretching lineations. Cross-belt stretching may have been caused by rollback of the subducting Pacific slab. Belt parallel extension is interpreted to have taken place during extension associated with rifting between Australia and Antarctica, prior to breakup. Copyright (2003) Geological Society of Australia

  16. The origin and evolution of the Cretaceous Benue Trough (Nigeria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhelil, J.

    The intracontinental Benue Trough was initiated during the Lower Cretaceous in relation with the Atlantic Ocean opening. The first stage of its evolution started in the Aptian, forming isolated basins with continental sedimentation. In the Albian times, a great delta developed in the Upper Benue Trough, while the first marine transgression coming from the opening Gulf of Guinea occurred in the south and reached the Middle Benue. The widespread Turonian transgression made the Atlantic and Tethys waters communicate through the Sahara, Niger basins and the Benue Trough. The tectonic evolution of the Benue Trough was closely controlled by transcurrent faulting through an axial fault system, developing local compressional and tensional regimes and resulting in basins and basement horsts along releasing and restraining bends of the faults. Two major compressional phases occurred: in the Abakaliki area (southern Benue) during the Santonian; and at the end of the Cretaceous in the Upper Benue Trough. In Abakaliki, the sedimentary infilling was severely deformed through folding and flattening, and moderate folding and fracturing occurred in the northeast. The Cretaceous magmatism was restricted to main fault zones in most of the trough but was particularly active in the Abakaliki Trough, where it has alkaline affinities. From Albian to Santonian, the magmatism was accompanied in part of the Abakaliki Trough by a low-grade metamorphism. Geophysical data indicate a crustal thinning beneath the Benue Trough and, at a superficial level, an axial basement high flanked by two elongated deep basins including isolated sub-basins. The model of the tectonic evolution of the trough is based upon a general sinistral wrenching along the trough responsible for the structural arrangement and the geometry of the sub-basins. During the early stages of the Gulf of Guinea opening the Benue Trough was probably the expression on land of the Equatorial Fracture Zones.

  17. The uranium potential of the continental Cretaceous of Patagonia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsen, H.; Berizzo, J.

    1980-01-01

    The geological features of the fluvial sedimentation of the Cretaceous of Patagonia - the Grupo Chubut Formation in the provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz, underlined this environment as one of high favourability for discovering uranium deposits. The area has been explored by the CNEA who found two outstanding levels of fluvial sediments that are today the target of further studies to find new deposits. The general geological features are given, together with the results of the exploration up to date, distribution of radiometric anomalies, deposits discovered and an estimation of the uraniferous potential of the Formation. (author)

  18. Fossil woods from the Late Cretaceous Aachen Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meijer

    2000-11-01

    Silicified fossil woods from the Late Cretaceous (Santonian) Aachen Formation of northeast Belgium, southernmost Netherlands and adjacent Germany were investigated. Gymnosperms dominate this assemblage: Taxodioxylon gypsaceum, T. cf. gypsaceum, T. cf. albertense (all Taxodiaceae), Dammaroxylon aachenense sp. nov. (Araucariaceae), Pinuxylon sp. (Pinaceae), and Scalaroxylon sp. (Cycad or Cycadeoid). Angiosperms are minor constituents: Nyssoxylon sp. (Nyssaceae?, Cornaceae?), Mastixioxylon symplocoides sp. nov. (Mastixiaceae?, Symplocaceae?), Plataninium decipiens (Platanaceae) and Paraphyllanthoxylon cf. marylandense (Anacardiaceae?, Burseraceae?, Lauraceae?).The composition of this assemblage and the anatomy of the woods indicate a seasonal and humid warm-temperate to subtropical climate.

  19. Exhumation History Of Brasilian Highlands After Late Cretaceous Alcaline Magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doranti Tiritan, Carolina; Hackspacher, Peter Christian; Carina Siqueira Ribeiro, Marli; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Françoso de Godoy, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    The southeast Brazilian margin recorded a long history of tectonic and magmatic events after the Gondwana continent break up. The drifting of the South American Platform over a thermal anomaly generated a series of alkaline intrusions that are distributed from the interior to the coast from west to east. Several exhumation events are recorded on the region and we are providing insights on the landscape evolution of the region since Late Cretaceous, comparing low temperature thermochronology results from two alkaline intrusions regions. Poços de Caldas Alkaline Massif (PCAM), is lied in the interior, 300km from the coastline, covering over 800km2 intruding the Precambrian basement around 83Ma, nepheline syenites, phonolites and tinguaites intruded in a continuous and rapid sequence lasting between 1 to 2 Ma. São Sebastião Island (SSI) on the other hand is located at the coast, 200 km southeast of São Paulo. It is characterized by an intrusion in Precambrian/Brazilian orogen and intruded by Early Cretaceous sub-alkaline basic and acid dykes, as well as by Late Cretaceous alkaline stocks (syenites) and dykes (basanite to phonolite). Will be presenting the apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He results that shows the main difference between the areas is that PCAM region register older history then the coastal area of SSI, where thermal history starts register cooling event after the South Atlantic rifting process, while in the PCAM area register a previous history, since Carboniferous. The results are giving support to studies that indicate the development of the relief in Brazil being strongly influenced by the local and regional tectonic movements and the lithological and structural settings. The landscape at the Late Cretaceous was witness of heating process between 90 and 60Ma due the intense uplift of South American Platform. The elevation of the isotherms is associated with the mantellic plumes and the crustal thickness that caused thermal anomalies due

  20. The Late Cretaceous frog Gobiates from Central Asia: its evolutionary status and possible phylogenetic relationships

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 29, č. 4 (2008), s. 577-591 ISSN 0195-6671 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Amphibia * Anura * Gobiatidae * Cretaceous * Cretaceous (Mongolia) Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.938, year: 2008

  1. Late Turonian ophiuroids (Echinodermata) from the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Štorc, R.; Žítt, Jiří

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 83, č. 2 (2008), s. 123-140 ISSN 1214-1119 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/06/0842 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Echinodermata * Ophiuroidea * Upper Cretaceous * taxonomy * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  2. Lamellaptychi from the Lower Cretaceous of south-east Spain (Murcia and Jaen provinces)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vašíček, Zdeněk; Company, M.; Měchová, L.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 276, č. 3 (2015), s. 335-351 ISSN 0077-7749 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : Lower Cretaceous * aptychi * ammonite zonation * Betic Cordillera Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.719, year: 2015 http://cretaceous.ru/files/pub/temp3/vasicek_et_al_2015_lamellaptychi.pdf

  3. Magnetostratigraphy and biostratigraphy od Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary sections in the Vocontian Basin, France

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Schnabl, Petr; Kdýr, Šimon; Svobodová, Andrea; Reháková, D.; Čížková, Kristýna; Elbra, Tiiu; Pruner, Petr; Frau, C.; Wimbledon, W. A. P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 120 (2017), s. 237-237 ISSN 1017-8880. [International Symposium on the Cretaceous /10./. 21.08.2017-26.08.2017, Vienna] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09979S Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : magnetostratigraphy * biostratigraphy * Jurassic/Cretaceous * Vocontian Basin , France Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography

  4. Paleoenvironmental interpretation of an ancient Arctic coastal plain: Integrated paleopedology and palynology from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Prince Creek Formation, North Slope, Alaska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, P. J.; Flaig, P. P.; Fiorillo, A. R.

    2010-12-01

    The Cretaceous (Early Maastrichtian), dinosaur-bearing Prince Creek Formation, North Slope, Alaska, records high-latitude, alluvial sedimentation and soil formation on a low-lying, coastal plain during a greenhouse phase in Earth history. This study combines outcrop observations, micromorphology, geochemistry, and palynological analyses of paleosols in order to reconstruct local paleoenvironments of weakly developed, high-latitude coastal plain soils. Sediments of the Prince Creek Fm. include quartz- and chert-rich sandstone channels, and floodplains containing organic-rich siltstone and mudstone, carbonaceous shale, coal and ashfall deposits. Vertically stacked horizons of blocky-to-platy, drab-colored mudstone and siltstone with carbonaceous root-traces and mottled aggregates alternating with sandy units indicate that the development of compound and cumulative, weakly-developed soils on floodplains alternated with overbank alluviation and deposition on crevasse splay complexes on floodplains . Soil formation occurred on levees, point bars, crevasse splays and along the margins of floodplain lakes, ponds, and swamps. Soil-forming processes were interrupted by repeated deposition of sediment on top of soil profiles by flooding of nearby channels. Alluviation is evidenced by thin (coatings, and zoned peds suggest periodic waterlogging, anoxia and gleying. In contrast, Fe-oxide mottles, ferruginous and manganiferous segregations, burrows, and rare illuvial clay coatings suggest recurring oxidation and periodic drying out of some soils. Jarosite mottles and halos, and rare pyrite and gypsum found in some distal paleosols implies a marine influence at the distal margins of the coastal plain. Biota including Peridinioid dinocysts, brackish and freshwater algae, fungal hyphae, fern and moss spores, projectates, age-diagnostic Wodehouseia edmontonicola, hinterland bisaccate pollen and pollen from lowland trees, shrubs, and herbs indicate an Early Maastrichtian age for

  5. New ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous demonstrate extensive ichthyosaur survival across the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary.

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    Valentin Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosauria is a diverse clade of marine amniotes that spanned most of the Mesozoic. Until recently, most authors interpreted the fossil record as showing that three major extinction events affected this group during its history: one during the latest Triassic, one at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary (JCB, and one (resulting in total extinction at the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. The JCB was believed to eradicate most of the peculiar morphotypes found in the Late Jurassic, in favor of apparently less specialized forms in the Cretaceous. However, the record of ichthyosaurs from the Berriasian-Barremian interval is extremely limited, and the effects of the end-Jurassic extinction event on ichthyosaurs remains poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Based on new material from the Hauterivian of England and Germany and on abundant material from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, we name a new ophthalmosaurid, Acamptonectes densus gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous features with Ophthalmosaurus, a genus now restricted to the Callovian-Berriasian interval. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Ophthalmosauridae diverged early in its history into two markedly distinct clades, Ophthalmosaurinae and Platypterygiinae, both of which cross the JCB and persist to the late Albian at least. To evaluate the effect of the JCB extinction event on ichthyosaurs, we calculated cladogenesis, extinction, and survival rates for each stage of the Oxfordian-Barremian interval, under different scenarios. The extinction rate during the JCB never surpasses the background extinction rate for the Oxfordian-Barremian interval and the JCB records one of the highest survival rates of the interval. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There is currently no evidence that ichthyosaurs were affected by the JCB extinction event, in contrast to many other marine groups. Ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs remained diverse from their rapid radiation in the Middle

  6. Tectonic evolution of the Cretaceous Ankara Ophiolitic Mélange during the Late Cretaceous to pre-Miocene interval in Central Anatolia, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojay, Bora

    2013-04-01

    The chaotic tectonic belt, which is distinguished in northern Anatolia, is called the - Ankara Accretionary Complex - in the Ankara region, central Anatolia. The belt is differentiated into three imbricated tectonic subbelts, namely, pre-Triassic metamorphics, Mélange with calcareous blocks and Cretaceous mélange with ophiolitic blocks (Ankara Ophiolitic Mélange). The Ankara Ophiolitic Mélange (AOM) is a chaotic tectono-sedimentary mixture made up of detached blocks of Mesozoic ultramafic rocks, Cretaceous pillow basalts, Cretaceous radiolarites, Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous limestones and closely associated Upper Cretaceous basinal sequences. The detached and dismembered blocks lie within a highly sheared and brecciated ophiolitic detrital matrix or a block-on-block to sheared sedimentary matrix that varies along the mélange belt. Cenomanian-Turonian and Turonian-Santonian trench-linked basin deposits onlap the Cenomanian sedimentary and Cretaceous ophiolitic mélanges. The elements of the ophiolitic mélange were comixed as a result of tectonic recycling in the accretionary wedge. The belt is unconformably overlain by Campanian-Maastrichtian to Paleogene accretionary fore-arc basin deposits. The AOM developed in an accretionary wedge setting in which oceanic leading edge of the Anatolide-Tauride platform subducted toward north during the post-Barremian-pre-Campanian period. The AOM emplaced episodically and progressively as a result of in thrust tectonics with vergence ranging from SSW to SE during the post-Turonian to pre-Miocene in the Ankara terrain.

  7. Extraterrestrial cause for the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez, L.W.; Alvarez, W.; Asaro, F.; Michel, H.V.

    1980-01-01

    Platinum metals are depleted in the earth's crust relative to their cosmic abundance; concentrations of these elements in deep-sea sediments may thus indicate influxes of extraterrestrial material. Deep-sea limestones exposed in Italy, Denmark, and New Zealand show iridium increases of about 30, 160, and 20 times, respectively, above the background level at precisely the time of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinctions, 65 million years ago. Reasons are given to indicate that this iridium is of extraterrestrial origin, but did not come from a nearby supernova. A hypothesis is suggested which accounts for the extinctions and the iridium observations. Impact of a large earth-crossing asteroid would inject about 60 times the object's mass into the atmosphere as pulverized rock; a fraction of this dust would stay in the stratosphere for several years and be distributed worldwide. The resulting darkness would suppress photosynthesis, and the expected biological consequences match quite closely the extinctions observed in the paleontological record. One prediction of this hypothesis has been verified: the chemical composition of the boundary clay, which is thought to come from the stratospheric dust, is markedly different from that of clay mixed with the Cretaceous and Tertiary limestones, which are chemically similar to each other. Four different independent estimates of the diameter of the asteroid give values that lie in the range 10 +- 4 kilometers

  8. A Cretaceous origin for fire adaptations in the Cape flora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Tianhua; Lamont, Byron B; Manning, John

    2016-10-05

    Fire has had a profound effect on the evolution of worldwide biotas. The Cape Floristic Region is one of the world's most species-rich regions, yet it is highly prone to recurrent fires and fire-adapted species contribute strongly to the overall flora. It is hypothesized that the current fire regimes in the Cape could be as old as 6-8 million years (My), while indirect evidence indicates that the onset of fire could have reached 18 million years ago (Ma). Here, we trace the origin of fire-dependent traits in two monocot families that are significant elements in the fire-prone Cape flora. Our analysis shows that fire-stimulated flowering originated in the Cape Haemodoraceae 81 Ma, while fire-stimulated germination arose in the African Restionaceae at least 70 Ma, implying that wildfires have been a significant force in the evolution of the Cape flora at least 60 My earlier than previous estimates. Our results provide strong evidence for the presence of fire adaptations in the Cape from the Cretaceous, leading to the extraordinary persistence of a fire-adapted flora in this biodiversity hotspot, and giving support to the hypothesis that Cretaceous fire was a global phenomenon that shaped the evolution of terrestrial floras.

  9. Thyasirid bivalves from Cretaceous and Paleogene cold seeps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Hryniewicz

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available We present a systematic study of thyasirid bivalves from Cretaceous to Oligocene seep carbonates worldwide. Eleven species of thyasirid bivalves are identified belonging to three genera: Conchocele, Maorithyas, and Thyasira. Two species are new: Maorithyas humptulipsensis sp. nov. from middle Eocene seep carbonates in the Humptulips Formation, Washington State, USA, and Conchocele kiritachiensis sp. nov. from the late Eocene seep deposit at Kiritachi, Hokkaido, Japan. Two new combinations are provided: Conchocele townsendi (White, 1890 from Maastrichtian strata of the James Ross Basin, Antarctica, and Maorithyas folgeri (Wagner and Schilling, 1923 from Oligocene rocks from California, USA. Three species are left in open nomenclature. We show that thyasirids have Mesozoic origins and appear at seeps before appearing in “normal” marine environments. These data are interpreted as a record of seep origination of thyasirids, and their subsequent dispersal to non-seep environments. We discuss the age of origination of thyasirids in the context of the origin of the modern deep sea fauna and conclude that thyasirids could have deep sea origins. This hypothesis is supported by the observed lack of influence of the Cretaceous and Paleogene Oceanic Anoxic Events on the main evolutionary lineages of the thyasirids, as seen in several other members of the deep sea fauna.

  10. Microbial Cretaceous park: biodiversity of microbial fossils entrapped in amber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-González, Ana; Wierzchos, Jacek; Gutiérrez, Juan C; Alonso, Jesús; Ascaso, Carmen

    2009-05-01

    Microorganisms are the most ancient cells on this planet and they include key phyla for understanding cell evolution and Earth history, but, unfortunately, their microbial records are scarce. Here, we present a critical review of fossilized prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms entrapped in Cretaceous ambers (but not exclusively from this geological period) obtained from deposits worldwide. Microbiota in ambers are rather diverse and include bacteria, fungi, and protists. We comment on the most important microbial records from the last 25 years, although it is not an exhaustive bibliographic compilation. The most frequently reported eukaryotic microfossils are shells of amoebae and protists with a cell wall or a complex cortex. Likewise, diverse dormant stages (palmeloid forms, resting cysts, spores, etc.) are abundant in ambers. Besides, viral and protist pathogens have been identified inside insects entrapped in amber. The situation regarding filamentous bacteria and fungi is quite confusing because in some cases, the same record was identified consecutively as a member of these phylogenetically distant groups. To avoid these identification errors in the future, we propose to apply a more resolute microscopic and analytical method in amber studies. Also, we discuss the most recent findings about ancient DNA repair and bacterial survival in remote substrates, which support the real possibility of ancient DNA amplification and bacterial resuscitation from Cretaceous resins.

  11. Mountain building triggered late cretaceous North American megaherbivore dinosaur radiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry A Gates

    Full Text Available Prior studies of Mesozoic biodiversity document a diversity peak for dinosaur species in the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, yet have failed to provide explicit causal mechanisms. We provide evidence that a marked increase in North American dinosaur biodiversity can be attributed to dynamic orogenic episodes within the Western Interior Basin (WIB. Detailed fossil occurrences document an association between the shift from Sevier-style, latitudinally arrayed basins to smaller Laramide-style, longitudinally arrayed basins and a well substantiated decreased geographic range/increased taxonomic diversity of megaherbivorous dinosaur species. Dispersal-vicariance analysis demonstrates that the nearly identical biogeographic histories of the megaherbivorous dinosaur clades Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae are attributable to rapid diversification events within restricted basins and that isolation events are contemporaneous with known tectonic activity in the region. SymmeTREE analysis indicates that megaherbivorous dinosaur clades exhibited significant variation in diversification rates throughout the Late Cretaceous. Phylogenetic divergence estimates of fossil clades offer a new lower boundary on Laramide surficial deformation that precedes estimates based on sedimentological data alone.

  12. Mountain building triggered late cretaceous North American megaherbivore dinosaur radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates, Terry A; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Zanno, Lindsay E

    2012-01-01

    Prior studies of Mesozoic biodiversity document a diversity peak for dinosaur species in the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, yet have failed to provide explicit causal mechanisms. We provide evidence that a marked increase in North American dinosaur biodiversity can be attributed to dynamic orogenic episodes within the Western Interior Basin (WIB). Detailed fossil occurrences document an association between the shift from Sevier-style, latitudinally arrayed basins to smaller Laramide-style, longitudinally arrayed basins and a well substantiated decreased geographic range/increased taxonomic diversity of megaherbivorous dinosaur species. Dispersal-vicariance analysis demonstrates that the nearly identical biogeographic histories of the megaherbivorous dinosaur clades Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae are attributable to rapid diversification events within restricted basins and that isolation events are contemporaneous with known tectonic activity in the region. SymmeTREE analysis indicates that megaherbivorous dinosaur clades exhibited significant variation in diversification rates throughout the Late Cretaceous. Phylogenetic divergence estimates of fossil clades offer a new lower boundary on Laramide surficial deformation that precedes estimates based on sedimentological data alone.

  13. Microbial Cretaceous park: biodiversity of microbial fossils entrapped in amber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-González, Ana; Wierzchos, Jacek; Gutiérrez, Juan C.; Alonso, Jesús; Ascaso, Carmen

    2009-05-01

    Microorganisms are the most ancient cells on this planet and they include key phyla for understanding cell evolution and Earth history, but, unfortunately, their microbial records are scarce. Here, we present a critical review of fossilized prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms entrapped in Cretaceous ambers (but not exclusively from this geological period) obtained from deposits worldwide. Microbiota in ambers are rather diverse and include bacteria, fungi, and protists. We comment on the most important microbial records from the last 25 years, although it is not an exhaustive bibliographic compilation. The most frequently reported eukaryotic microfossils are shells of amoebae and protists with a cell wall or a complex cortex. Likewise, diverse dormant stages (palmeloid forms, resting cysts, spores, etc.) are abundant in ambers. Besides, viral and protist pathogens have been identified inside insects entrapped in amber. The situation regarding filamentous bacteria and fungi is quite confusing because in some cases, the same record was identified consecutively as a member of these phylogenetically distant groups. To avoid these identification errors in the future, we propose to apply a more resolute microscopic and analytical method in amber studies. Also, we discuss the most recent findings about ancient DNA repair and bacterial survival in remote substrates, which support the real possibility of ancient DNA amplification and bacterial resuscitation from Cretaceous resins.

  14. Extraterrestrial cause for the cretaceous-tertiary extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, L W; Alvarez, W; Asaro, F; Michel, H V

    1980-06-06

    Platinum metals are depleted in the earth's crust relative to their cosmic abundance; concentrations of these elements in deep-sea sediments may thus indicate influxes of extraterrestrial material. Deep-sea limestones exposed in Italy, Denmark, and New Zealand show iridium increases of about 30, 160, and 20 times, respectively, above the background level at precisely the time of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinctions, 65 million years ago. Reasons are given to indicate that this iridium is of extraterrestrial origin, but did not come from a nearby supernova. A hypothesis is suggested which accounts for the extinctions and the iridium observations. Impact of a large earth-crossing asteroid would inject about 60 times the object's mass into the atmosphere as pulverized rock; a fraction of this dust would stay in the stratosphere for several years and be distributed worldwide. The resulting darkness would suppress photosynthesis, and the expected biological consequences match quite closely the extinctions observed in the paleontological record. One prediction of this hypothesis has been verified: the chemical composition of the boundary clay, which is thought to come from the stratospheric dust, is markedly different from that of clay mixed with the Cretaceous and Tertiary limestones, which are chemically similar to each other. Four different independent estimates of the diameter of the asteroid give values that lie in the range 10 +/- 4 kilometers.

  15. Occurrences of Chert in Jurassic-Cretaceous Calciturbidites (SW Turkey)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gül, Murat

    2015-10-01

    The Lycian Nappes, containing ophiolite and sedimentary rocks sequences, crop out in the southwest Turkey. The Tavas Nappe is a part of the Lycian Nappes. It includes the Lower Jurassic-Upper Cretaceous calciturbidites. Chert occurrences were observed in the lower part of this calciturbidite. These cherts can be classified on the basis of length, internal structure and host rock. Chert bands are 3.20-35.0min length and 7.0-35.0 cm thick. Chert lenses are 5.0-175.0 cm in length and 1.0-33.0 cm thick. According to its internal structure, granular chert (bladedlarge equitant quartz minerals replaced the big calcite mineral of fossil shell) and porcelanious chert (microcrystalline silica replaced micrite) have been separated. Cherts are generally associated with calcarenite-calcirudite, the others with calcilutite. Micritic calcite patches of cherts point out an uncompleted silicification. The source of silica was dominantly quartz-rich, older, basal rocks and to a lesser extent radiolarians. The coarse-grained calciturbidites act as a way for silica transportation. Some calcite veins (formed during transportation and emplacement of nappes) cut both calciturbidites and cherts. Thus, chert occurrences evolved before emplacement of nappes (the latest Cretaceous-Late Miocene period) during the epigenetic phase.

  16. New fossil ants in French Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Nel, André; Néraudeau, Didier; Lacau, Sébastien; Guyot, Thierry

    2008-02-01

    Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.

  17. Late cretaceous aquatic plant world in Patagonia, Argentina.

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    N Rubén Cúneo

    Full Text Available In this contribution, we describe latest Cretaceous aquatic plant communities from the La Colonia Formation, Patagonia, Argentina, based on their taxonomic components and paleoecological attributes. The La Colonia Formation is a geological unit deposited during a Maastrichtian-Danian transgressive episode of the South Atlantic Ocean. This event resulted in the deposition of a series of fine-grained sediments associated with lagoon systems occurring along irregular coastal plains in northern Patagonia. These deposits preserved a diverse biota, including aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. The aquatic macrophytes can be broadly divided into two groups: free-floating and rooted, the latter with emergent or floating leaves. Free-floating macrophytes include ferns in Salviniaceae (Azolla and Paleoazolla and a monocot (Araceae. Floating microphytes include green algae (Botryoccocus, Pediastrum and Zygnemataceae. Among the rooted components, marsileaceous water ferns (including Regnellidium and an extinct form and the eudicot angiosperm Nelumbo (Nelumbonaceae are the dominant groups. Terrestrial plants occurring in the vegetation surrounding the lagoons include monocots (palms and Typhaceae, ferns with affinities to Dicksoniaceae, conifers, and dicots. A reconstruction of the aquatic plant paleocommuniy is provided based on the distribution of the fossils along a freshwater horizon within the La Colonia Formation. This contribution constitutes the first reconstruction of a Cretaceous aquatic habitat for southern South America.

  18. Cretaceous origin and repeated tertiary diversification of the redefined butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikkilä, Maria; Kaila, Lauri; Mutanen, Marko; Peña, Carlos; Wahlberg, Niklas

    2012-03-22

    Although the taxonomy of the ca 18 000 species of butterflies and skippers is well known, the family-level relationships are still debated. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the superfamilies Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea and Hedyloidea to date based on morphological and molecular data. We reconstructed their phylogenetic relationships using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. We estimated times and rates of diversification along lineages in order to reconstruct their evolutionary history. Our results suggest that the butterflies, as traditionally understood, are paraphyletic, with Papilionidae being the sister-group to Hesperioidea, Hedyloidea and all other butterflies. Hence, the families in the current three superfamilies should be placed in a single superfamily Papilionoidea. In addition, we find that Hedylidae is sister to Hesperiidae, and this novel relationship is supported by two morphological characters. The families diverged in the Early Cretaceous but diversified after the Cretaceous-Palaeogene event. The diversification of butterflies is characterized by a slow speciation rate in the lineage leading to Baronia brevicornis, a period of stasis by the skippers after divergence and a burst of diversification in the lineages leading to Nymphalidae, Riodinidae and Lycaenidae.

  19. Cretaceous Arctic magmatism: Slab vs. plume? Or slab and plume?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottlieb, E. S.; Miller, E. L.; Andronikov, A. V.; Brumley, K.; Mayer, L. A.; Mukasa, S. B.

    2010-12-01

    Tectonic models for the Cretaceous paleogeographic evolution of the Arctic Ocean and its adjacent landmasses propose that rifting in the Amerasia Basin (AB) began in Jura-Cretaceous time, accompanied by the development of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP). During the same timespan, deformation and slab-related magmatism, followed by intra-arc rifting, took place along the Pacific side of what was to become the Arctic Ocean. A compilation and comparison of the ages, characteristics and space-time variation of circum-Arctic magmatism allows for a better understanding of the role of Pacific margin versus Arctic-Atlantic plate tectonics and the role of plume-related magmatism in the origin of the Arctic Ocean. In Jura-Cretaceous time, an arc built upon older terranes overthrust the Arctic continental margins of North America and Eurasia, shedding debris into foreland basins in the Brooks Range, Alaska, across Chukotka, Russia, to the Lena Delta and New Siberian Islands region of the Russian Arctic. These syn-tectonic sediments have some common sources (e.g., ~250-300 Ma magmatic rocks) as determined by U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology. They are as young as Valanginian-Berriasian (~136 Ma, Gradstein et al., 2004) and place a lower limit on the age of formation of the AB. Subsequent intrusions of granitoid plutons, inferred to be ultimately slab-retreat related, form a belt along the far eastern Russian Arctic continental margin onto Seward Peninsula and have yielded a continuous succession of zircon U-Pb ages from ~137-95 Ma (n=28) and a younger suite ~91-82 Ma (n=16). All plutons dated were intruded in an extensional tectonic setting based on their relations to wall-rock deformation. Regional distribution of ages shows a southward migration of the locus of magmatism during Cretaceous time. Basaltic lavas as old as 130 Ma and as young as 80 Ma (40Ar/39Ar)) erupted across the Canadian Arctic Islands, Svalbard and Franz Josef Land and are associated with

  20. Mass extinction of birds at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Tokaryk, Tim; Field, Daniel J

    2011-09-13

    The effect of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) (formerly Cretaceous-Tertiary, K-T) mass extinction on avian evolution is debated, primarily because of the poor fossil record of Late Cretaceous birds. In particular, it remains unclear whether archaic birds became extinct gradually over the course of the Cretaceous or whether they remained diverse up to the end of the Cretaceous and perished in the K-Pg mass extinction. Here, we describe a diverse avifauna from the latest Maastrichtian of western North America, which provides definitive evidence for the persistence of a range of archaic birds to within 300,000 y of the K-Pg boundary. A total of 17 species are identified, including 7 species of archaic bird, representing Enantiornithes, Ichthyornithes, Hesperornithes, and an Apsaravis-like bird. None of these groups are known to survive into the Paleogene, and their persistence into the latest Maastrichtian therefore provides strong evidence for a mass extinction of archaic birds coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Most of the birds described here represent advanced ornithurines, showing that a major radiation of Ornithurae preceded the end of the Cretaceous, but none can be definitively referred to the Neornithes. This avifauna is the most diverse known from the Late Cretaceous, and although size disparity is lower than in modern birds, the assemblage includes both smaller forms and some of the largest volant birds known from the Mesozoic, emphasizing the degree to which avian diversification had proceeded by the end of the age of dinosaurs.

  1. A Ceratopsian Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Western North America, and the Biogeography of Neoceratopsia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew A Farke

    Full Text Available The fossil record for neoceratopsian (horned dinosaurs in the Lower Cretaceous of North America primarily comprises isolated teeth and postcrania of limited taxonomic resolution, hampering previous efforts to reconstruct the early evolution of this group in North America. An associated cranium and lower jaw from the Cloverly Formation (?middle-late Albian, between 104 and 109 million years old of southern Montana is designated as the holotype for Aquilops americanus gen. et sp. nov. Aquilops americanus is distinguished by several autapomorphies, including a strongly hooked rostral bone with a midline boss and an elongate and sharply pointed antorbital fossa. The skull in the only known specimen is comparatively small, measuring 84 mm between the tips of the rostral and jugal. The taxon is interpreted as a basal neoceratopsian closely related to Early Cretaceous Asian taxa, such as Liaoceratops and Auroraceratops. Biogeographically, A. americanus probably originated via a dispersal from Asia into North America; the exact route of this dispersal is ambiguous, although a Beringian rather than European route seems more likely in light of the absence of ceratopsians in the Early Cretaceous of Europe. Other amniote clades show similar biogeographic patterns, supporting an intercontinental migratory event between Asia and North America during the late Early Cretaceous. The temporal and geographic distribution of Upper Cretaceous neoceratopsians (leptoceratopsids and ceratopsoids suggests at least intermittent connections between North America and Asia through the early Late Cretaceous, likely followed by an interval of isolation and finally reconnection during the latest Cretaceous.

  2. Intracontinental deformation in southern Africa during the Late Cretaceous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Roderick; Summerfield, Michael; Gleadow, Andrew; Gallagher, Kerry; Carter, Andrew; Beucher, Romain; Wildman, Mark

    2014-12-01

    Intracontinental deformation accommodated along major lithospheric scale shear zone systems and within associated extensional basins has been well documented within West, Central and East Africa during the Late Cretaceous. The nature of this deformation has been established by studies of the tectonic architecture of sedimentary basins preserved in this part of Africa. In southern Africa, where the post break-up history has been dominated by major erosion, little evidence for post-break-up tectonics has been preserved in the onshore geology. Here we present the results of 38 new apatite fission track analyses from the Damara region of northern Namibia and integrate these new data with our previous results that were focused on specific regions or sections only to comprehensively document the thermo-tectonic history of this region since continental break-up in the Early Cretaceous. The apatite fission track ages range from 449 ± 20 Ma to 59 ± 3 Ma, with mean confined track lengths between 14.61 ± 0.1 μm (SD 0.95 μm) to 10.83 ± 0.33 μm (SD 2.84 μm). The youngest ages (c. 80-60 Ma) yield the longest mean track lengths, and combined with their spatial distribution, indicate major cooling during the latest Cretaceous. A simple numerical thermal model is used to demonstrate that this cooling is consistent with the combined effects of heating caused by magmatic underplating, related to the Paraná-Etendeka continental flood volcanism associated with rifting and the opening of the South Atlantic, and enhanced erosion caused by major reactivation of major lithospheric structures within southern Africa during a key period of plate kinematic change that occurred in the South Atlantic and SW Indian ocean basins between 87 and 56 Ma. This phase of intraplate tectonism in northern Namibia, focused in discrete structurally defined zones, is coeval with similar phases elsewhere in Africa and suggests some form of trans-continental linkage between these lithospheric zones.

  3. Evolution and palaeoenvironment of the Bauru Basin (Upper Cretaceous, Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Luiz Alberto; Magalhães Ribeiro, Claudia Maria

    2015-08-01

    The Bauru Basin was one of the great Cretaceous desert basins of the world, evolved in arid zone called Southern Hot Arid Belt. Its paleobiological record consists mainly of dinosaurs, crocodiles and turtles. The Bauru Basin is an extensive region of the South American continent that includes parts of the southeast and south of Brazil, covering an area of 370,000 km2. It is an interior continental basin that developed as a result of subsidence of the central-southern part of the South-American Platform during the Late Cretaceous (Coniacian-Maastrichtian). This sag basin is filled by a sandy siliciclastic sequence with a preserved maximum thickness of 480 m, deposited in semiarid to desert conditions. Its basement consists of volcanic rocks (mainly basalts) of the Lower Cretaceous (Hauterivian) Serra Geral basalt flows, of the Paraná-Etendeka Continental Flood Basalt Province. The sag basin was filled by an essentially siliciclastic psammitic sequence. In lithostratigraphic terms the sequence consists of the Caiuá and Bauru groups. The northern and northeastern edges of the basin provide a record of more proximal original deposits, such as associations of conglomeratic sand facies from alluvial fans, lakes, and intertwined distributary river systems. The progressive basin filling led to the burial of the basaltic substrate by extensive blanket sand sheets, associated with deposits of small dunes and small shallow lakes that retained mud (such as loess). Also in this intermediate context between the edges (more humid) and the interior (dry), wide sand sheet areas crossed by unconfined desert rivers (wadis) occurred. In the central axis of the elliptical basin a regional drainage system formed, flowing from northeast to southwest between the edges of the basin and the hot and dry inner periphery of the Caiuá desert (southwest). Life in the Bauru Basin flourished most in the areas with the greatest water availability, in which dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, fish

  4. Palynological and iridium anomalies at Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, south-central Saskatchewan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, D.J.; Jarzen, D.M.; Orth, C.J.; Oliver, P.Q.

    1986-01-01

    The Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in south-central Saskatchewan is marked by coincident anomalies in abundance of iridium and fern spores at the extinction level of a suite of Cretaceous pollen taxa. Evidence of disruption of the terrestrial flora includes the fern-spore abundance anomaly and local extinction of as much as 30 percent of angiosperm species. The reorganized earliest Tertiary flora is made up largely of surviving species that assumed new roles of dominance. Persistence of climatically sensitive taxa across the boundary indicates that if paleoclimate was altered by the terminal Cretaceous event, it returned quickly to the pre-event condition.

  5. Fascial peculiarities and prospects of petroleum resources of Cretaceous deposits of the souther Ukraine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grigor' ev, V.A.; Kamenetskii, A.E.; Palinskii, R.V.; Pavlyuk, M.I.; Plakhotnyi, L.T.

    1981-01-01

    The structure and facial characteristics of Cretaceous rocks of the southern regions of the Ukraine are examined. A scientific explanation of them is given for the prediction of traps of the non-anticinal type. By regular combination of paragenetically interrelated lithofascia in a volume of deposits of a Cretaceous system, formations reflecting the fundamental stages of the geotectonic development are classified. On the basis of complex use of historic-geological, lithological-geomechanical, and hydrogeological criteria, and a study of the conditions of formation and distribution of deposits, the prospects of oil and gas resources of the Cretaceous deposits of the region are assessed.

  6. Paleobotany of Livingston Island: The first report of a Cretaceous fossil flora from Hannah Point

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leppe, M.; Michea, W.; Muñoz, C.; Palma-Heldt, S.; Fernandoy, F.

    2007-01-01

    This is the first report of a fossil flora from Hannah Point, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The fossiliferous content of an outcrop, located between two igneous rock units of Cretaceous age are mainly composed of leaf imprints and some fossil trunks. The leaf assemblage consists of 18 taxa of Pteridophyta, Pinophyta and one angiosperm. The plant assemblage can be compared to other Early Cretaceous floras from the South Shetland Islands, but several taxa have an evidently Late Cretaceous affinity. A Coniacian-Santonian age is the most probable age for the outcrops, supported by previous K/Ar isotopic studies of the basalts over and underlying the fossiliferous sequence

  7. Alisitos Formation, calcareous facies: Early Cretaceous episode of tectonic calm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suarez-Vidal, F.

    1986-07-01

    The Alisitos Formation (Aptian-Albian), shaped as a marine volcanic arc, crops out along the western side of the peninsula of Baja California bounding the Peninsular Range batholith. Lithologically, this formation is formed by volcanic-breccias, porphyritic flows, biohermal limestones, and tuffaceous and pyroclastic sediments. The distribution of the different facies depends on the nature of volcanism and the distance from a volcanic center, although the presence of massive biohermal limestone indicates that in the Early Cretaceous (during the tectonic episodes), the volcanic activity decreased to the level that the environmental conditions were favorable for the development of an organic reef barrier, behind an island arc. Such conditions existed south of the Agua Blanca fault and extended to El Arco, Baja California. Based upon field observations and petrological analysis of the Alisitos limestone, an attempt is made to recreate the environmental condition in the Punta China and San Fernando, Baja California, sites.

  8. Cretaceous extinctions - Evidence for wildfires and search for meteoritic material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolbach, W. S.; Lewis, R. S.; Anders, E.

    1985-01-01

    The results of analyses of the contents of deposits in the Cretaceous-Ternary (K-T) transition at three sites worldwide are discussed. The study was undertaken to examine the composition of the object which may have struck the earth, causing widespread biotic extinction. The data indicate that most of the parent body was destroyed on impact, a condition which would also hold true for comets, suggesting that comets were not a source of prebiotic life. A four-orders-of-magnitude excess of carbon in the K-T layer is considered in terms of its source, which is suspected to be deposits from wildfires. The consequent extinctions of species are regarded as possibly making the current nuclear winter scenarios too optimistic.

  9. A new Cretaceous Metatherian mammal from Henan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shundong Bi

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available We report a new deltatheroidan mammal from the Upper Cretaceous of Henna, China. The new taxon, Lotheridium mengi, is based on a nearly complete skull and associated lower jaws with full adult dentition. Deltatheroidans are known mostly from fragmentary specimens from Asia and North America. Previous views on deltatheroidan relationships were diverse, but recent studies favored their metatherian affinity. The new specimen represents the most complete skull known for deltatheroidans and provides additional evidence that deltatheroidans already had the distinctive metatherian dental formula and replacement pattern and several other derived metatherian features, supporting the metatherian status for this clade. The new species also indicates that deltatheroidan mammals were more diverse and had broader geographical distributions than previously thought.

  10. parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñalver, Enrique; Arillo, Antonio; Delclòs, Xavier; Peris, David; Grimaldi, David A; Anderson, Scott R; Nascimbene, Paul C; Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo

    2017-12-12

    Ticks are currently among the most prevalent blood-feeding ectoparasites, but their feeding habits and hosts in deep time have long remained speculative. Here, we report direct and indirect evidence in 99 million-year-old Cretaceous amber showing that hard ticks and ticks of the extinct new family Deinocrotonidae fed on blood from feathered dinosaurs, non-avialan or avialan excluding crown-group birds. A †Cornupalpatum burmanicum hard tick is entangled in a pennaceous feather. Two deinocrotonids described as †Deinocroton draculi gen. et sp. nov. have specialised setae from dermestid beetle larvae (hastisetae) attached to their bodies, likely indicating cohabitation in a feathered dinosaur nest. A third conspecific specimen is blood-engorged, its anatomical features suggesting that deinocrotonids fed rapidly to engorgement and had multiple gonotrophic cycles. These findings provide insight into early tick evolution and ecology, and shed light on poorly known arthropod-vertebrate interactions and potential disease transmission during the Mesozoic.

  11. Theory of chaotic orbital variations confirmed by Cretaceous geological evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Chao; Meyers, Stephen R.; Sageman, Bradley B.

    2017-02-01

    Variations in the Earth’s orbit and spin vector are a primary control on insolation and climate; their recognition in the geological record has revolutionized our understanding of palaeoclimate dynamics, and has catalysed improvements in the accuracy and precision of the geological timescale. Yet the secular evolution of the planetary orbits beyond 50 million years ago remains highly uncertain, and the chaotic dynamical nature of the Solar System predicted by theoretical models has yet to be rigorously confirmed by well constrained (radioisotopically calibrated and anchored) geological data. Here we present geological evidence for a chaotic resonance transition associated with interactions between the orbits of Mars and the Earth, using an integrated radioisotopic and astronomical timescale from the Cretaceous Western Interior Basin of what is now North America. This analysis confirms the predicted chaotic dynamical behaviour of the Solar System, and provides a constraint for refining numerical solutions for insolation, which will enable a more precise and accurate geological timescale to be produced.

  12. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Oki Wong

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Archaeamphora longicervia H.Q.Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1 an innermost larval chamber with a distinctive outer wall; (2 an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3 an outermost zone of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the formerly reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G.Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  13. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, William Oki; Dilcher, David Leonard; Labandeira, Conrad C; Sun, Ge; Fleischmann, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Archaeamphora longicervia H. Q. Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1) an innermost larval chamber; (2) an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3) an outermost wall of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the previously reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G. Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  14. Fire-adapted Gondwanan Angiosperm floras evolved in the Cretaceous

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamont Byron B

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fires have been widespread over the last 250 million years, peaking 60−125 million years ago (Ma, and might therefore have played a key role in the evolution of Angiosperms. Yet it is commonly believed that fireprone communities existed only after the global climate became more arid and seasonal 15 Ma. Recent molecular-based studies point to much earlier origins of fireprone Angiosperm floras in Australia and South Africa (to 60 Ma, Paleocene but even these were constrained by the ages of the clades examined. Results Using a molecular-dated phylogeny for the great Gondwanan family Proteaceae, with a 113-million-year evolutionary history, we show that the ancestors of many of its characteristic sclerophyll genera, such as Protea, Conospermum, Leucadendron, Petrophile, Adenanthos and Leucospermum (all subfamily Proteoideae, occurred in fireprone habitats from 88 Ma (83−94, 95% HPD, Mid-Upper Cretaceous. This coincided with the highest atmospheric oxygen (combustibility levels experienced over the past 150 million years. Migration from non-fireprone (essentially rainforest-climate-type environments was accompanied by the evolution of highly speciose clades with a range of seed storage traits and fire-cued seed release or germination mechanisms that was diagnostic for each clade by 71 Ma, though the ant-dispersed lineage (as a soil seed-storage subclade was delayed until 45 Ma. Conclusions Focusing on the widespread 113-million-year-old family Proteaceae, fireproneness among Gondwanan Angiosperm floras can now be traced back almost 90 million years into the fiery Cretaceous. The associated evolution of on-plant (serotiny and soil seed storage, and later ant dispersal, affirms them as ancient adaptations to fire among flowering plants.

  15. Upper Cretaceous source rocks of northern and northwestern South America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Talukdar, S.; Gallango, O.; Cassani, F.; Vallejos, C.

    1989-03-01

    Organic carbon-rich, laminated, calcareous shales and limestones of Cenomanian to Campanian age are widespread in the polyhistory basins of Venezuela, Colombia, and Trinidad and are identified as the most important oil-generating source rocks in these basins. Available data on sedimentological, geochemical, and organic petrographic characteristics demonstrate that these source rocks are characterized by predominantly marine organic matter deposited in anoxic to near-anoxic marine environments. Marine transgressions due to eustatic sea level rise, with consequent flooding of available shelves of the northern and northwestern passive margin of the Cretaceous South American continent and resulting upwelling conditions, appears to be the key geologic control for the deposition of these laterally extensive source rocks. Significant vertical variations in geochemical properties are observed. These variations were caused by temporal changes in the influx of terrestrial organic matter and/or alternations of relatively oxic and anoxic conditions. Regional variations in organic carbon content, organic matter type, and oil potential broadly reflect the paleogeographic setting of the Cretaceous continental margin. The regionally extensive oil-prone source rocks became largely mature for hydrocarbon generation during the Tertiary, consequent to the development of the individual polyhistory basins. Rock-Eval pyrolysis data from several samples and results from hydrous pyrolysis experiments on some selected immature samples from the Venezuelan basins are used to define the oil-generating capacity, and kinetic parameters obtained from Rock-Eval experiments on the same samples are considered to outline the oil generation under the geological heating rates encountered in the sedimentary basins.

  16. The semi-aquatic pondweed bugs of a Cretaceous swamp

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Sánchez-García

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Pondweed bugs (Hemiptera: Mesoveliidae, considered a sister group to all other Gerromorpha, are exceedingly rare as fossils. Therefore, each new discovery of a fossil mesoveliid is of high interest, giving new insight into their early evolutionary history and diversity and enabling the testing of their proposed relationships. Here, we report the discovery of new mesoveliid material from Spanish Lower Cretaceous (Albian amber, which is the first such find in Spanish amber. To date, fossil records of this family only include one species from French Kimmeridgian as compression fossils, two species in French amber (Albian-Cenomanian boundary, and one in Dominican amber (Miocene. The discovery of two males and one female described and figured as Glaesivelia pulcherrima Sánchez-García & Solórzano Kraemer gen. et sp. n., and a single female described and figured as Iberovelia quisquilia Sánchez-García & Nel, gen. et sp. n., reveals novel combinations of traits related to some genera currently in the subfamily Mesoveliinae. Brief comments about challenges facing the study of fossil mesoveliids are provided, showing the necessity for a revision of the existing phylogenetic hypotheses. Some of the specimens were studied using infrared microscopy, a promising alternative to the systematic study of organisms preserved in amber that cannot be clearly visualised. The new taxa significantly expand the fossil record of the family and shed new light on its palaeoecology. The fossils indicate that Mesoveliidae were certainly diverse by the Cretaceous and that numerous tiny cryptic species living in humid terrestrial to marginal aquatic habitats remain to be discovered. Furthermore, the finding of several specimens as syninclusions suggests aggregative behaviour, thereby representing the earliest documented evidence of such ethology.

  17. A critical transition in leaf evolution facilitated the Cretaceous angiosperm revolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, H.J. de; Eppinga, M.B.; Wassen, M.J.; Dekker, S.C.

    2012-01-01

    The revolutionary rise of broad-leaved (flowering) angiosperm plant species during the Cretaceous initiated a global ecological transformation towards modern biodiversity. Still, the mechanisms involved in this angiosperm radiation remain enigmatic. Here we show that the period of rapid

  18. A Complete Skull of an Early Cretaceous Sauropod and the Evolution of Advanced Titanosaurians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaher, Hussam; Pol, Diego; Carvalho, Alberto B.; Nascimento, Paulo M.; Riccomini, Claudio; Larson, Peter; Juarez-Valieri, Rubén; Pires-Domingues, Ricardo; da Silva, Nelson Jorge; de Almeida Campos, Diógenes

    2011-01-01

    Advanced titanosaurian sauropods, such as nemegtosaurids and saltasaurids, were diverse and one of the most important groups of herbivores in the terrestrial biotas of the Late Cretaceous. However, little is known about their rise and diversification prior to the Late Cretaceous. Furthermore, the evolution of their highly-modified skull anatomy has been largely hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved cranial remains. A new sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil represents the earliest advanced titanosaurian known to date, demonstrating that the initial diversification of advanced titanosaurians was well under way at least 30 million years before their known radiation in the latest Cretaceous. The new taxon also preserves the most complete skull among titanosaurians, further revealing that their low and elongated diplodocid-like skull morphology appeared much earlier than previously thought. PMID:21326881

  19. A complete skull of an early cretaceous sauropod and the evolution of advanced titanosaurians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussam Zaher

    Full Text Available Advanced titanosaurian sauropods, such as nemegtosaurids and saltasaurids, were diverse and one of the most important groups of herbivores in the terrestrial biotas of the Late Cretaceous. However, little is known about their rise and diversification prior to the Late Cretaceous. Furthermore, the evolution of their highly-modified skull anatomy has been largely hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved cranial remains. A new sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil represents the earliest advanced titanosaurian known to date, demonstrating that the initial diversification of advanced titanosaurians was well under way at least 30 million years before their known radiation in the latest Cretaceous. The new taxon also preserves the most complete skull among titanosaurians, further revealing that their low and elongated diplodocid-like skull morphology appeared much earlier than previously thought.

  20. Genetic stratigraphy of Coniacian deltaic deposits of the northwestern part of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nádaskay, R.; Uličný, David

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 165, č. 4 (2014), s. 547-575 ISSN 1860-1804 Institutional support: RVO:67985530 Keywords : genetic stratigraphy * well log * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.569, year: 2014

  1. Carbonate deposition and salt diapirism during the Cretaceous in the Persian Gulf, offshore Iran

    OpenAIRE

    U. P. Baaske; M. Mutti; F. Baioni; R. Buonaguro; G. Bertozzi; M. A. Naini; C. M. Krawczyk; P. Kukla; R. Littke; H. Stollhofen; D. Schwarzer;  

    2004-01-01

    The Cretaceous deposits in the Persian Gulf area are part of one of the largest hydrocarbon systems in the world. The stratigraphic evolution of the northern part of the Gulf is, however, poorly constrained. Seismic data from offshore Iran reveal that the shallow water deposition is marked by topographic features like the NNE-SSW trending Qatar-Fars-Arch and salt-related structures (diapirs and salt walls) of smaller scale. These structures were active during the Cretaceous. To examine the ef...

  2. The first reported ceratopsid dinosaur from eastern North America (Owl Creek Formation, Upper Cretaceous, Mississippi, USA)

    OpenAIRE

    Farke, Andrew A.; Phillips, George E.

    2017-01-01

    Ceratopsids (“horned dinosaurs”) are known from western North America and Asia, a distribution reflecting an inferred subaerial link between the two landmasses during the Late Cretaceous. However, this clade was previously unknown from eastern North America, presumably due to limited outcrop of the appropriate age and depositional environment as well as the separation of eastern and western North America by the Western Interior Seaway during much of the Late Cretaceous. A dentary tooth from t...

  3. Isolated pliosaurid teeth from the Albian-Cenomanian (Cretaceous) of Annopol, Poland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madzia, Daniel; Machalski, Marcin

    2017-09-01

    Brachauchenine pliosaurids were a cosmopolitan clade of macropredatory plesiosaurs that are considered to represent the only pliosaurid lineage that survived the faunal turnover of marine amniotes during the Jurassic- Cretaceous transition. However, the European record of the Early to early Late Cretaceous brachauchenines is largely limited to isolated tooth crowns, most of which have been attributed to the classic Cretaceous taxon Polyptychodon. Nevertheless, the original material of P. interruptus, the type species of Polyptychodon, was recently reappraised and found undiagnostic. Here, we describe a collection of twelve pliosaurid teeth from the upper Albian-middle Cenomanian interval of the condensed, phosphorite-bearing Cretaceous succession at Annopol, Poland. Eleven of the studied tooth crowns, from the Albian and Cenomanian strata, fall within the range of the morphological variability observed in the original material of P. interruptus from the Cretaceous of England. One tooth crown from the middle Cenomanian is characterized by a gently subtrihedral cross-section. Similar morphology has so far been described only for pliosaurid teeth from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. Even though it remains impossible to precisely settle the taxonomic distinctions, the studied material is considered to be taxonomically heterogeneous.

  4. Highly specialized mammalian skulls from the Late Cretaceous of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougier, Guillermo W; Apesteguía, Sebastián; Gaetano, Leandro C

    2011-11-02

    Dryolestoids are an extinct mammalian group belonging to the lineage leading to modern marsupials and placentals. Dryolestoids are known by teeth and jaws from the Jurassic period of North America and Europe, but they thrived in South America up to the end of the Mesozoic era and survived to the beginnings of the Cenozoic. Isolated teeth and jaws from the latest Cretaceous of South America provide mounting evidence that, at least in western Gondwana, dryolestoids developed into strongly endemic groups by the Late Cretaceous. However, the lack of pre-Late Cretaceous dryolestoid remains made study of their origin and early diversification intractable. Here we describe the first mammalian remains from the early Late Cretaceous of South America, including two partial skulls and jaws of a derived dryolestoid showing dental and cranial features unknown among any other group of Mesozoic mammals, such as single-rooted molars preceded by double-rooted premolars, combined with a very long muzzle, exceedingly long canines and evidence of highly specialized masticatory musculature. On one hand, the new mammal shares derived features of dryolestoids with forms from the Jurassic of Laurasia, whereas on the other hand, it is very specialized and highlights the endemic, diverse dryolestoid fauna from the Cretaceous of South America. Our specimens include only the second mammalian skull known for the Cretaceous of Gondwana, bridging a previous 60-million-year gap in the fossil record, and document the whole cranial morphology of a dryolestoid, revealing an unsuspected morphological and ecological diversity for non-tribosphenic mammals.

  5. The Cretaceous and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahirovic, S.; Seton, M.; Müller, R. D.

    2014-04-01

    Tectonic reconstructions of Southeast Asia have given rise to numerous controversies that include the accretionary history of Sundaland and the enigmatic tectonic origin of the proto-South China Sea. We assimilate a diversity of geological and geophysical observations into a new regional plate model, coupled to a global model, to address these debates. Our approach takes into account terrane suturing and accretion histories, the location of subducted slabs imaged in mantle tomography in order to constrain the evolution of regional subduction zones, as well as plausible absolute and relative plate velocities and tectonic driving mechanisms. We propose a scenario of rifting from northern Gondwana in the latest Jurassic, driven by northward slab pull from north-dipping subduction of Tethyan crust beneath Eurasia, to detach East Java, Mangkalihat, southeast Borneo and West Sulawesi blocks that collided with a Tethyan intra-oceanic subduction zone in the mid-Cretaceous and subsequently accreted to the Sunda margin (i.e., southwest Borneo core) in the Late Cretaceous. In accounting for the evolution of plate boundaries, we propose that the Philippine Sea plate originated on the periphery of Tethyan crust forming this northward conveyor. We implement a revised model for the Tethyan intra-oceanic subduction zones to reconcile convergence rates, changes in volcanism and the obduction of ophiolites. In our model the northward margin of Greater India collides with the Kohistan-Ladakh intra-oceanic arc at ∼53 Ma, followed by continent-continent collision closing the Shyok and Indus-Tsangpo suture zones between ∼42 and 34 Ma. We also account for the back-arc opening of the proto-South China Sea from ∼65 Ma, consistent with extension along east Asia and the formation of supra-subduction zone ophiolites presently found on the island of Mindoro. The related rifting likely detached the Semitau continental fragment from South China, which accreted to northern Borneo in the mid

  6. 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Late Cretaceous

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaylor, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    As part of the wider European GTS Next project, I propose new constraints on the ages of the Late Cretaceous, derived from a multitude of geochronological techniques, and successful stratigraphic interpretations from Canada and Japan. In the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, we propose a new constraint on the age of the K/Pg boundary in the Red Deer River section (Alberta, Canada). We were able to cyclo-stratigraphically tune sediments in a non-marine, fluvial environment utilising high-resolution proxy records suggesting a 11-12 precession related cyclicity. Assuming the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar method is inter-calibrated with the cyclo-stratigraphy, the apparent age for C29r suggests that the K/Pg boundary falls between eccentricity maxima and minima, yielding an age of the C29r between 65.89 ± 0.08 and 66.30 ± 0.08 Ma. Assuming that the bundle containing the coal horizon represents a precession cycle, the K/Pg boundary is within the analytical uncertainty of the youngest zircon population achieving a revised age for the K/Pg boundary as 65.75 ± 0.06 Ma. The Campanian - Maastrichtian boundary is preserved in the sedimentary succession of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation and has been placed 8 m below Coal nr. 10. Cyclo-stratigraphic studies show that the formation of these depositional sequences (alternations) of all scales are influenced directly by sea-level changes due to precession but more dominated by eccentricity cycles proved in the cyclo-stratigraphic framework and is mainly controlled by sand horizons, which have been related by auto-cyclicity in a dynamic sedimentary setting. Our work shows that the Campanian - Maastrichtian boundary in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin coincides with 2.5 eccentricity cycles above the youngest zircon age population at the bottom of the section and 4.9 Myr before the Cretaceous - Palaeogene boundary (K/Pg), and thus corresponds to an absolute age of 70.65 ± 0.09 Ma producing an 1.4 Myr younger age than recent published ages

  7. Nodding Syndrome: challenges for a bizarre condition

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2011-02-01

    Feb 1, 2011 ... Nodding syndrome in Kediba County, Western Equatoria State in 2010 Southern. Sudan Medical Journal 2011; 4 (1):3-6. Sejvar J, Foltz J, Dowell S. Nodding disease in Uganda – new clues, persistent. 2. enigma. Scientific Seminar Series Presentation, CDC, 2010. Winkler AS, Friedrich K, König R, Meindl ...

  8. Granitoid, upper Cretaceous, contamination, Lut block, Kaje, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Najafi

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Granitoid rocks of Kaje area, northwest Ferdows, with the composition of diorite, monzodiorite, monzonite, monzogranite, syenogranite and granite, with calk-alkaline and high potassium affinities, have trace and rare earth element geochemical characteristics similar to those from subduction zones, belonging to I-type granitoid rocks. Most of these rocks are oxidized (magnetite series, while one suite is reduced (ilmenite series showing S-type characteristics. Three samples of granitoid rocks were dated using zircon U-Pb method. Granitoid rocks belong to upper Cretaceous epoch. A granite porphyry with the age of 84.2±1.3 Ma (Santonian stage is the oldest body followed by a biotite hornblende monzogranite of 70.8±1.4 Ma (Campanian stage and the youngest body is a hornblende quartz diorite with the age of 67.9±1 Ma (Maastrichtian stage. Initial 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd ratios as well as єNdi for the granite porphyry are 0.708080, 0.512129 and -7.81, respectively. Those ratios for the biotite hornblende monzogranite are 0.706125, 0.512416 and -2.55, respectively; and for the hornblende quartz diorite are 0.707491, 0.512221 and -6.43, respectively. Based on geochemical and isotopic data, three types of granitoid can be distinguished having three different sources and characteristics. The first and oldest one is the granite porphyry of continental crust source, the second one is the monzonite and monzodiorite and the third group is the diorite of mantle source which originated and emplaced in different depths with various rates of contamination. These rocks have higher (87Sr/86Sri values compared with the other upper Cretaceous rocks in Bazman and Gazu areas, and lower (87Sr/86Sri values in comparison with the Bejestan rocks. Petrochemistry of the granite group is similar to the Bejestan rocks, but these are 10 m.y. younger and the other two groups have similar geochemistry and source to Bazman and Gazu with more contamination by the crust.

  9. Triuridaceae fossil flowers from the Upper Cretaceous of New Jersey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandolfo, María A; Nixon, Kevin C; Crepet, William L

    2002-12-01

    We report here on a series of fossil flowers exhibiting a mosaic of characters present in the extant monocot family Triuridaceae. Phylogenetic analyses of morphological data from a broad sample of extant monocots confirm the affinities of the fossils with modern Triuridaceae. The fossil flowers were collected from outcrops of the Raritan Formation (Upper Cretaceous, ∼90 million years before present), New Jersey, USA. These are the oldest known unequivocal monocot flowers. Because other reports of "earliest" monocots are all based on equivocal character suites and/or ambiguously preserved fossil material, the Triuridaceae fossils reported here should also be considered as the oldest unequivocal fossil monocots. Flowers are minute and unisexual (only male flowers are known); the perianth is composed of six tepals, lacking stomata. The unicyclic androecium is of three stamens with dithecal, monosporangiate, extrorse anthers that open by longitudinal slits. The endothecium has U-shaped type thickenings. Pollen grains are monosulcate. The triurid fossil flowers can be separated into three distinctive species. On the basis of phylogenetic analyses of morphological characters, the fossil taxa nest within the completely saprophytic achlorophyllous Triuridaceae supporting the interpretation that the extinct plants were also achlorophyllous and saprophytic. If so, this represents the earliest known fossil occurrence of the saprophytic/mycotrophic habit in angiosperms.

  10. Late Cretaceous alkaline complexes, southeastern Brazil: Paleomagnetism and geochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes-Lauar, C. R.; Pacca, I. G.; Melfi, A. J.; Kawashita, K.

    1995-09-01

    Late Cretaceous alkaline rocks from Poços de Caldas, Itatiaia, Passa Quatro and São Sebastião Island were studied with the main purpose of improving the South American apparent polar wander path (APWP). Rb sbnd Sr age determinations for Passa Quatro and alkaline stocks from São Sebastião Island are around 70 and 81 Ma respectively. The magnetic carriers in the rocks studied were maghemite and highly oxidized titanomagnetites. The paleomagnetic poles obtained in this work are 320.1°E, 83.2°S ( N = 47, A95 = 2.7°, KSC = 2609.8) for Poços de Caldas, 360.0°E, 79.5°S ( N = 18, A95 = 5.7°, KSC = 607.4) for Passa Quatro and Itatiaia, and 331.9°E, 79.4°S ( N = 18, A95 = 4.9°, KSC = 862.4) for São Sebastião Island (the ISLAND set).

  11. Mid-Cretaceous phosphate platforms of the Russian Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilyin, Andrei V.

    1997-10-01

    The Mid-Cretaceous epicontinental sea covered the central part of the Russian Craton (RC). It was differentiated into a series of syn-sedimentary highs and lows. The highs are called phosphate platforms. They are confined to inherited tectonic uplifts where Precambrian basement is very shallowly buried and earlier Mesozoic and Palaeozoic sediments are thin or wedged out altogether. Cenomanian sediments on the highs represent condensed sequences and contain abundant hiatuses. They are crowned by an extensive phosphorite pavement, 30-50 cm thick, which is a multi-layered phosphorite hardground, built of phosphorite nodules firmly cemented by a phosphate matrix. The nodules consist of phosphatized radiolarians, diatoms and hexactinellid sponges. Analyses show no carbonate in excess of what is substituted for PO 3-4 in the francolite structure, nor is the enclosing sediment carbonate-bearing. Thus the Cenomanian phosphorites of the RC differ from those of the Anglo-Paris basin. During the Cenomanian, sea-level rose little because eustatic rise was compensated for by continued epirogenic uplift of the area. This delicate balance was abruptly broken by a major rise of sea-level which happened around the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (CTB) and led to the drowning of the phosphate platforms and deposition of the chalk.

  12. Sedimentological evolution of the Cretaceous carbonate platform of Chiapas (Mexico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cros, Pierre; Michaud, François; Fourcade, Eric; Fleury, Jean-Jacques

    1998-07-01

    The Cretaceous epicontinental carbonate platform of Chiapas (south-east of Mexico) extends along a 200 km NW-SE narrow strip, north of the Sierra Madre basement, from Ocozocoautla to Comitan. In the western and central domain, three stratigraphic sections of the Sierra Madre Formation (late Aptian to early Senonian) display well exposed facies sequences enabling broad facies correlations about: (1) The successive transgressive-regressive stages, (2) the different subsidence rates controlling the outer to inner platform environmental evolution, (3) the conditions of tectonically controlled partial platform drowning during Campanian-Maastrichtian. Three other sections through the eastern Maastrichtian carbonate platform area record the changes from limestone to dolomite during the Angostura Maastrichtian platform stage. This evolution of thickness and facies in the occidental domain of Piedra Parada and in the central domain of Guadalupe Victoria and Julian Grajales illustrates the settlement process of the carbonate platform and the general decreasing of the thickness of the Sierra Madre Formation from west to east. The eastern platform domain (Comitan) crops out extensively and enables new correlations along a south-north transect. The Sierra Madre Formation and Angostura Formation documents continuous carbonate platform sedimentation with foraminifers, rudists and dasycladacean algae during Campanian and Maastrichtian. These sections permit palaeogeographical comparisons of depositional conditions of the Mexican margin of the Maya block.

  13. Cretaceous choristoderan reptiles gave birth to live young

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Qiang; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Cheng, Yen-Nien

    2010-04-01

    Viviparity (giving birth to live young) in fossil reptiles has been known only in a few marine groups: ichthyosaurs, pachypleurosaurs, and mosasaurs. Here, we report a pregnant specimen of the Early Cretaceous Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis, a species of Choristodera, a diapsid group known from unequivocal fossil remains from the Middle Jurassic to the early Miocene (about 165 to 20 million years ago). This specimen provides the first evidence of viviparity in choristoderan reptiles and is also the sole record of viviparity in fossil reptiles which lived in freshwater ecosystems. This exquisitely preserved specimen contains up to 18 embryos arranged in pairs. Size comparison with small free-living individuals and the straight posture of the posterior-most pair suggest that those embryos were at term and had probably reached parturition. The posterior-most embryo on the left side has the head positioned toward the rear, contrary to normal position, suggesting a complication that may have contributed to the mother’s death. Viviparity would certainly have freed species of Hyphalosaurus from the need to return to land to deposit eggs; taking this advantage, they would have avoided intense competition with contemporaneous terrestrial carnivores such as dinosaurs.

  14. Cretaceous origin and repeated tertiary diversification of the redefined butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikkilä, Maria; Kaila, Lauri; Mutanen, Marko; Peña, Carlos; Wahlberg, Niklas

    2012-01-01

    Although the taxonomy of the ca 18 000 species of butterflies and skippers is well known, the family-level relationships are still debated. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the superfamilies Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea and Hedyloidea to date based on morphological and molecular data. We reconstructed their phylogenetic relationships using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. We estimated times and rates of diversification along lineages in order to reconstruct their evolutionary history. Our results suggest that the butterflies, as traditionally understood, are paraphyletic, with Papilionidae being the sister-group to Hesperioidea, Hedyloidea and all other butterflies. Hence, the families in the current three superfamilies should be placed in a single superfamily Papilionoidea. In addition, we find that Hedylidae is sister to Hesperiidae, and this novel relationship is supported by two morphological characters. The families diverged in the Early Cretaceous but diversified after the Cretaceous–Palaeogene event. The diversification of butterflies is characterized by a slow speciation rate in the lineage leading to Baronia brevicornis, a period of stasis by the skippers after divergence and a burst of diversification in the lineages leading to Nymphalidae, Riodinidae and Lycaenidae. PMID:21920981

  15. Turkana Grits - a Cretaceous braided alluvial system in northern Kenya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Handford, C.R.

    1987-05-01

    Rather spotty but excellent exposures of the Cretaceous-age Turkana Grits occur near the western shore of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya. These very coarse to pebbly arkosic sandstones and sandy conglomerates were derived from and rest unconformably upon Precambrian metamorphic basement; they are overlain by late Tertiary basaltic flows that comprise much of the volcanics in the East African Rift Zone. The formation ranges up to 2000 ft thick in the Laburr Range. Several outcrops contain sauropod, crocodile, and tortoise remains as well as abundant trunks of petrified wood (Dryoxylon). Five major facies make up the Turkana Grits and record a major episode of continental fluvial deposition in basins flanked by Precambrian basement. Facies 1 is crudely stratified, cobble and boulder conglomerate (clast-supported); Facies 2 is crudely stratified pebble-cobble conglomerate and pebbly sandstone; Facies 3 is trough cross-bedded, very coarse sandstones containing fossils wood and vertebrate remains; Facies 4 is crudely stratified to massive sandstones with ironstone nodules; and Facies 5 is red, purple, and gray mudstone and mud shale with carbonate nodules. Facies 1 through 3 record deposition in proximal to medial braided-stream channel, longitudinal bar and dune complexes. Facies 4 is a lowland, hydromorphic paleosol, and Facies 5 represents overbank and abandoned channel-fill sedimentation in an alluvial plain.

  16. Seawater strontium isotopes at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdougall, J. D.; Martin, E.

    1988-01-01

    Anomalously high values of Seawater Sr-87/Sr-86 near the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary have been reported. However, few of the data from the literature are from a single continuous section, and perhaps the most complete study of the boundary region, from a shallow marine limestone sequence in Alabama, showed elevated Sr-87/Sr-86 but no pronounced spike. Thus, in order to investigate the cause of the change in strontium isotopic composition, it is important to determine the exact nature and magnitude of the increase by studying in detail continuous sections through the boundary. If there is indeed a Sr isotope spike at the K-T boundary, it requires the addition of a large amount of radiogenic Sr to the oceans over a short time period, a phenomenon that may be linked to other large-scale environmental disturbances which occurred at that time. In order to address this question, a high-resolution strontium isotope study of foraminifera from three Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) cores which recovered the K-T boundary section: Site 356 in the South Atlantic, Site 384 in the North Atlantic and Site 577 from the Shatsky Rise in the Pacific was initiated. The isotope measurements are being made on either single or small numbers of forams carefully picked and identified and in most cases examined by SEM before analysis. Because this work is not yet complete, conclusions drawn here must be viewed as tentative. They are briefly discussed.

  17. Faunal turnover of marine tetrapods during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Druckenmiller, Patrick S

    2014-02-01

    Marine and terrestrial animals show a mosaic of lineage extinctions and diversifications during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition. However, despite its potential importance in shaping animal evolution, few palaeontological studies have focussed on this interval and the possible climate and biotic drivers of its faunal turnover. In consequence evolutionary patterns in most groups are poorly understood. We use a new, large morphological dataset to examine patterns of lineage diversity and disparity (variety of form) in the marine tetrapod clade Plesiosauria, and compare these patterns with those of other organisms. Although seven plesiosaurian lineages have been hypothesised as crossing the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, our most parsimonious topology suggests the number was only three. The robust recovery of a novel group including most Cretaceous plesiosauroids (Xenopsaria, new clade) is instrumental in this result. Substantial plesiosaurian turnover occurred during the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary interval, including the loss of substantial pliosaurid, and cryptoclidid diversity and disparity, followed by the radiation of Xenopsaria during the Early Cretaceous. Possible physical drivers of this turnover include climatic fluctuations that influenced oceanic productivity and diversity: Late Jurassic climates were characterised by widespread global monsoonal conditions and increased nutrient flux into the opening Atlantic-Tethys, resulting in eutrophication and a highly productive, but taxonomically depauperate, plankton. Latest Jurassic and Early Cretaceous climates were more arid, resulting in oligotrophic ocean conditions and high taxonomic diversity of radiolarians, calcareous nannoplankton and possibly ammonoids. However, the observation of discordant extinction patterns in other marine tetrapod groups such as ichthyosaurs and marine crocodylomorphs suggests that clade-specific factors may have been more important than overarching extrinsic drivers of faunal

  18. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P Donovan

    Full Text Available Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  19. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Michael P; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C; Johnson, Kirk R; Peppe, Daniel J

    2014-01-01

    Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma) in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  20. Interactions between tectonics, climate and vegetation during the Cretaceous. A context for the diversification of Angiosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepulchre, Pierre; Chaboureau, Anne-Claire; Donnadieu, Yannick; Franc, Alain; Ladant, Jean-Baptiste

    2017-04-01

    It has long been thought that the Angiosperms diversification occurred within a context of warmer-than-present and equable climate during the Cretaceous. However, during the last decade, the view of a uniformely warm Cretaceous climate has been challenged both by paleoclimate proxies and numerical simulations. Among the processes likely affecting climate during this time, atmospheric pCO2 and tectonics appear to be pivotal to drive temperature and precipitation changes, while the feedbacks from vegetation cover changes on the hydrological cycles remain to be explored. Here we attempt to provide a review of the main studies exploring climate-vegetation interactions during the Cretaceous. Then we present climate simulations aiming at quantifying the impact of landmasses redistribution on climate and vegetation distribution from 225 Ma to 70 Ma. In our simulations, the Pangea breakup triggers the decrease of arid belts from the Triassic to the Cretaceous and a subsequent onset of humid conditions during the late Cretaceous. Positioning angiosperm-bearing fossil sites on our paleo-bioclimatic maps confirm that the rise of flowering plants occured within a context of changing climate. With additional simulations in which we modified physiological parameterizations of the vegetation, we explore the combined impact of paleogeography and shift to angiosperms-dominated land surfaces on climate at the regional and global scales. This gives us the opportunity to test earlier ideas that the angiosperms takeover could have benefited from a positive feedback induced by their particular transpiration capacities.

  1. From nappe stacking to exhumation: Cretaceous tectonics in the Apuseni Mountains (Romania)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiser, Martin Kaspar; Schuster, Ralf; Spikings, Richard; Tropper, Peter; Fügenschuh, Bernhard

    2017-03-01

    New Ar-Ar muscovite and Rb-Sr biotite age data in combination with structural analyses from the Apuseni Mountains provide new constraints on the timing and kinematics of deformation during the Cretaceous. Time-temperature paths from the structurally highest basement nappe of the Apuseni Mountains in combination with sedimentary data indicate exhumation and a position close to the surface after the Late Jurassic emplacement of the South Apuseni Ophiolites. Early Cretaceous Ar-Ar muscovite ages from structurally lower parts in the Biharia Nappe System (Dacia Mega-Unit) show cooling from medium-grade conditions. NE-SW-trending stretching lineation and associated kinematic indicators of this deformation phase (D1) are overprinted by top-NW-directed thrusting during D2. An Albian to Turonian age (110-90 Ma) is proposed for the main deformation (D2) that formed the present-day geometry of the nappe stack and led to a pervasive retrograde greenschist-facies overprint. Thermochronological and structural data from the Bihor Unit (Tisza Mega-Unit) allowed to establish E-directed differential exhumation during Early-Late Cretaceous times (D3.1). Brittle detachment faulting (D3.2) and the deposition of syn-extensional sediments indicate general uplift and partial surface exposure during the Late Cretaceous. Brittle conditions persist during the latest Cretaceous compressional overprint (D4).

  2. The Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous of eastern Heilongjiang, Northeast China: stratigraphy and regional basin history

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sha, J.G.; Matsukawa, M.; Cai, H.W.; Jiang, B.Y.; Ito, M.; He, C.Q.; Gu, Z.W. [Academy of Sinica, Nanjing (China)

    2003-12-01

    In eastern Heilongjiang, the Upper Jurassic is marine and restricted to the Suibin and Dong'an areas, where it is characterized faunally by Callovian-Volgian (Tithonian) bivalves and florally by dinoflagellates. The Lower Cretaceous is widely distributed in eastern Heilongjiang, and characterized faunally by Berriasian-Valanginian bivalves, Barremian-Albian ammonites and Aucellina, and florally by dinoflagellates. To the west, the marine facies grade into non-marine beds. Thus, in the east, for example in the Dong'an and Dajiashan areas, near the northwestern Palaeo-Pacific, the Lower Cretaceous is marine; westward, in the Yunshan, Longzhaogou. Peide, and Zhushan areas, marine and non-marine deposits alternate, whereas further west still, e.g. in the Jixi Basin, non-marine facies are intercalated with marine beds. This regional distribution is indicative of a large, shallow embayment opening eastwards to the Palaeo-Pacific; during the Early Cretaceous successive transgressive-regressive events influenced the climate and biota of eastern Heilongjiang and northeastern China. Many of the Lower Cretaceous sections contain abundant coals, demonstrating that in this region the Early Cretaceous was an important coal-forming period.

  3. Discovery of chemosynthesis-based association on the Cretaceous basal leatherback sea turtle from Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert G. Jenkins

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available We report a Late Cretaceous chemosynthetic community fueled by decomposing basal leatherback sea turtle on the ocean floor in the western Pacific. The fossil association representing this community has been recovered from the matrix of a concretion containing a single carapace of Mesodermochelys sp. from Late Cretaceous outer shelf to upper slope deposit of northern Hokkaido, Japan. The carapace displays boreholes most likely performed by boring bivalves, and is associated with molluscan shells, mainly Provanna cf. nakagawensis and Thyasira tanabei. Since this association is similar to fauna already known from Late Cretaceous hydrocarbon seeps, sunken wood, and plesiosaur-falls in Hokkaido, it is suggested that all types of chemosynthesis-based communities in the Late Cretaceous of western Pacific may have belonged to the same regional pool of animals and were not yet fully differentiated into three independent types of communities as it is known today. This finding also indicates that the sulfophilic stage of the vertebrate-fall communities was supported not only by plesiosaur carcasses, which were previously reported, but also by sea turtle carcasses. It highlights the possibility of surviving vertebrate-fall communities through the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event on carcasses of sea turtles which are the only large marine vertebrates surviving this event.

  4. Cretaceous sedimentation and tectonism in the southeastern Kaiparowits region, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Fred

    1969-01-01

    Upper Cretaceous strata in the southeastern Kaiparowits region of south-central Utah consist of approximately 3,500 feet of interfingering sandstone, mudstone, shale, and coal in the Dakota Formation (oldest), Tropic Shale, Straight Cliffs Formation, and Wahweap Formation (youngest). The formations consist of several depositional facies that can be recognized by characteristic lithologies bedding structures, and fossils; these are the alluvial plain, deltaic plain, lagoonal-paludal, barrier sandstone, and offshore marine facies. The distribution of facies clearly defines the paleogeography of the region during several cycles of marine transgression and regression. The nonmarine beds were deposited on a broad alluvial coastal plain that was bordered on the west and southwest by highlands and on the east and northeast by the Western Interior seaway. The marine beds were deposited whenever the seaway advanced into or across the region. The Dakota Formation and the lower part of the Tropic Shale were deposited in nonmarine and marine environments, while the shoreline advanced generally westward across the region. The middle and upper part of the Tropic Shale and the Tibbet Canyon and Smoky Hollow Members of the Straight Cliffs Formation were deposited in marine and nonmarine environments when the seaway had reached its greatest areal extent and began a gradual northeastward withdrawal. An unconformity at the top of the Smoky Hollow represents a period of erosion and possibly nondeposition before deposition of the John Henry Member of the Straight Cliffs. The John Henry Member grades from nonmarine in the southwest to predominantly marine in the northeast, and was deposited during two relatively minor cycles of transgression and regression. The Drip Tank Member at the top of the Straight Cliffs Formation is a widespread sandstone unit deposited mainly in fluvial environments. Some of the beds in the northeastern part of the region were probably deposited in marine

  5. Late Cretaceous Breakup of the Pacific Margin of Southern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-Garcia, J. C.; Herrero-Bervera, E.

    2006-12-01

    As geological, geophysical and geochemical evidence keeps accumulating over the years, there seems to be a growing general acceptance that the Chortis block (nuclear Central America) occupied a position further to the NW along the present-day margin of southwestern Mexico, sometime between Early Jurassic and Neogene time. The controversy resides no longer in the sense of motion along the coast but on the timing of events and in the latitude that the Chortis block occupied at the time of detachment. Previous studies mainly confined to the northern margin of the Chortis block, confirmed a left-lateral displacement of 130 km in Neogene time. Further studies made northwestward along the Mexican coast provided a better understanding of magmatic and metamorphic processes in the area, and suggested times of detachment increased to 30 Ma (Wadge and Burke, 1983), 40 Ma (Schaaf and others, 1995), and 66 Ma (Herrmann and others, 1994). The pre- detachment westernmost position of the block has changed, depending on the model chosen, from Puerto Vallarta and beyond, to the current position. We contend that several indicators, namely: (1) the truncated nature of the Pacific coast of SW Mexico; (2) the genesis of the Kula-Farallon ridge at 85 Ma; (3) the 2,600 km of northward transport of Baja British Columbia from the present-day latitude of the Baja California Peninsula, beginning at 85 Ma; (4) the paleomagnetic counterclockwise rotations of areas both in the Chortis block and along the Mexican coast, during Late Cretaceous-Paleogene time, and (5) the systematic NW-SE decrease of radiometric dates beginning at 85 Ma in Puerto Vallarta, point to this time and region for the onset of strike- slip drifting of the Chortis block toward its current position.

  6. Os isotope systematics in the cretaceous potassic rocks from Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Araujo, A.L.N; Gaspar, J.C; Carlson, R.W; Sichel, S.E; Costa, V; Teixeira, N.A

    2001-01-01

    Mafic potassic rocks of the Alto Paranaiba, Juina, Paranatinga, and Pimenta Bueno Provinces were studied by isotope geochemistry in order to understand the characteristics of the magma sources. These Cretaceous provinces belong to a large (approximately 2500 km) lineament of alkaline rocks (mafic and more evolved lithotypes) that crosses from the western to southeastern part of Brazil, and has been associated with a mantle plume activity (Gibson et al. 1995, Bizzi et al. 1994). The Alto Paranaiba Province intruded the Neoproterozic Brasilia Mobile Belt bounded by the Parana Basin and the Sao Francisco Craton. The lithotypes of the province correspond to kamafugites, kimberlites, and carbonatites (Gibson et al. 1995; Araujo 2000). The majority of radiometric ages for the Alto Paranaiba cluster between 80-90 Ma (Sonoki and Garda 1988; Gibson et al. 1995). The Paranatinga Province is located near the southern border of the Amazonic Craton, and is underlain by the Neoproterozoic Paraguay Mobile belt and the Mesoproterozoic Rio-Negro Mobile Belt (Teixeira et al. 1998; Costa 1997). At shallow levels, the kimberlites intrude into sedimentary rocks and sediments related to the cratonic cover (Heaman et al. 1998). U/Pb zircon ages of 123-126 Ma were obtained for the intrusions (Heaman et al. 1998; Crough et al. 1980). The kimberlites of the Juina Province, at the northern border of the Paleozoic Parecis Basin, like the Paranatinga Province, intruded the Mesoproterozoic Rio-Negro Juruena Belt (Teixeira et al. 1998). U/Pb zircon ages of 92-95 Ma were obtained for the intrusions by Heaman et al. 1998. The Pimenta Bueno Province, which is located in eastern Rondonia State, is poorly known. The province intruded through the Mesoproterozoic Rio- Negro Juruena Belt. The kimberlitic mineral assemblage in the area was previously reported by Svisero et al. (1983) (au)

  7. Paleogeography of Cretaceous ammonoids of the Pacific coast of Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagt-Yazykova, E. A.; Zonova, T. D.

    2012-05-01

    This work presents the results of a study of the biogeographical distribution of Late Albian-Maastrichtian ammonites, found in sequences of the Pacific coast of Russia. The taxa typical of the Pacific Realm were identified, and their distribution traced beyond the borders of this region. In addition, species-migrants, distributed within the studied area were established. As a results of our works, a high level of endemism of ammonite fauna of the East of Russia was noted (75-88% of endemic species, on average). The bipolarity, previously established in the distribution of ammonoids within the Pacific Paleobiogeographical Realm, as well as their high regional provincialism, was confirmed. The following division of the studied area into faunal ammonite provinces in the Late Cretaceous was proposed: Arctic Province; Boreal-Pacific Province, including northeastern Russia (Chukotka Peninsula, the Koryak Upland, Penzhyna Gulf) and the boreal coast of North America (Alaska Peninsula, Arctic Canada and British Columbia); Northwest Pacific Province, including the Primorye Territory, Sakhalin and Shikotan Islands, the Japanese Islands; Northeast Province of the Pacific (the western coast of the United States and Mexico); Southwest Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Oceania) and Southeast (the western coast of South America and Antarctica, Seymour and James Ross Islands) Provinces. This division is confirmed by data on inoceramid species. In addition, levels of global transgressions and general sea level rise, associated with the appearances of most of widespread marine taxa in the Pacific shelf seas, are established. These include Late Albian, Cenomanian-Turonian boundary, Late Coniacian, Late Campanian, Early-Late Maastrichtian boundary. Moreover, migration of ammonites occurred due to the Tethys Ocean extension and followed the northern sea straits in the Arctic Ocean and within the Pacific Realm, depending on warm currents. Both the counter and one-way migrations were

  8. Double fossilization in eukaryotic microorganisms from Lower Cretaceous amber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-González, Ana; Wierzchos, Jacek; Gutiérrez, Juan-Carlos; Alonso, Jesús; Ascaso, Carmen

    2009-02-20

    Microfossils are not only useful for elucidating biological macro- and microevolution but also the biogeochemical history of our planet. Pyritization is the most important and extensive mode of preservation of animals and especially of plants. Entrapping in amber, a fossilized resin, is considered an alternative mode of biological preservation. For the first time, the internal organization of 114-million-year-old microfossils entrapped in Lower Cretaceous amber is described and analyzed, using adapted scanning electron microscopy in backscattered electron mode in association with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy microanalysis. Double fossilization of several protists included in diverse taxonomical groups and some vegetal debris is described and analyzed. In protists without an exoskeleton or shell (ciliates, naked amoebae, flagellates), determinate structures, including the nuclei, surface envelopes (cortex or cytoplasmic membrane) and hyaloplasm are the main sites of pyritization. In protists with a biomineralized skeleton (diatoms), silicon was replaced by pyrite. Permineralization was the main mode of pyritization. Framboidal, subhedral and microcrystalline are the predominant pyrite textures detected in the cells. Abundant pyritized vegetal debris have also been found inside the amber nuggets and the surrounding sediments. This vegetal debris usually contained numerous pyrite framboids and very densely packed polycrystalline pyrite formations infilled with different elements of the secondary xylem. Embedding in amber and pyritization are not always alternative modes of biological preservation during geological times, but double fossilization is possible under certain environmental conditions. Pyritization in protists shows a quite different pattern with regard to plants, due to the different composition and cellular architecture in these microorganisms and organisms. Anaerobic sulphate-reducing bacteria could play a crucial role in this microbial

  9. Double fossilization in eukaryotic microorganisms from Lower Cretaceous amber

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alonso Jesús

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microfossils are not only useful for elucidating biological macro- and microevolution but also the biogeochemical history of our planet. Pyritization is the most important and extensive mode of preservation of animals and especially of plants. Entrapping in amber, a fossilized resin, is considered an alternative mode of biological preservation. For the first time, the internal organization of 114-million-year-old microfossils entrapped in Lower Cretaceous amber is described and analyzed, using adapted scanning electron microscopy in backscattered electron mode in association with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy microanalysis. Double fossilization of several protists included in diverse taxonomical groups and some vegetal debris is described and analyzed. Results In protists without an exoskeleton or shell (ciliates, naked amoebae, flagellates, determinate structures, including the nuclei, surface envelopes (cortex or cytoplasmic membrane and hyaloplasm are the main sites of pyritization. In protists with a biomineralized skeleton (diatoms, silicon was replaced by pyrite. Permineralization was the main mode of pyritization. Framboidal, subhedral and microcrystalline are the predominant pyrite textures detected in the cells. Abundant pyritized vegetal debris have also been found inside the amber nuggets and the surrounding sediments. This vegetal debris usually contained numerous pyrite framboids and very densely packed polycrystalline pyrite formations infilled with different elements of the secondary xylem. Conclusion Embedding in amber and pyritization are not always alternative modes of biological preservation during geological times, but double fossilization is possible under certain environmental conditions. Pyritization in protists shows a quite different pattern with regard to plants, due to the different composition and cellular architecture in these microorganisms and organisms. Anaerobic sulphate

  10. Molybdenum drawdown during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Tatiana; Poulton, Simon W.; Wagner, Thomas; Kolonic, Sadat F.; Rehkämper, Mark

    2016-04-01

    During the Cretaceous greenhouse, episodes of widespread ocean deoxygenation were associated with globally occurring events of black shale deposition. Possibly the most pronounced of these oceanic anoxic events (OAE's) was the Cenomanian-Turonian OAE2 (∼94 Ma). However, although certain redox sensitive trace metals tend to be preferentially sequestered in sediments deposited under anoxic conditions, with Mo drawdown being specifically prone to euxinic settings, these elements are generally somewhat depleted in sediments deposited during OAE2. To understand the driving factors responsible for this depleted trace metal drawdown, we have studied a low latitude section from the proto-North Atlantic Ocean (Tarfaya S57), where existing biomarker and iron-sulphur data point to a dominantly euxinic water column, with periodic transitions to ferruginous (Fe-rich) water column conditions. We utilise a variety of redox proxies (Fe-speciation, redox sensitive trace metals and Mo isotopes), which, in combination, allows us to evaluate the detailed nature of ocean redox conditions and hence controls on trace metal drawdown. The results suggest that seawater δ98Mo values may have ranged between ∼0.6 and 1.1‰ during OAE2, likely connected to changes in the local Mo reservoir as a consequence of low and probably heterogeneous concentrations of Mo in the ocean. The very low Mo/TOC ratios at Tarfaya and elsewhere in the proto-North Atlantic may support a model in which deep-water circulation was partially restricted within and between the North Atlantic and other ocean basins. We propose that the combination of a low and possibly heterogeneous δ98Mo of seawater Mo, together with low Mo/TOC ratios, points to a large decrease in the global oceanic Mo reservoir during OAE2, reflecting a major global scale increase in Mo drawdown under persistent euxinic conditions.

  11. Biostratigraphy of the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in the Sirwan Valley (Sulaimani Region, Kurdistan, NE Iraq)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharbazheri, Khalid Mahmood; Ghafor, Imad Mahmood; Muhammed, Qahtan Ahmad

    2009-10-01

    The Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary sequence, which crops out in the studied area is located within the High Folded Zone, in the Sirwan Valley, northeastern Iraq. These units mainly consist of flysch and flysch-type successions of thick clastic beds of Tanjero/Kolosh Formations. A detailed lithostratigraphic study is achieved on the outcropping uppermost part of the Upper Cretaceous successions (upper part of Tanjero Formation) and the lowermost part of the Kolosh Formation. On the basis of the identified planktonic foraminiferal assemblages, five biozones are recorded from the uppermost part of Tanjero Formation and four biozones from the lower part of the Kolosh Formation (Lower Paleocene) in the Sirwan section. The biostratigraphic correlations based on planktonic foraminiferal zonations showed a comparison between the biostratigraphic zones established in this study and other equivalents of the commonly used planktonic zonal scheme around the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in and outside Iraq.

  12. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2012-12-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification.

  13. A new dinosaur ichnotaxon from the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Weems, Robert E.; Lockley, Martin G.

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, numerous dinosaur footprints have been discovered on bedding surfaces within the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia. Among these, distinctive small tracks that display a combination of small manus with five digit impressions and a relatively much larger pes with four toe impressions evidently were made by animals belonging to the ornithischian family Hypsilophodontidae. These tracks differ from any ornithischian ichnotaxon previously described. We here name them Hypsiloichnus marylandicus and provide a description of their diagnostic characteristics. Although hypsilophodontid skeletal remains have not been found in the Patuxent, their skeletal remains are known from Lower Cretaceous strata of similar age in both western North America and Europe. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that an Early Cretaceous representative of this family also existed in eastern North America.

  14. Palaeomagnetism of Upper Cretaceous volcanic rocks from Cabo de Sto. Agostinho, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schult, A.; Guerreiro, S. D. C.

    1980-10-01

    One hundred samples from nine sites in Upper Cretaceous volcanics (K/Ar age 85-99 m.y.) of the magmatic province of Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco (8.4°S, 35.0°W) yield a mean direction of magnetization D = 0.4°, I = -20.6°withα 95 = 4.8°, k = 114 after AF cleaning. All sites have normal polarity with a mean pole, named SAK 10, at 87.6°N, 135°E with A 95 = 4.5° which is close to other Upper Cretaceous poles for South America. These poles are compared with Upper Cretaceous poles of Africa for various reconstructions of the two continents.

  15. The first reported ceratopsid dinosaur from eastern North America (Owl Creek Formation, Upper Cretaceous, Mississippi, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farke, Andrew A; Phillips, George E

    2017-01-01

    Ceratopsids ("horned dinosaurs") are known from western North America and Asia, a distribution reflecting an inferred subaerial link between the two landmasses during the Late Cretaceous. However, this clade was previously unknown from eastern North America, presumably due to limited outcrop of the appropriate age and depositional environment as well as the separation of eastern and western North America by the Western Interior Seaway during much of the Late Cretaceous. A dentary tooth from the Owl Creek Formation (late Maastrichtian) of Union County, Mississippi, represents the first reported occurrence of Ceratopsidae from eastern North America. This tooth shows a combination of features typical of Ceratopsidae, including a double root and a prominent, blade-like carina. Based on the age of the fossil, we hypothesize that it is consistent with a dispersal of ceratopsids into eastern North America during the very latest Cretaceous, presumably after the two halves of North America were reunited following the retreat of the Western Interior Seaway.

  16. Hydrogeologic and water-quality characteristics of the Cretaceous aquifer southwestern Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, D.G.; Anderson, H.W.

    1986-01-01

    The Cretaceous aquifer in southwest Minnesota consists of discontinuous, basal sandstone beds in the Dakota Formation and the overlying Codell Sandstone Member of the Carlile Shale of the Colorado Group. These sandstone beds are not laterally or vertically persistent throughout the area and generally are separated shale beds in the Dakota Formation and in the overlying Colorado Group of Cretaceous age. Water in the Cretaceous aquifer is confined by overlying shale and by overlying till as much as 700 feet thick. Locally where the drift is permeable and thin and where the shale is missing, water in the aquifer is unconfined. Groundwater moves away from the Sioux Quartzite Ridge north toward the Minnesota River, south toward Iowa, and eastward toward the Mississippi River. Recharge to the aquifer primarily is by infiltration of precipitation that percolates through the overlying drift and underflow in the aquifer from South Dakota.

  17. Palaeoenvironments and facies on a progressively flooded rocky island (Upper Cenomanian – Lower Turonian, Bohemian Cretaceous Basin)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Vodrážka, R.; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 179, - (2010), s. 223-234 ISSN 1802-6842 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Cretaceous island * weathering * geomorphology * sedimentary environments * biostratigraphy * Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://www.nm.cz/publikace/archiv-en.php?id=1&rok=179&f_=Show

  18. Integrated stratigraphy of the Jurassic-Cretaceous sequences of the Kurovice Quarry, Outer Western Carpathians: correlations and tectonic implications

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pruner, Petr; Schnabl, Petr; Čížková, Kristýna; Elbra, Tiiu; Kdýr, Šimon; Svobodová, Andrea; Reháková, D.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 120 (2017), s. 216-216 ISSN 1017-8880. [International Symposium on the Cretaceous /10./. 21.08.2017-26.08.2017, Vienna] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09979S Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : stratigraphy * Jurassic-Cretaceous sequences * Western Carpathians Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  19. Sedimentary basin analysis and petroleum potential of the Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in Korea.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Son, Jin-Dam; Kwak, Young-Hoon; Bong, Pil-Yoon [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (KR)] (and others)

    1999-12-01

    Since 1992 sedimentary basin analysis to assess petroleum potential of the Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in the Korean onshore and continental shelf have been carried out. The Cretaceous non-marine strata mainly occupy the Gyeongsang Basin in southeastern part of the Korean Peninsula and small basins such as Haenam and Gyeokpo depressions in western coastal areas. The Tertiary strata are mostly distributed in Domi, Cheju, Socotra subbasins, and Okinawa Trough in the South Continental Shelf, and Kunsan and Heuksan basins in the West. The basin evolution and petroleum potential for each basins are characterized as follow. The Cretaceous Gyeongsang sediments were deposited in three subbasins including Milyang, Euisung and Yongyang subbasins. The black shales in Nakdong and Jinju formations are interpreted to contain abundant organic matter during the deposition, thermal maturity reaching up to the zone of dry gas formation. Because porosity and permeability are too low, the sandstones can act as a tight gas reservoir rather than conventional oil and gas reservoir. The latest Cretaceous strata of Haenam and Kyeokpo depressions in western coastal area are correlated into the Yuchon Volcanic Group of the Gyeongsang Basin. Petroleum potential of the Early Cretaceous basin in the West Continental Shelf could be relatively high in terms of sedimentary basin filled with thick lacustrine sediments. The Kunsan basin in the West Continental Shelf originated in the Early Cretaceous time expanded during the Paleocene time followed by regional erosion at the end of Paleocene on which Neogene sediment have been accumulated. The Paleocene-Eocene sublacustrine shales may play an major role as a source and cap rocks. South Continental Shelf Basin is subdivided by Cheju subbasin in the center, Socotra Subbasin to the west, Domi Subbasin to the northeast and Okinawa Trough to the East. The potential hydrocarbon traps associated with anticline, titled fault blocks, fault, unconformity

  20. Maps showing thermal maturity of Upper Cretaceous marine shales in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming and Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finn, Thomas M.; Pawlewicz, Mark J.

    2014-01-01

    The Bighorn Basin is one of many structural and sedimentary basins that formed in the Rocky Mountain foreland during the Laramide orogeny, a period of crustal instability and compressional tectonics that began in latest Cretaceous time and ended in the Eocene. The basin is nearly 180 mi long, 100 mi wide, and encompasses about 10,400 mi2 in north-central Wyoming and south-central Montana. The basin is bounded on the northeast by the Pryor Mountains, on the east by the Bighorn Mountains, and on the south by the Owl Creek Mountains). The north boundary includes a zone of faulting and folding referred to as the Nye-Bowler lineament. The northwest and west margins are formed by the Beartooth Mountains and Absaroka Range, respectively. Important conventional oil and gas resources have been discovered and produced from reservoirs ranging in age from Cambrian through Tertiary. In addition, a potential unconventional basin-centered gas accumulation may be present in Cretaceous reservoirs in the deeper parts of the basin. It has been suggested by numerous authors that various Cretaceous marine shales are the principal source rock for these accumulations. Numerous studies of various Upper Cretaceous marine shales in the Rocky Mountain region have led to the general conclusion that these rocks have generated or are capable of generating oil and (or) gas. In recent years, advances in horizontal drilling and multistage fracture stimulation have resulted in increased exploration and completion of wells in Cretaceous marine shales in other Rocky Mountain Laramide basins that were previously thought of only as hydrocarbon source rocks. Important parameters controlling hydrocarbon production from these shale reservoirs include: reservoir thickness, amount and type of organic matter, and thermal maturity. The purpose of this report is to present maps and a cross section showing levels of thermal maturity, based on vitrinite reflectance (Ro), for selected Upper Cretaceous marine

  1. Kinematics from footprints: Analysis of a possible dinosaur predation event in the Cretaceous Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2008-10-01

    Motivation is enhanced by challenging students with interesting and open-ended questions. In this talk, a methodology for studying the locomotion of extinct animals based on their footprint trackways is developed and applied to a possible predation event recorded in a Cretaceous Era deposit.ootnotetextJ.O. Farlow, ``Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur Tracks, Paluxy River Valley, Texas,'' South Central Geological Society of America, Baylor University, 1987. Students usually love learning about dinosaurs, an unexpected treat in a physics class. This example can be used in the classroom to help build critical thinking skills as the students decide whether the evidence supports a predation scenario or not.

  2. A gigantic shark from the lower cretaceous duck creek formation of Texas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph A Frederickson

    Full Text Available Three large lamniform shark vertebrae are described from the Lower Cretaceous of Texas. We interpret these fossils as belonging to a single individual with a calculated total body length of 6.3 m. This large individual compares favorably to another shark specimen from the roughly contemporaneous Kiowa Shale of Kansas. Neither specimen was recovered with associated teeth, making confident identification of the species impossible. However, both formations share a similar shark fauna, with Leptostyrax macrorhiza being the largest of the common lamniform sharks. Regardless of its actual identification, this new specimen provides further evidence that large-bodied lamniform sharks had evolved prior to the Late Cretaceous.

  3. Syn-sedimentary tectonics in the Cretaceous succession of the Wildhorn nappe (SW Switzerland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardello, G. L.; Mancktelow, N. S.

    2012-04-01

    During Early Cretaceous to Early Tertiary times, the area of the future Helvetic Nappes was part of a large ramp-type depositional system on the European margin, in which the area of the Wildhorn nappe was transitional to the more distal and relatively deeper Ultra-Helvetic basin. The Wildhorn nappe includes a late Cretaceous succession bearing clear evidence for post-breakup extensional tectonics such as: synsedimentary geometries related to well oriented, parallel and spaced NE-striking faults; sedimentary dykes; lateral variations in the thickness and facies of formations; anomalous and discordant contacts corresponding to paleoescarpments; and slump folds. This field evidence indicates an important Late Cretaceous extensional tectonic event that affects the older Jurassic passive margin sequence. This process cannot be related to partial or local gravitational collapse, being the faults cross-cut suitable candidates for preferential gliding (e.g. the thick succession of Lower Cretaceous shales). Until now, the regional importance and magnitude of this late Cretaceous extension was not recognized in this part of the Alps. During the Cretaceous, this transitional area experienced three tectonic and sedimentary stages. (1) Post- Cenomanian disruption and exhumation of the Schrattenkalk platform was related to distribute normal faulting, which contributed to the initiation of karst erosion on the topographic highs and sedimentation in the lower parts. (2) During the Campanian and following a marine transgression, the area experienced more localized normal faulting accompanied by subsidence and slope instability directed toward the fault-scarps. A transition from distributed to more localized faulting is observed, related to a final stage in the evolution of the Cretaceous extensional process. The facies and thickness of subsequent post-Campanian sediments reflect a passive adaption to the pre-existing topography of the sea floor, established during the earlier

  4. Integrating palaeoenvironmental and climate cyclicities - Optimizing the stratigraphic framework in the non-marine Lower Cretaceous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sames, Benjamin

    2015-04-01

    Studies on changing paleoenvironments and climate cycles in non-marine archives of the Cretaceous greenhouse earth are hitherto rare, primarily a result of the lack of high-resolution stratigraphy and correlations to the marine record. On the other hand, recent refinements of the geological time scale have made major advances for the Cretaceous to yield a resolution comparable to that of younger Earth history. In the Cretaceous marine record is now possible to correlate and date short-term sea-level records and their possible relation to climate and/or tectonic events with appropriate resolution. Correlation in the non-marine realm ('continental' aquatic) has long been fraught with considerable problems and limitations, especially on supraregional (i.e., inter-basinal) to global scales, thus often hampering serious attempts at dating and chronological linking of events documented by the respective deposits - let alone appropriate correlation to marine successions. A new interdisciplinary project and multi-proxy study funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) uses the Lower Cretaceous European record (English Wealden) as a test site for the integration of ostracod biostratigraphy and assemblage changes, and cyclostratigraphy (orbitally/climate driven cycles). Ostracods (microcrustaceans with a calcified shell) are the most useful biostratigraphical and palaeoenvironmental tool in Lower Cretaceous non-marine sequences. During the past two decades, research progress in late Mesozoic non-marine ostracods led to their extended applicability, whereas their wide dispersal ability has become a key conside-ration in their supraregional (inter-basinal to global) biostratigraphical utility. The integrative methodology applied in this project, targets the correlation of the ostracod faunal composition change with the variation of geochemical and sedimentological parameters through time and inferences on controlling (palaeoenvironmental) factors and their regulating mechanisms

  5. Magma sources during Gondwana breakup: chemistry and chronology of Cretaceous magmatism in Westland, New Zealand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Meer, Quinten Har Adriaan; Waight, Tod Earle; Scott, James M.

    2013-01-01

    Cretaceous-Paleogene rifting of the Eastern Gondwana margin thinned the continental crust of Zealandia and culminated in the opening of the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand and the Southern Ocean, separating both from Antarctica. The Western Province of New Zealand consists of a succe......Cretaceous-Paleogene rifting of the Eastern Gondwana margin thinned the continental crust of Zealandia and culminated in the opening of the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand and the Southern Ocean, separating both from Antarctica. The Western Province of New Zealand consists...

  6. Lower Cretaceous Source Rock and its Implication for the Gulf of Guinea Petroleum System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, B.R.; Griffith, R.C.

    2002-01-01

    Current petroleum system models for the Gulf of Guinea propose Tertiary-age deltaic organic material as the principal source for the hydrocarbons found there. Although previous workers recognized numerous difficulties and inconsistencies, no alternative model has been resented to adequately explain the complete petroleum system. We propose that the principal source rock for the Gulf of Guinea system occurs in upper lower Cretaceous-age shales at the rift-drift transition. Tertiary loading and the consequent maturation of this lower Cretaceous source rock can explain the controls on tap formation, reservoir distribution and hydrocarbon types found in the Gulf of Guinea

  7. An early and mysterious histerid inquiline from Cretaceous Burmese amber (Coleoptera, Histeridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caterino, Michael S; Maddison, David R

    2018-01-01

    We describe a new genus and species of Histeridae from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber, Amplectister tenax Caterino & Maddison, gen. & sp. n. This species represents the third known Cretaceous histerid, which, like the others, is highly distinct and cannot easily be placed to subfamily. It exhibits prosternal characters in common with Saprininae, but other characters appear inconsistent with this possibility. The abdominal venter is strongly concave, and the hind legs are enlarged and modified for grasping. We hypothesize that this represents the earliest example in Histeridae of modifications for phoresy on social insects.

  8. Paleomagnetic tests for tectonic reconstructions of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Woyla Group, Sumatra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Advokaat, Eldert; Bongers, Mayke; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Rudyawan, Alfend; Marshal, Edo

    2017-04-01

    SE Asia consists of multiple continental blocks, volcanic arcs and suture zones representing remnants of closing ocean basins. The core of this mainland is called Sundaland, and was formed by accretion of continental and arc fragments during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic. The former positions of these blocks are still uncertain but reconstructions based on tectonostratigraphic, palaeobiogeographic, geological and palaeomagnetic studies indicate the continental terranes separated from the eastern margin of Gondwana. During the mid-Cretaceous, more continental and arc fragments accreted to Sundaland, including the intra-oceanic Woyla Arc now exposed on Sumatra. These continental fragments were derived from Australia, but the former position of the Woyla Arc is unconstrained. Interpretations on the former position of the Woyla Arc fall in two end-member groups. The first group interprets the Woyla Arc to be separated from West Sumatra by a small back-arc basin. This back arc basin opened in the Late Jurassic, and closed mid-Cretaceous, when the Woyla Arc collided with West Sumatra. The other group interprets the Woyla Arc to be derived from Gondwana, at a position close to the northern margin of Greater India in the Late Jurassic. Subsequently the Woyla Arc moved northwards and collided with West Sumatra in the mid-Cretaceous. Since these scenarios predict very different plate kinematic evolutions for the Neotethyan realm, we here aim to place paleomagnetic constraints on paleolatitudinal evolution of the Woyla Arc. The Woyla Arc consists mainly of basaltic to andesitic volcanics and dykes, and volcaniclastic shales and sandstones. Associated limestones with volcanic debris are interpreted as fringing reefs. This assemblage is interpreted as remnants of an Early Cretaceous intra-oceanic arc. West Sumatra exposes granites, surrounded by quartz sandstones, shales and volcanic tuffs. These sediments are in part metamorphosed. This assemblage is interpreted as a Jurassic

  9. Shock Deformation and Volcanism across the Cretaceous - Transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huffman, Alan Royce

    1990-01-01

    The cause of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) transition remains one of the most controversial scientific topics in the geosciences. Geological and geophysical evidence associated with the K/T boundary have been used to argue that the extinctions were caused by meteor impact or volcanism. The goal of this study was to assess the viability of a volcanic model for the K/T transition. Comparison of natural and experimentally-shocked quartz and feldspar using optical and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the optical and statistical character of shock-induced microstructures in volcanic rocks are different from both classic impact microstructures, and from the Raton K/T samples. A series of 31 high-explosive (HE) shock-recovery experiments at pressures to 25 GPa and temperatures to 750^circC were completed on samples of granite and quartzite. TEM and optical microscopy reveal that pre-shock temperature and pulse duration have a first-order effect on the development of shock-induced microstructures in quartz and feldspar. Application of the experimental results to natural shock-induced microstructures indicates that the volcanic microstructures are probably produced at elevated temperatures and shock pressures that do not exceed 15 GPa. The results also suggest that the Raton K/T deposits were produced at pressures below about 25 GPa. Analysis of samples from the K/T transition at DSDP Site 527 and correlations between biostratigraphy, isotopes, and the data from this study suggest that the decline in marine productivity over an extended period of time may be due to climate changes induced by basaltic volcanism. The eruption of the Deccan Traps is a viable mechanism for the K/T extinctions, and the correlation of flood basalts with every major biotic crisis in the last 250 Ma supports the link between these two phenomena. Eruption of flood basalts enriched in F, Cl, CO_2 , and SO_2, could disrupt the terrestrial ecosystem, and could produce effects

  10. Evidence of cretaceous to recent West African intertropical vegetation from continental sediment spore-pollen analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salard-Cheboldaeff, M.; Dejax, J.

    The succession of spore-pollen assemblages during the Cretaceous and Tertiary, as defined in each of the basin from Senegal to Angola, gives the possibility to consider the intertropical African flora evolution for the past 120 M.a. During the Early Cretaceous, xeric-adapted gymnosperms and various ferns were predominant the flora which nevertheless comprises previously unknown early angiosperm pollen. During the Middle Cretaceous, gymnospers were gradually replaced by angiosperms; these became more and more abundant, along with the diversification of new genera and species. During the Paleocene, the radiation of the monocotyledons (mainly that of the palm-trees) as well as a greater diversification among the dicotyledons and ferms are noteworthy. Since gymnosperms had almost disappeared by the Eocene, the diversification of the dicotyledons went on until the neogene, when all extinct pollen types are already present. These important modifications of the vegetation reflect evolutionary trends as well as climatic changes during the Cretaceous: the climate, firstly hot, dry and perhaps arid, did probably induced salt deposition, and later became gradually more humid under oceanic influences which arose in connection with the Gondwana break-up.

  11. Evolution of the Cretaceous organic facies in Colombia: implications for oil composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramón, J. C.; Dzou, L. I.; Hughes, W. B.; Holba, A. G.

    2001-04-01

    Cretaceous source rocks in Colombia are characterized by significant variations in organic matter input and depositional environments. Organic matter input, sedimentary environments, redox conditions and lithology of the source rocks as interpreted from bulk properties, trace elements, biomarker and isotopic composition of oils correspond to changes in the organic facies geographically and through time. Marginal marine/tidal Aptian-Albian units found in the Putumayo and Upper Magdalena Basins contain marine algal/bacterial and higher-plant organic matter. Coeval units in the Middle Magdalena Basin (MMB) and the Eastern Cordillera contain less terrestrial input because they were deposited on a broad platform that locally developed evaporites. Cenomanian-Coniacian marine-shelf shales and marls in the Putumayo, Upper and MMBs contain marine organic matter deposited on a marl/carbonate-prone shelf resulting in a type II kerogen. Upper Cretaceous offshore and lower shoreface mudstones preserved in the present-day position of the Eastern Cordillera and Llanos Basin contain higher-plant terrestrial input derived from the Guyana Shield, mixed with marine organic matter. Although similar to the oils generated from Lower Cretaceous rocks, Upper Cretaceous-derived oils can be distinguished by the presence of oleanane and other angiosperm biomarkers.

  12. The upper Jurassic-lower cretaceous siliciclastic system in the Morocco offshore - Prevenance, transport and deposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bertotti, G.; Arantegui, A.; Charton, R.; Luber, T.; Redfern, J.

    2015-01-01

    The Morocco segment of the Central Atlantic passive continental margin experienced km-scale exhumation during the early post-rift (late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous). In the Meseta and the High Atlas this led to the development of a N-S trending ridge sourcing terrigenous sediments which were brought

  13. The asteroid genus Haccourtaster (Echinodermata, Goniasteridae) in the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 2 (2005), s. 225-237 ISSN 0195-6671 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/01/1580 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Cretaceous * Asteroidea * New species Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.981, year: 2005

  14. Selective extinction and survival across the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in the northern Atlantic Coastal Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, William B.

    1991-10-01

    The inner Atlantic Coastal Plain in New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula is underlain by an Upper Cretaceous-lower Tertiary sequence of marine and paralic sand, clay, and glauconitic beds. Campanian, Maastrichtian, Danian, and Thanetian deposits are especially fossiliferous and yield a succession of marine faunas that reveal a pattern of selective extinction and survival across the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary in this area. Cretaceous benthic invertebrate communities are dominated by oysters and other semi-infaunal and infaunal molluscs with planktotrophic larval stages. These are replaced in the Danian by brachiopod-dominated communities that are composed of epifaunal benthos with a variety of nonplanktotrophic reproductive strategies. A similar pattern is observable in the nektonic cephalopod populations in this sequence; the typical ammonites of the Cretaceous became extinct at the K/T boundary, whereas the nautilids survived. Ammonites are thought to have had a planktotrophic larval stage, whereas nautilids are known to lay large lecithotrophic eggs. This pattern of differential survival is attributed to the planktonic population crash at the K/T boundary which placed planktotrophically reproducing species at a disadvantage while favoring the varied groups that practiced alternative reproductive strategies.

  15. The First Boreal-Tethyan Correlation of the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary Interval by the Magnetostratigraphy

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pruner, Petr; Houša, Václav; Zakharov, V.; Košťák, M.; Chadima, Martin; Rogov, M.; Šlechta, Stanislav; Mazuch, M.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 88, č. 23 (2007), s. 0-0 ISSN 0096-3941. [2007 Joint Assembly. 22.05.2007-25.05.2007, Acapulco] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/07/1365 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : magnetostratigraphy * Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary * Boreal-Tethyan Correlation Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  16. Lower Cretaceous Xigaze ophiolites formed in the Gangdese forearc : Evidence from paleomagnetism, sediment provenance, and stratigraphy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, Wentao; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J J; Maffione, Marco; Orme, Devon A.; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Guilmette, Carl; Ding, Lin; Guo, Zhaojie; Kapp, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The India-Asia suture zone of southern Tibet exposes Lower Cretaceous Xigaze ophiolites and radiolarian cherts, and time-equivalent Asian-derived clastic forearc sedimentary rocks (Xigaze Group). These ophiolites have been interpreted to have formed in the forearc of the north-dipping subduction

  17. Ichnofabric and substrate consistency in Upper Turonian carbonates of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikuláš, Radek

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 2 (2006), s. 79-90 ISSN 1335-0552 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/04/0151 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Cretaceous * ichnofossils * firmground Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.364, year: 2006 http://www.geologicacarpathica.sk/src/main.php

  18. Evidence for Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary bolide “impact winter” conditions from New Jersey, USA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vellekoop, J.; Esmeray-Senlet, S.; Miller, K.G.; Browning, J.V.; Sluijs, A.; van de Schootbrugge, B.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Brinkhuis, H.

    2016-01-01

    Abrupt and short-lived “impact winter” conditions have commonly been implicated as the main mechanism leading to the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (ca. 66 Ma), marking the end of the reign of the non-avian dinosaurs. However, so far only limited evidence has been

  19. Hadrosauroid dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buffetaut, Eric; Hartman, Axel Frans; Al-Kindi, Mohammed; Schulp, Anne S.

    2015-01-01

    Fragmentary post-cranial remains (femora, tibia, vertebrae) of ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman are described and referred to hadrosauroids. The specimens come from the Al-Khod Conglomerate, of latest Campanian to Maastrichtian age, in the north-eastern part

  20. Evidence for Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary bolide "impact winter" conditions from New Jersey, USA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vellekoop, J.; Esmeray-Senlet, S.; Miller, K.G.; Browning, J.V.; Sluijs, A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/311474748; van de Schootbrugge, B.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/376758562; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/07401370X; Brinkhuis, H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/095046097

    2016-01-01

    Abrupt and short-lived “impact winter” conditions have commonly been implicated as the main mechanism leading to the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (ca. 66 Ma), marking the end of the reign of the non-avian dinosaurs. However, so far only limited evidence has been

  1. New data on Late Turonian crinoids from the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Vodrážka, R.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 83, č. 3 (2008), s. 311-326 ISSN 1214-1119 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/06/0842 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Echinodermata * Crinoidea * taxonomy * taphonomy * Late Turonian * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  2. Evolution of anuran assemblages in the Late Cretaceous of Utah, USA

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk; Eaton, J. G.; Gardner, J.; Přikryl, Tomáš

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 90, č. 4 (2010), s. 341-393 ISSN 1867-1594 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME08066 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Anura * evolution * Late Cretaceous * fossil frogs * stratigraphy * Utah Subject RIV: EG - Zoology

  3. Studies of pre-Selma Cretaceous core samples from the outcrop area in western Alabama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroe, Watson Hiner; Bergenback, Richard E.; Sohl, Norman F.; Applin, Esther R.; Leopold, Estella B.; Pakiser, Helen M.; Conant, Louis C.

    1964-01-01

    In 1954 four core holes were drilled in the pre-Selma Cretaceous strata of the Alabama Coastal Plain in order to get unweathered samples within a few miles of the outcrops. During the next few years several specialists studied the cores, and their reports are published as consecutive parts of this bulletin.

  4. Maps showing thermal maturity of Upper Cretaceous marine shales in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finn, Thomas M.; Pawlewicz, Mark J.

    2013-01-01

    The Wind River Basin is a large Laramide (Late Cretaceous through Eocene) structural and sedimentary basin that encompasses about 7,400 square miles in central Wyoming. The basin is bounded by the Washakie Range, Owl Creek, and southern Bighorn Mountains on the north, the Casper arch on the east and northeast, the Granite Mountains on the south, and the Wind River Range on the west. Important conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources have been discovered and produced from reservoirs ranging in age from Mississippian through Tertiary. It has been suggested that various Upper Cretaceous marine shales are the principal hydrocarbon source rocks for many of these accumulations. Numerous source rock studies of various Upper Cretaceous marine shales throughout the Rocky Mountain region have led to the conclusion that these rocks have generated, or are capable of generating, oil and (or) gas. With recent advances and success in horizontal drilling and multistage fracture stimulation there has been an increase in exploration and completion of wells in these marine shales in other Rocky Mountain Laramide basins that were traditionally thought of only as hydrocarbon source rocks. Important parameters that control hydrocarbon production from shales include: reservoir thickness, amount and type of organic matter, and thermal maturity. The purpose of this report is to present maps and a structural cross section showing levels of thermal maturity, based on vitrinite reflectance (Ro), for Upper Cretaceous marine shales in the Wind River Basin.

  5. Late Cretaceous dwarf decapods from Guerrero, southern Mexico and their migration patterns

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fraaije, R.H.B.; Vega, F.J.; Bakel, van B.W.M.; Garibay-Romero, L.M.

    2006-01-01

    Two new brachyuran species are described for the Upper Cretaceous Mexcala Formation, Guerrero State, Mexico. Longusorbis quadratus new species (Coniacian, Temalac region) is the oldest and southernmost record for the genus. Xanthosia zoquiapensis new species (Campanian, Zoquiapa region) is the first

  6. Explosive radiation of Malpighiales supports a mid-cretaceous origin of modern tropical rain forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Charles C; Webb, Campbell O; Wurdack, Kenneth J; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Donoghue, Michael J

    2005-03-01

    Fossil data have been interpreted as indicating that Late Cretaceous tropical forests were open and dry adapted and that modern closed-canopy rain forest did not originate until after the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary. However, some mid-Cretaceous leaf floras have been interpreted as rain forest. Molecular divergence-time estimates within the clade Malpighiales, which constitute a large percentage of species in the shaded, shrub, and small tree layer in tropical rain forests worldwide, provide new tests of these hypotheses. We estimate that all 28 major lineages (i.e., traditionally recognized families) within this clade originated in tropical rain forest well before the Tertiary, mostly during the Albian and Cenomanian (112-94 Ma). Their rapid rise in the mid-Cretaceous may have resulted from the origin of adaptations to survive and reproduce under a closed forest canopy. This pattern may also be paralleled by other similarly diverse lineages and supports fossil indications that closed-canopy tropical rain forests existed well before the K/T boundary. This case illustrates that dated phylogenies can provide an important new source of evidence bearing on the timing of major environmental changes, which may be especially useful when fossil evidence is limited or controversial.

  7. Construction of the seawater 87Sr/86Sr curve for the Cenozoic and Cretaceous: supporting data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koepnick, R.B.; Burke, W.H.; Denison, R.E.; Hetherington, E.A.; Nelson, H.F.; Otto, J.B.; Waite, L.E.

    1985-01-01

    We present the data used to construct the Cenozoic and Cretaceous portion of the Phanerozoic curve of seawater 87 Sr/ 86 Sr that had been given in summary form by W.H. Burke and coworkers. All Cenozoic samples (128) and 22 Cretaceous samples are foram-nannofossil oozes and limestones from DSDP cores distributed among 13 sites in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Caribbean Sea. Non-DSDP Cretaceous samples (126) include limestone, anhydrite and phosphate samples from North America, Europe and Asia. Determination of the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr value of seawater at particular times in the past is based on comparison of ratios derived from coeval marine samples from widely separated geographic areas. The general configuration of the Cenozoic and Cretaceous curve appears to be strongly influenced by the history of plate interactions and sea-floor spreading. Specific rises and falls in the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr of seawater, however, may be caused by a variety of factors such as variation in lithologic composition of the crust exposed to weathering, configuration and topographic relief of continents, volcanic activity, rate of sea-floor spreading, extent of continental inundation by epeiric seas, and variations in both climate and paleo-oceanographic conditions. Many or all of these factors are probably related to global tectonic processes, yet their combined effect on the temporal variation of seawater 87 Sr/ 86 Sr can complicate a direct plate-tectonic interpretation for portions of the seawater curve. (Auth.)

  8. Depositional and palaeoenvironmental variation of lower Turonian nearshore facies in the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Vodrážka, R.; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela; Šťastný, Martin; Švábenická, L.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 56, September/December (2015), s. 293-315 ISSN 0195-6671 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : phosphatic particle accumulations * organic matter * micropalaeontology * biostratigraphy * condensed sedimentation * Upper Cretaceous Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.196, year: 2015

  9. Larger miliolids of the Late Cretaceous and Paleogene seen through space and time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vlasta Ćosović

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Spatial and temporal occurrences of the larger (complex miliolids are discussed to give more light on biostratigraphy and paleobiogeographic provinces distribution. Seven generaand 47 species from the Late Cretaceous to Oligocene inhabited shallow marine settings in the Indo-Pacific, Tethyan and Caribbean regions. Of all genera only four (Idalina, Periloculina, Pseudolacazina, Lacazina widespread throughout Tethys in theLate Cretaceous and Paleogene. Single occurrence of Lacazina was recorded further to east (Moluccas. By now the Late Cretaceous genus Adrahentina is known only from the Spain. The newcomer’s Eocene genera were Fabularia and Lacazinella. Fabularia reachedhigh diversity in species term in the Central and Western Tethys and occured as unique genus in Caribbean realm, too. Conversely, during the same period, Lacazinella spread over the southern border of Neo-Tethys reaching New Guinea.On the Adriatic – Dinaric Carbonate Platform, larger miliolids occurred from the Late Cretaceous to Cuisian, having the same biostratigraphically trends and distribution as contemporaneous larger miliolids from the Tethys.

  10. Review of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy in Western Cameros basin, Northern Spain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Maria del Pilar Clemente

    2010-01-01

    The Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy of the Cameros basin has been reviewed. In Western Cameros the stratigraphic sections are condensed but they have a parallel development with the basin depocentre and the same groups have been identified. The Tera Group consists of two formations: ...

  11. Geologic framework of nonmarine cretaceous-tertiary boundary sites, raton basin, new mexico and colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillmore, C.L.; Tschudy, R.H.; Orth, C.J.; Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.

    1984-01-01

    Indium concentrations are anomalously high at the palynological Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in fluvial sedimentary rocks of the lower part of the Raton Formation at several localities in the Raton Basin of New Mexico and Colorado. The iridium anomaly is associated with a thin bed of kaolinitic claystone in a discontinuous carbonaceous shale and coal sequence.

  12. Trace element patterns at a non-marine cretaceous-tertiary boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.; Orth, C.J.; Pillmore, C.L.; Tschudy, R.H.

    1984-01-01

    At the fossil-pollen-defined Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the Raton Basin of New Mexico and Colorado, an iridium abundance anomaly and excess scandium, titanium, and chromium are associated with a thin ash or dust fallout bed (now kaolinitic clay) that was preserved in freshwater coal swamps. ?? 1984 Nature Publishing Group.

  13. New material of Carinodens (Squamata, Mosasauridae) from the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) phosphates of Morocco

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bardet, Nathalie; Pereda Suberbiola, Xabier; Schulp, Anne S; Bouya, Baâdi; Everhart, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    The genus Carinodens is an unusual, small-sized, latest Cretaceous mosasaurid. It is known only from a partially toothed dentary and a dentary fragment from the Upper Maastrichtian of The Netherlands and some thirty-odd isolated teeth from coeval stratigraphic levels from Belgium, The Netherlands,

  14. Latest Cretaceous climatic and environmental change in the South Atlantic region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woelders, L.; Vellekoop, J.; Kroon, D.; Smit, J.; Casadío, S.; Prámparo, M. B.; Dinarès-Turell, J.; Peterse, F.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/371172314; Sluijs, A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/311474748; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Speijer, R. P.

    Latest Maastrichtian climate change caused by Deccan volcanism has been invoked as a cause of mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (~66.0 Ma). Yet late Maastrichtian climate and ecological changes are poorly documented, in particular on the Southern Hemisphere. Here we present

  15. Latest Cretaceous climatic and environmental change in the South Atlantic region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woelders, L.; Vellekoop, J.; Kroon, D.; Smit, J.; Casadío, S.; Prámparo, M. B.; Dinarès-Turell, J.; Peterse, F.; Sluijs, A.; Lenaerts, J. T.M.; Speijer, R. P.

    2017-01-01

    Latest Maastrichtian climate change caused by Deccan volcanism has been invoked as a cause of mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (~66.0 Ma). Yet late Maastrichtian climate and ecological changes are poorly documented, in particular on the Southern Hemisphere. Here we present

  16. Bolide impact and long- and short term environmental change across the cretaceous-paleogene boundary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vellekoop, J.

    2015-01-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary mass extinction, ~66 million years ago, was one of the most devastating events in the history of life, marking the end of the dinosaur era. This mass extinction event is now widely acknowledged to be related to the global environmental consequences of the

  17. A new European marsupial indicates a Late Cretaceous high-latitude transatlantic dispersal route

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martin, James E.; Case, Judd A.; Jagt, John W M; Schulp, Anne S.; Mulder, Eric W A

    2005-01-01

    The first record of an undoubted opossum-like marsupial from the Mesozoic of Europe indicates an invasion from North America at the end of Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian). The new 66.1 million-year-old marsupial, Maastrichtidelphys meurismeti n. gen., n. sp., represented by a right upper molar,

  18. Macrofloral remains from the Lower Cretaceous of the Leiva region (Colombia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waveren, van I.M.; Konijnenburg-van Cittert, van J.H.A.; Burgh, van den J.; Dilcher, D.L.

    2002-01-01

    Lower Cretaceous plant fossils are described systematically from marine deposits near Villa de Leiva (Boyaca region, Colombia). Specimens originating from the same localities kept at the Florida Museum of Natural History (Gainesville) were included in the systematic description. The plant fossils

  19. New Age of Fishes initiated by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibert, Elizabeth C; Norris, Richard D

    2015-07-14

    Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) comprise nearly half of all modern vertebrate diversity, and are an ecologically and numerically dominant megafauna in most aquatic environments. Crown teleost fishes diversified relatively recently, during the Late Cretaceous and early Paleogene, although the exact timing and cause of their radiation and rise to ecological dominance is poorly constrained. Here we use microfossil teeth and shark dermal scales (ichthyoliths) preserved in deep-sea sediments to study the changes in the pelagic fish community in the latest Cretaceous and early Paleogene. We find that the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) extinction event marked a profound change in the structure of ichthyolith communities around the globe: Whereas shark denticles outnumber ray-finned fish teeth in Cretaceous deep-sea sediments around the world, there is a dramatic increase in the proportion of ray-finned fish teeth to shark denticles in the Paleocene. There is also an increase in size and numerical abundance of ray-finned fish teeth at the boundary. These changes are sustained through at least the first 24 million years of the Cenozoic. This new fish community structure began at the K/Pg mass extinction, suggesting the extinction event played an important role in initiating the modern "age of fishes."

  20. Cretaceous environmental changes led to high extinction rates in a hyperdiverse beetle family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kergoat, Gael J; Bouchard, Patrice; Clamens, Anne-Laure; Abbate, Jessica L; Jourdan, Hervé; Jabbour-Zahab, Roula; Genson, Gwenaelle; Soldati, Laurent; Condamine, Fabien L

    2014-10-21

    As attested by the fossil record, Cretaceous environmental changes have significantly impacted the diversification dynamics of several groups of organisms. A major biome turnover that occurred during this period was the rise of angiosperms starting ca. 125 million years ago. Though there is evidence that the latter promoted the diversification of phytophagous insects, the response of other insect groups to Cretaceous environmental changes is still largely unknown. To gain novel insights on this issue, we assess the diversification dynamics of a hyperdiverse family of detritivorous beetles (Tenebrionidae) using molecular dating and diversification analyses. Age estimates reveal an origin after the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction (older than previously thought), followed by the diversification of major lineages during Pangaean and Gondwanan breakups. Dating analyses indicate that arid-adapted species diversified early, while most of the lineages that are adapted to more humid conditions diversified much later. Contrary to other insect groups, we found no support for a positive shift in diversification rates during the Cretaceous; instead there is evidence for an 8.5-fold increase in extinction rates that was not compensated by a joint increase in speciation rates. We hypothesize that this pattern is better explained by the concomitant reduction of arid environments starting in the mid-Cretaceous, which likely negatively impacted the diversification of arid-adapted species that were predominant at that time.

  1. A large and abrupt fall in atmospheric CO2 concentrations during Cretaceous times

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Kuypers, M.M.M.; Pancost, R.D.

    1999-01-01

    Marine carbonates and organic matter show a sharp increase in their C-13/C-12 isotope ratio at the Cenomanian/Turonian (C/T) boundary(1,2) in the Cretaceous period. This isotopic shift resulted from an increase in the rate of sedimentary burial of C-13-depleted organic carbon in response to the C/T

  2. Osteology of Huabeisaurus allocotus (Sauropoda: Titanosauriformes from the Upper Cretaceous of China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D D'Emic

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Late Cretaceous titanosauriform sauropod Huabeisaurus allocotus Pang and Cheng is known from teeth and much of the postcranial skeleton. Its completeness makes it an important taxon for integrating and interpreting anatomical observations from more fragmentary Cretaceous East Asian sauropods and for understanding titanosauriform evolution in general. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present a detailed redescription of Huabeisaurus allocotus and a suite of anatomical comparisons with other titanosauriforms that demonstrate its validity via autapomorphies (e.g., division of some presacral vertebral laminae, reduced development of caudal ribs, the development of fossae relative to one another in caudal vertebral neural arches, high tibia-to-femur ratio. Huabeisaurus shares many features with other Cretaceous East Asian sauropods (e.g., pendant cervical ribs, anterior-middle caudal vertebrae with a nearly flat anterior centrum face and a concave posterior centrum face that are absent in sauropods from other landmasses and strata, suggesting a close relationship among many of these forms within the clade Somphospondyli. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Restudy of Huabeisaurus provides further evidence for the existence of a clade of somphospondylans--Euhelopodidae--mainly found in the Cretaceous of East Asia. Euhelopodidae represents a fourth example of the evolution of narrow crowns within Sauropoda, along with diplodocoids, brachiosaurids, and advanced titanosaurs (lithostrotians. Despite being known from fewer species than Diplodocoidea, Brachiosauridae, or Lithostrotia, euhelopodids possessed a broader range of tooth shapes than any of these clades, suggesting that euhelopodids exemplified a comparably broad range of feeding strategies and perhaps diets.

  3. Osteology of Huabeisaurus allocotus (Sauropoda: Titanosauriformes) from the Upper Cretaceous of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Emic, Michael D; Mannion, Philip D; Upchurch, Paul; Benson, Roger B J; Pang, Qiqing; Zhengwu, Cheng

    2013-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous titanosauriform sauropod Huabeisaurus allocotus Pang and Cheng is known from teeth and much of the postcranial skeleton. Its completeness makes it an important taxon for integrating and interpreting anatomical observations from more fragmentary Cretaceous East Asian sauropods and for understanding titanosauriform evolution in general. We present a detailed redescription of Huabeisaurus allocotus and a suite of anatomical comparisons with other titanosauriforms that demonstrate its validity via autapomorphies (e.g., division of some presacral vertebral laminae, reduced development of caudal ribs, the development of fossae relative to one another in caudal vertebral neural arches, high tibia-to-femur ratio). Huabeisaurus shares many features with other Cretaceous East Asian sauropods (e.g., pendant cervical ribs, anterior-middle caudal vertebrae with a nearly flat anterior centrum face and a concave posterior centrum face) that are absent in sauropods from other landmasses and strata, suggesting a close relationship among many of these forms within the clade Somphospondyli. Restudy of Huabeisaurus provides further evidence for the existence of a clade of somphospondylans--Euhelopodidae--mainly found in the Cretaceous of East Asia. Euhelopodidae represents a fourth example of the evolution of narrow crowns within Sauropoda, along with diplodocoids, brachiosaurids, and advanced titanosaurs (lithostrotians). Despite being known from fewer species than Diplodocoidea, Brachiosauridae, or Lithostrotia, euhelopodids possessed a broader range of tooth shapes than any of these clades, suggesting that euhelopodids exemplified a comparably broad range of feeding strategies and perhaps diets.

  4. Similarities and differences in the ilia of Late Cretaceous anurans and urodeles

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk; Gardner, J. D.; Eaton, J. G.; Přikryl, Tomáš

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 183, č. 6 (2012), s. 529-535 ISSN 0037-9409 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME08066 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Anura * Cretaceous * Ilium * North America * Postcranial skeleton * Urodela Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.182, year: 2012

  5. Late Cretaceous tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the Bandar Abbas area, Fars region, Southern Iran.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piryaei, A.; Reijmer, J.J.G.; Borgomano, J.; van Buchem, F.S.P.

    2011-01-01

    The Upper Cretaceous succession in the SE Zagros (Bandar Abbas area) is characterized by marked changes in fades and thickness. These changes relate to sediment deposition in a foreland basin along the NE margin of the Arabian plate. The succession was measured at eight outcrop sections in the

  6. Traces of a large crocodylian from the Lower Cretaceous Sousa Formation, Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campos, Herbert B.N.; da Silva, Rafael C.; Milàn, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    Body imprints and tracks attributed to large crocodylians from the Lower Cretaceous Sousa Formation of Brazil are described and interpreted as having been produced in a subaqueous environment. In addition to the crocodylian tracks, the assemblage also comprises isolated tracks from medium-sized t...

  7. Evidence for gondwanan origins for sassafras (lauraceae)? : late cretaceous fossil wood of antarctica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poole, I.J.; Richter, Hans G.; Francis, Jane E.

    2000-01-01

    Sassafrasoxylon gottwaldii sp. nov. is a new taxon for fossil wood with a suite of features diagnostic of Sassafras Nees & Eberm. of the Lauraceae. The fossil wood described is from Late Cretaceous (Santonian- Maastrichtian) sediments of the northern Antarctica Peninsula region. This new species

  8. New Age of Fishes initiated by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibert, Elizabeth C.; Norris, Richard D.

    2015-07-01

    Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) comprise nearly half of all modern vertebrate diversity, and are an ecologically and numerically dominant megafauna in most aquatic environments. Crown teleost fishes diversified relatively recently, during the Late Cretaceous and early Paleogene, although the exact timing and cause of their radiation and rise to ecological dominance is poorly constrained. Here we use microfossil teeth and shark dermal scales (ichthyoliths) preserved in deep-sea sediments to study the changes in the pelagic fish community in the latest Cretaceous and early Paleogene. We find that the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) extinction event marked a profound change in the structure of ichthyolith communities around the globe: Whereas shark denticles outnumber ray-finned fish teeth in Cretaceous deep-sea sediments around the world, there is a dramatic increase in the proportion of ray-finned fish teeth to shark denticles in the Paleocene. There is also an increase in size and numerical abundance of ray-finned fish teeth at the boundary. These changes are sustained through at least the first 24 million years of the Cenozoic. This new fish community structure began at the K/Pg mass extinction, suggesting the extinction event played an important role in initiating the modern "age of fishes."

  9. Cretaceous sea-surface temperature evolution : Constraints from TEX 86 and planktonic foraminiferal oxygen isotopes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O'Brien, Charlotte L.; Robinson, Stuart A.; Pancost, Richard D.; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Schouten, Stefan; Lunt, Daniel J.; Alsenz, Heiko; Bornemann, André; Bottini, Cinzia; Brassell, Simon C.; Farnsworth, Alexander; Forster, Astrid; Huber, Brian T.; Inglis, Gordon N.; Jenkyns, Hugh C.; Linnert, Christian; Littler, Kate; Markwick, Paul; Mcanena, Alison; Mutterlose, Jörg; Naafs, B. David A.; Püttmann, Wilhelm; Sluijs, Appy; van Helmond, Niels A.G.M.; Vellekoop, Johan; Wagner, Thomas; Wrobel, Neil E.

    2017-01-01

    It is well established that greenhouse conditions prevailed during the Cretaceous Period (~ 145–66 Ma). Determining the exact nature of the greenhouse-gas forcing, climatic warming and climate sensitivity remains, however, an active topic of research. Quantitative and qualitative geochemical and

  10. Bioerosion and bioturbation of a weathered metavolcanic rock (Cretaceous, Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikuláš, Radek; Němečková, Monika; Adamovič, Jiří

    2002-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 1 (2002), s. 21-27 ISSN 0567-7505 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3013912 Keywords : bioerosion * Cretaceous * Czech Republic Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://www.geologica-acta.com/MostrarAbstractAGHAC.do?abstract=aghv3701a03

  11. Paleomagnetism of basalts from Alborz: Iran part of Asia in the Cretaceous

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wensink, H.; Varekamp, J.C.

    1980-01-01

    Paleomagnetic results are reported from 20 sites within three units of volcanic rocks of Cretaceous age from the Central Albon Mountains, Iran. After application of progressive demonetization either with alternating magnetic fields or with heating, the mean characteristic remanence direction is

  12. Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935, a protostegid turtle from the Early Cretaceous of France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaure Scavezzoni

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Modern marine turtles (chelonioids are the remnants of an ancient radiation that roots in the Cretaceous. The oldest members of that radiation are first recorded from the Early Cretaceous and a series of species are known from the Albian-Cenomanian interval, many of which have been allocated to the widespread but poorly defined genus Rhinochelys, possibly concealing the diversity and the evolution of early marine turtles. In order to better understand the radiation of chelonioids, we redescribe the holotype and assess the taxonomy of Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935 (UJF-ID.11167 from the Late Albian (Stoliczkaia dispar Zone of the Vallon de la Fauge (Isère, France. We also make preliminary assessments of the phylogenetic relationships of Chelonioidea using two updated datasets that widely sample Cretaceous taxa, especially Rhinochelys. Rhinochelys amaberti is a valid taxon that is supported by eight autapomorphies; an emended diagnosisis proposed. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that Rhinochelys could be polyphyletic, but constraining it as a monophyletic entity does not produce trees that are significantly less parsimonious. Moreover, support values and stratigraphic congruence indexes are fairly low for the recovered typologies, suggesting that missing data still strongly affect our understanding of the Cretaceous diversification of sea turtles.

  13. Evidence of Egg Diversity in Squamate Evolution from Cretaceous Anguimorph Embryos

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fernandez, V.; Buffetaut, E.; Suteethorn, V.; Rage, J. C.; Tafforeau, P.; Kundrát, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 7 (2015), e0128610 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/12/1207 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : squamates * egg * fossils * cretaceous Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015

  14. Neutron activation analysis in geochemical characterization of Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks from the Nordvik Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mizera, Jiří; Řanda, Z.; Košťák, M.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 284, č. 1 (2010), s. 211-219 ISSN 0236-5731 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30460519 Keywords : Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary * Nordvik Peninsula * Iridium anomaly Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders OBOR OECD: Geology Impact factor: 0.777, year: 2010

  15. Neutron activation analysis in geochemical characterization of Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks from the Nordvik Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mizera, Jiří; Řanda, Zdeněk; Košťák, M.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 284, č. 1 (2010), s. 211-219 ISSN 0236-5731 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10480505 Keywords : Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary * Nordvik Peninsula * Iridium anomaly Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders Impact factor: 0.777, year: 2010

  16. Late Cretaceous extension and exhumation of the Stong Complex and Taku Schist, NE Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    François, Thomas; Afiq Md, Muhammad; Matenco, Liviu; Willingshofer, Ernst; Fatt Ng, Tham; Iskandar Taib, N.; Kamal Shuib, Mustaffa

    2017-04-01

    Dismembering large continental areas by post-orogenic extension requires favourable geodynamic conditions and frequently occurs along pre-existing suture zones or nappe contacts as exemplified by the Stong Complex and Taku Schist of northern Peninsular Malaysia. For this particular case we have employed a field and microstructural kinematic study combined with low temperature thermo-chronology to analyse the tectonic and exhumation history. The results show that the late Palaeozoic - Triassic Indosinian orogeny created successive phases of burial related metamorphism, shearing and contractional deformation. This orogenic structure was then dismembered during a Cretaceous thermal event that culminated in the formation of a large scale late Santonian - early Maastrichtian extensional detachment, genetically associated with crustal melting, the emplacement of syn-kinematic plutons and widespread migmatisation. The emplacement of these magmatic rocks led to an array of simultaneously formed structures that document deformation conditions over a wide temperature range, represented by amphibolite-facies mylonites and more brittle structures, such as cataclastic zones and normal faults that formed during exhumation in the footwall of the detachment. The formation of this detachment and a first phase of Late Cretaceous cooling was followed by renewed Eocene - Oligocene exhumation evidenced from our apatite fission track ages. We infer that an initial Cretaceous thermal anomaly was responsible for the formation of an extensional gneiss dome associated with simple shear and normal fault rotation. These Cretaceous processes played a critical role in the establishment of the presently observed crustal structure of Peninsular Malaysia.

  17. Stratification and Tdal Mixing in the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, P. A.; Hill, J.; Jordan, N.; Avdis, A.; Markwick, P. J.; Lunt, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Most of the organic carbon preserved in the marine sedimentary lithosphere was deposited in shallow epicontinental seas. Understanding the processes which affected productivity and preservation of this organic matter impacts upon our understanding of the ancient carbon cycle, paleobiodiversity and hydrocarbon resource formation. The epicontinental seas of the geological past were vast, typically shallow and lack suitably scaled modern analogues. A key question is the extent to which these water-bodies were stratified or mixed and how this has affected productivity and preservation. Modern coastal seas such as the North Sea become seasonally stratified in summer but are mixed at the coasts through the interaction of the tidal wave with the seabed. The stratified deeper water is separated from the mixed coastal shallows by a front. Modern fronts are associated with elevated productivity in the frontal region with potential for preservation in stratified areas. Herein we use a range of modelling tools to evaluate the development of seasonal stratification, tidal mixing and tidal fronts in the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway (WIS) of North America. The paleogeographies (supplied by Getech) used for this work are underpinned by extensive geological databases and based on an in-house plate model. Paleobathymetric reconstructions utilize geological observations (seismic, lithofacies, fossils) for the shelf and a combination of geological data and age-depth relationships for areas underpinned by oceanic crust. A low resolution coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (HADCM3) was used to evaluate the development of seasonal stratification. Fluidity-ICOM, an unstructured FE model was used to quantify the development of tidal mixing and tidal fronts and GOTM, a 1D vertical ocean model was used to evaluate the impact of a suite of parameters (salinity, temperature, depth and atmospheric forcing) on water-body mixing. HADCM3 results show that the seaway was

  18. Facies changes in the Cenomanian (Cretaceous) of the northwestern Elbe Valley near Dresden (Saxony, Germany)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tröger, Karl-Armin

    2017-03-01

    The Upper Cretaceous of the Elbe Valley in Saxony and the erosion outliers west of it mark an Upper Cretaceous NW-SE-running strait between the Westsudetic Island in the NE and the Mid-European Island to the west. This street connected the NW-German-Polish Basin in the north and the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin (and adjacent regions of the Tethys) in the south. However, post-Cretaceous erosion north of Meißen removed any Upper Cretaceous deposits but erosion outliers at Siebenlehn and especially north of the Forest of Tharandt proof the presence of a marly through silty belt in this area. Three transgressions (base of uppermost Lower to Middle Cenomanian, base of Upper Cenomanian and base of the geslinianum Zone in the mid-Upper Cenomanian) have taken place. The sedimentation was influenced by the topography of the mentioned islands and by movements at structural lines in the Proterozoic and Palaeozoic basement. During the early Late Cenomanian, a marly-silty sedimentation (Mobschatz Formation) in the north existed besides sandy sedimentation in the south (Oberhäslich Formation). The transgression at the base of the geslinianum Zone caused the final submergence of island chains between Meißen, Dresden and Pirna, and a litho- and biofacies bound to cliffs and submarine swells formed. A silty-marly lithofacies, a mixed sandy-silty lithofacies (Dölzschen Formation) and a sandy lithofacies in the south (Sächsisches Elbsandsteingebirge) co-existed during the latest Cenomanian. The first mentioned biofacies yields a rich fauna mainly consisting of oysters, pectinids, rudists, and near-shore gastropods accompanied by echinids and, in some cliffs, teeth of sharks. The Pennrich fauna (Häntzschel 1933; Uhlig 1941) especially consists of the very common serpulids Pyrgopolon (P.) septemsulcata and Glomerula lombricus (formerly Hepteris septemsulcata and G. gordialis).

  19. The distribution, hydrocarbon potential, and development of the Lower Cretaceous black shales in coastal southeastern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guang Hu

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Lower Cretaceous black shales in coastal southeastern China are of significance to the geological study of the Tethys and Pacific realms and to hydrocarbon exploration of southeastern China and East China Sea. However, the stratigraphic correlation, distribution patterns and hydrocarbon potential of the black shales have not been well constrained so far. In this study, the zircon U–Pb ages, organic petrologic and geochemical analyses were performed for representative outcrop sections in the region. Zircon U–Pb ages demonstrate that the Lower Cretaceous black shales in coastal southeastern China can be divided into two regional-scale sets. The first set was deposited during the early stage of the Early Cretaceous (K11, Berriasian–Hauterivian. The second set was deposited during the late stage of the Early Cretaceous (K12, and might extend to the Taiwan Strait. Detailed organic geochemical analyses including organic matter abundance, type and maturity of the Lower Cretaceous black shales demonstrate that the organic matter abundance of the sources reached medium to good quality by the hydrocarbon source rock standards, and the average TOC values and the chloroform bitumen “A” of the K11 black shales are higher. The type of organic matter is mainly type III, type II can also be found from the K12 black shales. The thermal maturity of most samples is high to overmature. A relatively comprehensive hydrocarbon resource evaluation indicates that favorable regions are in the northern Guangdong Province for the K11 and in the coastal region of Zhejiang Province and the western Fujian Province for the K12. Sedimentology studies on the Shipu section for the K11 black shales illuminated that the K12 black shales in coastal southeastern China were mainly deposited during transgressive period. The relative sea level changes controlled the sequential development pattern of the K12 black shales.

  20. Upper Cretaceous to Pleistocene melilitic volcanic rocks of the Bohemian Massif: petrology and mineral chemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skála Roman

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Upper Cretaceous to Pleistocene volcanic rocks of the Bohemian Massif represent the easternmost part of the Central European Volcanic Province. These alkaline volcanic series include rare melilitic rocks occurring as dykes, sills, scoria cones and flows. They occur in three volcanic periods: (i the Late Cretaceous to Paleocene period (80–59 Ma in northern Bohemia including adjacent territories of Saxony and Lusatia, (ii the Mid Eocene to Late Miocene (32.3–5.9 Ma period disseminated in the Ohře Rift, the Cheb–Domažlice Graben, Vogtland, and Silesia and (iii the Early to Late Pleistocene period (1.0–0.26 Ma in western Bohemia. Melilitic magmas of the Eocene to Miocene and Pleistocene periods show a primitive mantle source [(143Nd/144Ndt=0.51280–0.51287; (87Sr/86Srt=0.7034–0.7038] while those of the Upper Cretaceous to Paleocene period display a broad scatter of Sr–Nd ratios. The (143Nd/144Ndt ratios (0.51272–0.51282 of the Upper Cretaceous to Paleocene rocks suggest a partly heterogeneous mantle source, and their (87Sr/86Srt ratios (0.7033–0.7049 point to an additional late- to post-magmatic hydrothermal contribution. Major rock-forming minerals include forsterite, diopside, melilite, nepheline, sodalite group minerals, phlogopite, Cr- and Ti-bearing spinels. Crystallization pressures and temperatures of clinopyroxene vary widely between ~1 to 2 GPa and between 1000 to 1200 °C, respectively. Nepheline crystallized at about 500 to 770 °C. Geochemical and isotopic similarities of these rocks occurring from the Upper Cretaceous to Pleistocene suggest that they had similar mantle sources and similar processes of magma development by partial melting of a heterogeneous carbonatized mantle source.

  1. Cretaceous tropical carbonate platform changes used as paleoclimatic and paleoceanic indicators: the three lower Cretaceous platform crises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaud-Vanneau, A.; Vrielynck, B.

    2009-04-01

    Carbonate platform sediments are of biogenic origin. More commonly the bioclasts are fragments of shells and skeletons. The bioclastic composition of a limestone may reflect the nature of biota inhabiting the area and a carbonate platform can be estimated as a living factory, which reflects the prevailing ecological factors. The rate of carbonate production is highest in the tropics, in oligotrophic environments, and in the photic zone. The rate of carbonate production varies greatly with temperature and nutrient input. Three types of biotic carbonate platform can be distinguished. The highest carbonate production is linked to oligotrophic carbonate platform characterized by the presence of assemblages with hermatypic corals. This type of platform is developed in shallow marine environment, nutrient poor water and warm tropical sea. A less efficient production of carbonate platform is related to mesotrophic environments in cooler and/or deeper water and associated to nutrient flux with, sometime, detrital input. The biota includes red algae, solitary coral and branching ahermatypic corals, common bryozoans, crinoids and echinoids. The less productive carbonate platform is the eutrophic muddy platform where the mud is due to the intense bacterial activity, probably related to strong nutrient flux. All changes of type of carbonate platform can be related to climatic and oceanic changes. Three platform crises occurred during lower Cretaceous time. They are followed by important turnover of microfauna (large benthic foraminifers) and microflora (marine algae). They start with the demise of the previous oligotrophic platform, they continue with oceanic perturbations, expression of which was the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments, well expressed during Late Aptian/Albian and Cenomanian Turonian boundary and the replacement of previous oligotrophic platforms by mesotrophic to eutrophic platforms. The first crisis occurred during Valanginian and Hauterivian

  2. The mid-cretaceous water bearer: Isotope mass balance quantification of the Albian hydrologic cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ufnar, David F.; Gonzalez, Luis A.; Ludvigson, Greg A.; Brenner, Richard L.; Witzke, B.J.

    2002-01-01

    A latitudinal gradient in meteoric ??18O compositions compiled from paleosol sphaerosiderites throughout the Cretaceous Western Interior Basin (KWIB) (34-75??N paleolatitude) exhibits a steeper, more depleted trend than modern (predicted) values (3.0??? [34??N latitude] to 9.7??? [75??N] lighter). Furthermore, the sphaerosiderite meteoric ??18O latitudinal gradient is significantly steeper and more depleted (5.8??? [34??N] to 13.8??? [75??N] lighter) than a predicted gradient for the warm mid-Cretaceous using modern empirical temperature-??18O precipitation relationships. We have suggested that the steeper and more depleted (relative to the modern theoretical gradient) meteoric sphaerosiderite ??18O latitudinal gradient resulted from increased air mass rainout effects in coastal areas of the KWIB during the mid-Cretaceous. The sphaerosiderite isotopic data have been used to constrain a mass balance model of the hydrologic cycle in the northern hemisphere and to quantify precipitation rates of the equable 'greenhouse' Albian Stage in the KWIB. The mass balance model tracks the evolving isotopic composition of an air mass and its precipitation, and is driven by latitudinal temperature gradients. Our simulations indicate that significant increases in Albian precipitation (34-52%) and evaporation fluxes (76-96%) are required to reproduce the difference between modern and Albian meteoric siderite ??18O latitudinal gradients. Calculations of precipitation rates from model outputs suggest mid-high latitude precipitation rates greatly exceeded modern rates (156-220% greater in mid latitudes [2600-3300 mm/yr], 99% greater at high latitudes [550 mm/yr]). The calculated precipitation rates are significantly different from the precipitation rates predicted by some recent general circulation models (GCMs) for the warm Cretaceous, particularly in the mid to high latitudes. Our mass balance model by no means replaces GCMs. However, it is a simple and effective means of obtaining

  3. Paleomagnetism of the Cretaceous Galula Formation and implications for vertebrate evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widlansky, Sarah J.; Clyde, William C.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Roberts, Eric M.; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2018-03-01

    This study uses magnetostratigraphy to help constrain the age of the paleontologically important Galula Formation (Rukwa Rift Basin, southwestern Tanzania). The formation preserves a Cretaceous vertebrate fauna, including saurischian dinosaurs, a putative gondwanatherian mammal, and notosuchian crocodyliforms. With better dating, the Galula Formation and its fossils help fill a temporal gap in our understanding of vertebrate evolution in continental Africa, enabling better evaluation of competing paleobiogeographic hypotheses concerning faunal exchange throughout Gondwana during the Cretaceous. Paleomagnetic samples for this study were collected from the Namba (higher in section) and Mtuka (lower in section) members of the Galula Formation and underwent stepwise thermal demagnetization. All samples displayed a strong normal magnetic polarity overprint, and maximum unblocking temperatures at approximately 690 °C. Three short reversed intervals were identified in the Namba Member, whereas the Mtuka Member lacked any clear reversals. Given the relatively limited existing age constraints, one interpretation correlates the Namba Member to Chron C32. An alternative correlation assigns reversals in the Namba Member to recently proposed short reversals near the end of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron (Chron C34), a time that is traditionally interpreted as having stable normal polarity. The lack of reversals in the Mtuka Member supports deposition within Chron C34. These data suggest that the Namba Member is no older than Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Campanian), with the Mtuka Member less well constrained to the middle Cretaceous (Aptian-Cenomanian). The paleomagnetic results are supported by the application of fold and reversal tests for paleomagnetic stability, and paleomagnetic poles for the Namba (246.4°/77.9°, α95 5.9°) and Mtuka (217.1°/72.2°, α95 11.1°) members closely matching the apparent polar wander path for Africa during the Late Cretaceous. These

  4. New observations on the holopodid crinoid genus Cyathidium Steenstrup from the lower Turonian of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Vodrážka, Radek; Zágoršek, K.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 51, September (2014), s. 56-69 ISSN 0195-6671 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Cyrtocrinoidea * growth * taphonomy * palaeoecology * Upper Cretaceous Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.904, year: 2014

  5. Taxonomic turnover and abundance in Cretaceous to Tertiary wood floras of Antarctica: implications for changes in forest ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cantrill, David J.; Poole, I.J.

    2004-01-01

    Based on the temporal distribution, abundance, and taxonomic composition of wood floras, four phases of vegetation development are recognized through the Cretaceous to Early Tertiary of the Antarctic Peninsula: (1) Aptian to Albian communities dominated by podocarpaceous, araucarian, and minor

  6. Stratigraphic framework and evolution of the Cretaceous continental sequences of the Bauru, Sanfranciscana, and Parecis basins, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batezelli, Alessandro; Ladeira, Francisco Sergio Bernardes

    2016-01-01

    With the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, the South American Plate has undergone an intense process of tectonic restructuring that led to the genesis of the interior basins that encompassed continental sedimentary sequences. The Brazilian Bauru, Sanfranciscana and Parecis basins during Late Cretaceous have had their evolution linked to this process of structuring and therefore have very similar sedimentary characteristics. The purpose of this study is to establish a detailed understanding of alluvial sedimentary processes and architecture within a stratigraphic sequence framework using the concept of the stratigraphic base level or the ratio between the accommodation space and sediment supply. The integration of the stratigraphic and facies data contributed to defining the stratigraphic architecture of the Bauru, Sanfranciscana and Parecis Basins, supporting a model for continental sequences that depicts qualitative changes in the sedimentation rate (S) and accommodation space (A) that occurred during the Cretaceous. This study discusses the origin of the unconformity surfaces (K-0, K-1 and K-1A) that separate Sequences 1, 2A and 2B and the sedimentary characteristics of the Bauru, Sanfranciscana and Parecis Basins from the Aptian to the Maastrichtian, comparing the results with other Cretaceous Brazilian basins. The lower Cretaceous Sequence 1 (Caiuá and Areado groups) is interpreted as a low-accommodation systems tract compound by fluvial and aeolian systems. The upper Cretaceous lacustrine, braided river-dominated alluvial fan and aeolian systems display characteristics of the evolution from high-to low-accommodation systems tracts (Sequences 2A and 2B). Unconformity K-0 is related to the origin of the Bauru Basin itself in the Early Cretaceous. In Sanfranciscana and Parecis basins, the unconformity K-0 marks the contact between aeolian deposits from Lower Cretaceous and Upper Cretaceous alluvial systems (Sequences 1 and 2). Unconformity K-1, which was

  7. Widespread and synchronous change in deep-ocean circulation in the North and South Atlantic during the Late Cretaceous

    OpenAIRE

    Robinson, S. A.; Vance, D.

    2012-01-01

    Modern thermohaline circulation plays a role in latitudinal heat transport and in deep-ocean ventilation, yet ocean circulation may have functioned differently during past periods of extreme warmth, such as the Cretaceous. The Late Cretaceous (100–65 Ma) was an important period in the evolution of the North Atlantic Ocean, characterized by opening ocean gateways, long-term climatic cooling and the cessation of intermittent periods of anoxia (oceanic anoxic events, OAEs). However, how these ph...

  8. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic results from Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica: Implications for the Weddellia collage of crustal blocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divenere, Vic; Kent, Dennis V.; Dalziel, Ian W. D.

    1995-05-01

    A new approximately 117 Ma paleomagnetic pole has been defined from the study of volcanic and plutonic rocks from the eastern portion Marie Byrd Land (MBL). The new pole (185.6 deg E/56.8 deg S, A(sub 95) = 8.7 deg) implies that the eastern portion of MBL was an integral part of Weddellia, which included the ancestral Antarctic Peninsula, Thurston Island, and Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains blocks of West Antarctica. This pole is generally similar to a approximately 125 Ma pole from Thurston Island. Both poles call for major clockwise rotation and poleward motion of eastern MBL and Thurston Island between the Early Cretaceous (125-117 Ma) and the mid-Cretaceous (110-100 Ma). We propose that in the Early Cretaceous, eastern MBL and the Eastern Province of New Zealand were part of a continuous active Pacific margin of Gondwana, connecting with the Antarctic Peninsula, and distinct from western MBL, the Western Province of New Zealand, and North Victoria Land. These western terranes are thought to have accreted to Gondwana in the Devonian. Eastern MBL and the Eastern Province of New Zealand amalgamated with western MBL and the Western Province of New Zealand by the mid-Cretaceous. Major Early Cretaceous motions of the Weddellia blocks postdate the estimated initiation of seafloor spreading in the Weddell Sea and therefore may be the result of plate reorganization during the Cretaceous Quiet Zone.

  9. Major transgression during Late Cretaceous constrained by basin sediments in northern Africa: implication for global rise in sea level

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Kaixuan; Chen, Hanlin; Lin, Xiubin; Wang, Fang; Yang, Shufeng; Wen, Zhixin; Wang, Zhaoming; Zhang, Guangya; Tong, Xiaoguang

    2017-12-01

    The global rise in sea level during the Late Cretaceous has been an issue under discussion by the international geological community. Despite the significance, its impact on the deposition of continental basins is not well known. This paper presents the systematic review on stratigraphy and sedimentary facies compiled from 22 continental basins in northern Africa. The results indicate that the region was dominated by sediments of continental facies during Early Cretaceous, which were replaced by deposits of marine facies in Late Cretaceous. The spatio-temporal distribution of sedimentary facies suggests marine facies deposition reached as far south as Taoudeni-Iullemmeden-Chad-Al Kufra-Upper Egypt basins during Turonian to Campanian. These results indicate that northern Africa underwent significant transgression during Late Cretaceous reaching its peak during Turonian to Coniacian. This significant transgression has been attributed to the global high sea-level during this time. Previous studies show that global rise in sea level in Late Cretaceous may have been driven by an increase in the volume of ocean water (attributed to high CO2 concentration and subsequently warm climate) and a decrease in the volume of the ocean basin (attributed to rapid production of oceanic crust and seamounts). Tectonic mechanism of rapid production of oceanic crust and seamounts could play a fundamental role in driving the global rise in sea level and subsequent transgression in northern Africa during Late Cretaceous.

  10. A critical transition in leaf evolution facilitated the Cretaceous angiosperm revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Hugo Jan; Eppinga, Maarten B; Wassen, Martin J; Dekker, Stefan C

    2012-01-01

    The revolutionary rise of broad-leaved (flowering) angiosperm plant species during the Cretaceous initiated a global ecological transformation towards modern biodiversity. Still, the mechanisms involved in this angiosperm radiation remain enigmatic. Here we show that the period of rapid angiosperm evolution initiated after the leaf interior (post venous) transport path length for water was reduced beyond the leaf interior transport path length for CO2 at a critical leaf vein density of 2.5-5 mm mm(-2). Data and our modelling approaches indicate that surpassing this critical vein density was a pivotal moment in leaf evolution that enabled evolving angiosperms to profit from developing leaves with more and smaller stomata in terms of higher carbon returns from equal water loss. Surpassing the critical vein density may therefore have facilitated evolving angiosperms to develop leaves with higher gas exchange capacities required to adapt to the Cretaceous CO2 decline and outcompete previously dominant coniferous species in the upper canopy.

  11. Fossil evidence of avian crops from the Early Cretaceous of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiaoting; Martin, Larry D.; Zhou, Zhonghe; Burnham, David A.; Zhang, Fucheng; Miao, Desui

    2011-01-01

    The crop is characteristic of seed-eating birds today, yet little is known about its early history despite remarkable discoveries of many Mesozoic seed-eating birds in the past decade. Here we report the discovery of some early fossil evidence for the presence of a crop in birds. Two Early Cretaceous birds, the basal ornithurine Hongshanornis and a basal avian Sapeornis, demonstrate that an essentially modern avian digestive system formed early in avian evolution. The discovery of a crop in two phylogenetically remote lineages of Early Cretaceous birds and its absence in most intervening forms indicates that it was independently acquired as a specialized seed-eating adaptation. Finally, the reduction or loss of teeth in the forms showing seed-filled crops suggests that granivory was possibly one of the factors that resulted in the reduction of teeth in early birds. PMID:21896733

  12. Late cretaceous precessional cycles in double time: a warm-Earth milankovitch response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, J; D'Hondt, S L; King, J W; Gibson, C

    1993-09-10

    Late Cretaceous climatic cycles are reflected in lithological and magnetic variations in carbonate sediments from South Atlantic Deep-Sea Drilling Project site 516F at a paleolatitude of roughly 30 degrees S. Magnetic susceptibility cycles 20 to 60 centimeters in length appear to be controlled by the precession of the equinoxes. Cyclicity is particularly robust within a 24-meter interval in the lower Campanian, where overtone spectral peaks are observed as well as secondary susceptibility maxima within individual precession cycles. One model for this behavior is that sedimentation in the narrow Cretaceous South Atlantic was controlled by equatorial climate dynamics, with the precessional insolation signal rectified by the large land masses surrounding the ocean basin.

  13. The lower cretaceous volcanism in the coastal range of Central Chile: Geochronology and isotopic geochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morata, D.; Aguirre, L; Feraud, G; Fuentes, F.; Parada, M.A.; Vergara, M

    2001-01-01

    Major factors involved in subduction zone magmatism are related to the melting of the underlying mantle, which can contain a component of aqueous fluid and/or melts derived from the subducting plate (e.g. Peate et al., 1997). The Chilean Pacific margin is a subduction zone, active from Early Mesozoic to now, in which the magmatic arc emplaced on the Paleozoic basement progressively migrate to the east. The western part of this arc constitutes the Coastal Range. In this work, isotopic and radiometric data from four E-W profiles along c. 500 km of the Lower Cretaceous volcanic rocks in the Coastal Range of Chile are presented. The aim of this research is to obtain a model for the genesis of this Cretaceous volcanic arc based on their isotopic signature (au)

  14. New earwigs in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Dermaptera, Neodermaptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Michael S

    2011-01-01

    Two new earwigs (Dermaptera) recently discovered in mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian) amber from Myanmar are described and figured. Astreptolabis ethirosomatiagen. et sp. n. is represented by a peculiar pygidicranoid female, assigned to a new subfamily, Astreptolabidinaesubfam. n., and differs from other protodermapterans in the structure of the head, pronotum, tegmina, and cercal forceps. Tytthodiplatys mecynocercusgen. et sp. n. is a distinctive form of first-instar nymph of the Diplatyidae, the earliest record for this basal earwig family. The taxon can be distinguished from other Early Cretaceous nymphs by the structure of the head, antennae, legs, and most notably its filamentous and annulate cerci. The character affinities of these taxa among Neodermaptera are generally discussed as is the identity of an enigmatic 'earwig-like' species from the Jurassic of China.

  15. New earwigs in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Dermaptera, Neodermaptera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Engel

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Two new earwigs (Dermaptera recently discovered in mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian amber from Myanmar are described and figured. Astreptolabis ethirosomatia gen. et sp. n. is represented by a peculiar pygidicranoid female, assigned to a new subfamily, Astreptolabidinae subfam. n., and differs from other protodermapterans in the structure of the head, pronotum, tegmina, and cercal forceps. Tytthodiplatys mecynocercus gen. et sp. n. is a distinctive form of first-instar nymph of the Diplatyidae, the earliest record for this basal earwig family. The taxon can be distinguished from other Early Cretaceous nymphs by the structure of the head, antennae, legs, and most notably its filamentous and annulate cerci. The character affinities of these taxa among Neodermaptera are generally discussed as is the identity of an enigmatic ‘earwig-like’ species from the Jurassic of China.

  16. The fossil record of Cunoniaceae: new evidence from Late Cretaceous wood of Antarctica?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole; Cantrill; Hayes; Francis

    2000-08-01

    Fossil angiosperm wood from Upper Cretaceous sediments of Livingston Island and James Ross Island in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region is identified as having the combination of anatomical characters most similar to modern Cunoniaceae. The material is characterised by predominantly solitary vessels, opposite to scalariform intervessel pitting, scalariform perforation plates, heterocellular multiseriate and homocellular uniseriate rays, diffuse axial parenchyma. Anatomically, the specimens conform most closely to the fossil organ genus Weinmannioxylon Petriella which has been placed within the Cunoniaceae. The presence of Weinmannioxylon in Late Cretaceous sediments suggests that taxa within or stem taxa to the Cunoniaceae might have been a notable component of the forest vegetation that covered the Antarctic Peninsula during the Late Mesozoic and may therefore represent the earliest record of this family.

  17. Spectroscopic studies of wood fossils from the Crato Formation, Cretaceous Period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, J H; Freire, P T C; Abagaro, B T O; Silva, J A F; Saraiva, G D; de Lima, F J; Barros, O A; Bantim, R A; Saraiva, A A F; Viana, B C

    2013-11-01

    In this work we study two types of wood fossils (Gymnosperms, Araucariaceae) from the Crato Formation of Araripe Basin in Brazil, from the Cretaceous Period. The samples were characterized by Raman and infrared spectroscopies, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The results obtained by different techniques showed that although the rocks surrounding the fossils have predominantly the same constitution - calcite - however, the formation processes of these types of wood fossils are quite different. One of the fossils, denominated as light wood, is predominantly composed of gypsum, while the other fossil, the dark wood, is rich in amorphous carbon, possibly the kerogen type. Implications relative to the environment where the plants lived millions years ago are also given. Finally, the results highlight the constitution of one of the most important paleontological sites of the Cretaceous Period in the South America. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. A new basal titanosaur (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Ismar de Souza; Salgado, Leonardo; Lindoso, Rafael Matos; Araújo-Júnior, Hermínio Ismael de; Nogueira, Francisco Cézar Costa; Soares, José Agnelo

    2017-04-01

    Although dinosaurian ichnofaunas are common in the Northeastern Brazilian Interior Basins, osteological remains are poorly represented in these areas. One of the main challenges in vertebrate paleontology in the Lower Cretaceous of this region is to recognize body-fossils, which can unveil the anatomy, functional morphology and paleoecological aspects of the dinosaurian fauna recorded until now only by footprints and trackways. The discovery of a new dinosaur specimen in the Rio Piranhas Formation of the Triunfo Basin opens new perspectives into the comprehension of paleogeographical and temporal distribution of the titanosaur sauropods. Titanosaurs are common in Upper Cretaceous rocks of Brazil and Argentina. The age of the Rio Piranhas Formation is considered to range from Berriasian to early Hauterivian. Thus, the description of this new species opens new viewpoints concerning the paleobiogeographical aspects of these sauropod dinosaurs.

  19. The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous provide insights on snake evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Michael W; Nydam, Randall L; Palci, Alessandro; Apesteguía, Sebastián

    2015-01-27

    The previous oldest known fossil snakes date from ~100 million year old sediments (Upper Cretaceous) and are both morphologically and phylogenetically diverse, indicating that snakes underwent a much earlier origin and adaptive radiation. We report here on snake fossils that extend the record backwards in time by an additional ~70 million years (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). These ancient snakes share features with fossil and modern snakes (for example, recurved teeth with labial and lingual carinae, long toothed suborbital ramus of maxillae) and with lizards (for example, pronounced subdental shelf/gutter). The paleobiogeography of these early snakes is diverse and complex, suggesting that snakes had undergone habitat differentiation and geographic radiation by the mid-Jurassic. Phylogenetic analysis of squamates recovers these early snakes in a basal polytomy with other fossil and modern snakes, where Najash rionegrina is sister to this clade. Ingroup analysis finds them in a basal position to all other snakes including Najash.

  20. Upper Cretaceous chalk facies and depositional history recorded in the Mona-1 core, Mona Ridge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anderskouv, Kresten; Surlyk, Finn

    2011-01-01

    The 331 m long core from the Mona-1 well in the Danish North Sea spans almost the entire Upper Cretaceous Chalk Group but only about 10% of Late Cretaceous time is represented. The succession comprises 14 facies representing pelagic deposition, turbidity flow, and mass-transport processes......, and the resultant deposits were thoroughly bioturbated if deposited during normal oxygenation at the sea floor. Periodic benthic dysoxia resulted in the preservation of primary structures, as represented by laminated chalk which consists of thin pelagic laminae alternating with thin turbidites. In addition...... to the thin turbidites in the laminated chalk, four dif­ferent turbidite facies are interpreted as representing high- to low-energy flows. Clast-supported chalk conglomerates have previously not been differentiated from other turbidites, but are here interpreted to be directly related to the down...

  1. New Specimens of Nemegtomaia from the Baruungoyot and Nemegt Formations (Late Cretaceous) of Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanti, Federico; Currie, Philip J.; Badamgarav, Demchig

    2012-01-01

    Two new specimens of the oviraptorid theropod Nemegtomaia barsboldi from the Nemegt Basin of southern Mongolia are described. Specimen MPC-D 107/15 was collected from the upper beds of the Baruungoyot Formation (Campanian-Maastrichtian), and is a nest of eggs with the skeleton of the assumed parent of Nemegtomaia on top in brooding position. Much of the skeleton was damaged by colonies of dermestid coleopterans prior to its complete burial. However, diagnostic characters are recovered from the parts preserved, including the skull, partial forelimbs (including the left hand), legs, and distal portions of both feet. Nemegtomaia represents the fourth known genus of oviraptorid for which individuals have been found on nests of eggs. The second new specimen, MPC-D 107/16, was collected a few kilometers to the east in basal deposits of the Nemegt Formation, and includes both hands and femora of a smaller Nemegtomaia individual. The two formations and their diverse fossil assemblages have been considered to represent sequential time periods and different environments, but data presented here indicate partial overlap across the Baruungoyot-Nemegt transition. All other known oviraptorids from Mongolia and China are known exclusively from xeric or semi-arid environments. However, this study documents that Nemegtomaia is found in both arid/aeolian (Baruungoyot Formation) and more humid/fluvial (Nemegt Formation) facies. PMID:22347465

  2. Palaeopathological Survey of a Population of Mapusaurus (Theropoda: Carcharodontosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous Huincul Formation, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Phil R.; Coria, Rodolfo A.

    2013-01-01

    Paleoepidemiology (the study of disease and trauma in prehistoric populations) provides insight into the distribution of disease and can have implications for interpreting behavior in extinct organisms. A monospecific bonebed of the giant carcharodontosaurid Mapusaurus (minimum number of individuals = 9) from the Cañadón del Gato site, Neuquén Province, Argentina (Cenomanian) provides a rare opportunity to investigate disease within a single population of this important apex predator. Visual inspection of 176 skeletal elements belonging to a minimum of nine individuals yielded a small number of abnormalities on a cervical vertebra, two ribs, pedal phalanx, and an ilium. These are attributed to traumatic (two cases), infectious (two cases) and anomalous (one case) conditions in a minimum of one individual. The emerging picture for large theropod (abelisaurids, allosaurids, carcharodontosaurids, tyrannosaurids) populations suggests that 1) osseous abnormalities were relatively rare (7–19% of individuals) but consistently present, and 2) trauma was a leading factor in the frequency of pathological occurrences, evidence of an active, often perilous lifestyle. PMID:23691045

  3. Sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology and provenance of the Upper Cretaceous siliciclastic sediments of South Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Baaske, Uwe Peter

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to establish a sequence stratigraphic framework for the Upper Cretaceous (Albian to Santonian) sedimentary rocks of South Jordan. This was accomplished by detailed sedimentological studies and facies analysis. Furthermore the provenance and weathering history of the siliciclastic rocks was determined by using sedimentary petrography and bulk rock geochemistry. The study area is situated in the southern part of Jordan, about 60 km south of the city Ma'an, between t...

  4. Ichnology of the Cretaceous Oceanic Red Beds (Outer Western Carpathians, Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikuláš, Radek; Skupien, P.; Bubík, M.; Vašíček, Zdeněk

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 60, č. 3 (2009), s. 233-250 ISSN 1335-0552 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0917 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516; CEZ:AV0Z30860518 Keywords : Upper Cretaceous * Western Carpathians * hemipelagic * ichnofossils * ichnofabric * red beds Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.963, year: 2009 http://www.geologicacarpathica.sk/ src /main.php

  5. A new family of aphids (Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha from the Lower Cretaceous of Baissa, Transbaikalia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Homan

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The family Rasnitsynaphididae fam. n. has a unique combination of characters: 9-segmented antennae; rhinaria arranged in many transverse rows, surrounding the antennal segments; segment IX narrower than other segments of flagellum, always without rhinaria; cubitus branches separated; ovipositor present; siphuncular pores absent. The new family comprises the genus Rasnitsynaphis gen. n. with three species, R. ennearticulata sp. n., R. coniuncta sp. n., and R. quadrata sp. n., all from the Lower Cretaceous of Transbaikalia.

  6. An iridium abundance anomaly at the palynological Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in northern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orth, C.J.; Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.; Pillmore, C.L.; Tschudy, R.H.; Fassett, J.E.

    1981-01-01

    An iridium abundance anomaly, with concentrations up to 5000 parts per trillion over a background level of 4 to 20 parts per trillion, has been located in sedimentary rocks laid down under freshwater swamp conditions in the Raton Basin of northeastern New Mexico. The anomaly occurs at the base of a coal bed, at the same stratigraphic position at which several well-known species of Cretaceous-age pollen became extinct. Copyright ?? 1981 AAAS.

  7. The Ichnogenus Gastrochaenolites and its Tracemakers from Firmgrounds of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikuláš, Radek; Žítt, Jiří; Nekovařík, Č.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 10, - (2003), s. 13-21 ISSN 1042-0940 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/1315 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3013912 Keywords : Mollusc traces * Gastrochaenolites * Cretaceous Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://rzblx1.uni-regensburg.de/ezeit/detail.phtml?bibid=CASCR& colors =7&lang=en&jour_id=41560

  8. A dinosaur community composition dataset for the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Basin of Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.F. Funston

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Dinosaur community composition data for eleven fossil localities in the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Basin of Mongolia are compiled from field observations and records in the literature. Counts were generated from skeletons and represent numbers of individuals preserved in each locality. These data were used in the analyses of Funston et al. [1] “Oviraptorosaur anatomy, diversity, and ecology in the Nemegt Basin” in the Nemegt Ecosystems Special Issue of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, where the results are discussed.

  9. Spatial niche partitioning in dinosaurs from the latest cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of North America

    OpenAIRE

    Lyson, Tyler R.; Longrich, Nicholas R.

    2010-01-01

    We examine patterns of occurrence of associated dinosaur specimens (n = 343) from the North American Upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation and equivalent beds, by comparing their relative abundance in sandstone and mudstone. Ceratopsians preferentially occur in mudstone, whereas hadrosaurs and the small ornithopod Thescelosaurus show a strong association with sandstone. By contrast, the giant carnivore Tyrannosaurus rex shows no preferred association with either lithology. These lithologies a...

  10. A new species of Baierella from the Krasnyi Yar locality, early Cretaceous of western Transbaikalia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bugdaeva, E.V.; Markevich, V.S. [Russian Academy of Science, Vladivostok (Russian Federation). Inst. of Biology & Soil Science

    2007-11-15

    Plant remains of Baierella R. Potonie (Ginkgoales) were found for the first time in the Lower Cretaceous deposits of the Khilok Formation (Buryatia Republic), where they form a thin coal bed. A new species, B. averianovii, is described from the Krasnyi Yar locality. The monodominant burial of the new species in combination with pollen grains of Ginkgocycadophytus prevailing in the relevant palynological assemblage allows the authors to reconstruct a monospecific woody wetland plant community.

  11. Cretaceous origin of dogwoods: an anatomically preserved Cornus (Cornaceae fruit from the Campanian of Vancouver Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian A. Atkinson

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background Cornaceae consists of 58 species, all within the genus Cornus. The Cenozoic record of Cornus is extensive and well documented. Molecular divergence-time studies suggest that crown-group Cornus may have originated by the Late Cretaceous. However, there has been no formal report of Cornus from Cretaceous deposits. Here, we characterize a permineralized fossil fruit assignable to Cornus subg. Cornus from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian Shelter Point locality of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Methods Serial sections of the specimen were made using the cellulose acetate peel technique. Peels were mounted onto microscope slides and studied by light microscopy. Results The fossil fruit consists of a tri-locular woody endocarp with dorsal germination valves. The locules are sub-triangular to ellipsoidal in transverse section and are separated by thin septa. Endocarp tissue consists of elongated and isodiametric sclereids and secretory cavities. Internal vascular tissue was not observed, but is interpreted to have been located along the outer periphery of the septa for some length, common in many cornalean taxa. There is one seed in each locule, one of which was found to have endosperm and a dicotyledonous embryo. Discussion Woody endocarps with germination valves, without central vascular bundles, and with one seed per locule are characteristic of several families within the order Cornales. The interpreted vascular pattern and presence of secretory cavities indicates that the fossil fruit is assignable to Cornus subg. Cornus. Comparative analysis suggests that the fossil is most similar to Cornus piggae, a species described from the Paleocene of North Dakota. This fossil is the first evidence of crown-group Cornaceae from the Cretaceous and sheds light on both the plesiomorphic fruit characters and the timing of the initial diversification of the family and basal asterid lineage, Cornales.

  12. Palaeomagnetism of lower cretaceous tuffs from Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region, western Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globerman, B.R.; Coe, R.S.; Hoare, J.M.; Decker, J.

    1983-01-01

    During the past decade, the prescient arguments1-3 for the allochthoneity of large portions of southern Alaska have been corroborated by detailed geological and palaeomagnetic studies in south-central Alaska 4-9 the Alaska Peninsula10, Kodiak Island11,12 and the Prince William Sound area13 (Fig. 1). These investigations have demonstrated sizeable northward displacements for rocks of late Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and early Tertiary age in those regions, with northward motion at times culminating in collision of the allochthonous terranes against the backstop of 'nuclear' Alaska14,15. A fundamental question is which parts of Alaska underwent significantly less latitudinal translation relative to the 'stable' North American continent, thereby serving as the 'accretionary nucleus' into which the displaced 'microplates'16 were eventually incorporated17,18? Here we present new palaeomagnetic results from tuffs and associated volcaniclastic rocks of early Cretaceous age from the Yukon-Kuskokwin delta region in western Alaska. These rocks were probably overprinted during the Cretaceous long normal polarity interval, although a remagnetization event as recent as Palaeocene cannot be ruled out. This overprint direction is not appreciably discordant from the expected late Cretaceous direction for cratonal North America. The implied absence of appreciable northward displacement for this region is consistent with the general late Mesozoic-early Tertiary tectonic pattern for Alaska, based on more definitive studies: little to no poleward displacement for central Alaska, though substantially more northward drift for the 'southern Alaska terranes' (comprising Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Prince William Sound area, and Matunuska Valley) since late Cretaceous to Palaeocene time. ?? 1983 Nature Publishing Group.

  13. Rebuilding biodiversity of Patagonian marine molluscs after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberhan, Martin; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We analysed field-collected quantitative data of benthic marine molluscs across the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary in Patagonia to identify patterns and processes of biodiversity reconstruction after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. We contrast diversity dynamics from nearshore environments with those from offshore environments. In both settings, Early Palaeogene (Danian) assemblages are strongly dominated by surviving lineages, many of which changed their relative abundance from being rare before the extinction event to becoming the new dominant forms. Only a few of the species in the Danian assemblages were newly evolved. In offshore environments, however, two newly evolved Danian bivalve species attained ecological dominance by replacing two ecologically equivalent species that disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous. In both settings, the total number of Danian genera at a locality remained below the total number of late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) genera at that locality. We suggest that biotic interactions, in particular incumbency effects, suppressed post-extinction diversity and prevented the compensation of diversity loss by originating and invading taxa. Contrary to the total number of genera at localities, diversity at the level of individual fossiliferous horizons before and after the boundary is indistinguishable in offshore environments. This indicates an evolutionary rapid rebound to pre-extinction values within less than ca 0.5 million years. In nearshore environments, by contrast, diversity of fossiliferous horizons was reduced in the Danian, and this lowered diversity lasted for the entire studied post-extinction interval. In this heterogeneous environment, low connectivity among populations may have retarded the recolonisation of nearshore habitats by survivors.

  14. Review of the tectonic setting of Cretaceous to Quaternary volcanism in northwestern Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azizi, Hossein; Moinevaziri, Hossein

    2009-04-01

    There are three parallel magmatic arcs in the northwest of Iran, of Cretaceous and Eocene-Miocene to Quaternary ages, trending in a NW-SE direction between the Main Zagros Thrust (MZT) in the southwest and the Tabriz Fault in the northeast. In this study, these volcanic belts are referred to as the Sanandaj Cretaceous volcanic (SCV), Sonqor-Baneh volcanic (SBV), and Hamedan-Tabriz volcanic (HTV) belts, respectively. The SCV belt consists mainly of mafic to intermediate submarine rocks with calc-alkaline affinity, and the SBV belt is composed of basalt, gabbro to dioritic bodies, with extrusive to subvolcanic magmatic textures and tholeiitic to alkaline affinity. These extend along the MZT between the Zagros ophiolite in the west and the SCV belt in the east. The HTV belt is part of the Urmieh-Dokhtar Magmatic Arc belt that extends across the Hamedan to Tabriz, and was active in the Miocene to Quaternary. The petrology and geochemistry of the northwestern Iranian volcanic zones indicate that they were generated at an active continental margin. In addition to the volcanic belts, there is a dismembered ophiolite along the MZT from Kermanshah to Turkey, in a NW-SE direction. These ophiolites are remnants of Neo-Tethyan oceanic crust which was obducted over the Arabian passive margin in the late Cretaceous. In this study, we propose that a collision between the Arabian and Iranian plates may have occurred in the middle to late Miocene, and that the Neo-Tethyan oceanic subduction beneath northwestern Iran ceased for a while. As a result, a gap in volcanic activity occurred between the Cretaceous and the Middle Miocene-Quaternary volcanism events. This gap in activity is not observed in southwestern Iran.

  15. Early cretaceous mammals from the Khamryn-Us and Shalan-Ikher localities in Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopatin, A V

    2017-11-01

    New material of Early Cretaceous mammals from Mongolia, including dentary fragments of Gobiconodon borissiaki Trofimov, 1978 and G. hoburensis (Trofimov, 1978) from the well-known dinosaur locality Khamryn-Us (Dornogovi aimag) and a maxilla fragment of G. borissiaki from the new locality Shalan-Ikher (Övörkhangai aimag), is presented. The new data extend the knowledge on the morphology and intraspecific variability of Gobiconodon and the distribution of the Höovör Mammalian Assemblage in Mongolia.

  16. Fossil echinoid (Echinoidea, Echinodermata) diversity of the Early Cretaceous (Hauterivian) in the Paris Basin (France)

    OpenAIRE

    Benetti,Sophie; Saucède,Thomas; David,Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Abstract This dataset inventories occurrence records of fossil echinoid specimens collected in the Calcaires ? Spatangues Formation (CSF) that crops out in the southeast of the Paris Basin (France), and is dated from the Acanthodiscus radiatus chronozone (ca. 132 Ma, early Hauterivian, Early Cretaceous). Fossil richness and abundance of the CSF has attracted the attention of palaeontologists since the middle of the nineteenth century. This dataset compiles occurrence data (referenced by local...

  17. Evolutionary and paleobiological implications of Coleoptera (Insecta from Tethyan-influenced Cretaceous ambers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Peris

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The intense study of coleopteran inclusions from Spanish (Albian in age and French (Albian–Santonian in age Cretaceous ambers, both of Laurasian origin, has revealed that the majority of samples belong to the Polyphaga suborder and, in contrast to the case of the compression fossils, only one family of Archostemata, one of Adephaga, and no Myxophaga suborders are represented. A total of 30 families from Spain and 16 families from France have been identified (with almost twice bioinclusions identified in Spain than in France; 13 of these families have their most ancient representatives within these ambers. A similar study had previously only been performed on Lebanese ambers (Barremian in age and Gondwanan in origin, recording 36 coleopteran families. Few lists of taxa were available for Myanmar (Burmese amber (early Cenomanian in age and Laurasian in origin. Coleopteran families found in Cretaceous ambers share with their modern relatives mainly saproxylic and detritivorous habits in the larval or adult stages, rather than wood-boring behavior. Fifteen of the coleopteran families occur in both the Lebanese and Spanish ambers; while only five are present in both Spanish and French. Considering the paleogeographic proximity and similarity of age of the Spanish and French ambers, the small number of taxa found in common at both areas is surprising. The ancient origin for the Lebanese and Spanish ambers, the paleogeography (including some barriers for terrestrial biota and the local paleohabitats are factors that may explain the dissimilarity with the French specimens. Wildfires are believed to be a more likely cause of resin production during the Cretaceous than infestation by beetles. Current knowledge of the beetle species found in the Cretaceous ambers is introduced.

  18. The oldest micropepline beetle from Cretaceous Burmese amber and its phylogenetic implications (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Chen-Yang; Huang, Di-Ying

    2014-10-01

    The staphylinid subfamily Micropeplinae includes small strongly sclerotized beetles with truncate elytra leaving the most part of abdomen exposed. Fossil micropeplines are rare and confined to Cenozoic representatives of extant genera. Here, we describe the oldest micropepline, Protopeplus cretaceus gen. and sp. n., from the Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber. Fluorescence microscope and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) were both used to reveal diagnostic features of Micropeplinae and some primitive traits that place Protopeplus very basally within Micropeplinae.

  19. Implications of flexible-shelled eggs in a Cretaceous choristoderan reptile

    OpenAIRE

    Hou, Lian-Hai; Li, Pi-Peng; Ksepka, Daniel T.; Gao, Ke-Qin; Norell, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    Flexible, or soft-shelled, eggs are almost unknown in the fossil record, leaving large gaps in our knowledge of the reproductive biology of many tetrapod clades. Here, we report two flexible-shelled eggs of the hyphalosaurid choristodere Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis from the Early Cretaceous of China, one containing an embryo and the second associated with a neonate. Choristoderes are an enigmatic group of aquatic reptiles that survived the K–T extinction but died out in the Miocene. Hyphalos...

  20. Current oil and gas production from North American Upper Cretaceous Chalks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scholle, P.A.

    1977-01-01

    Production of oil and natural gas from North American chalks has increased significantly during the past five years. Chalk reservoirs have been discovered in the Gulf Coast in the Austin Group, Saratoga and Annona Chalks, Ozan Formation, Selma Group, Monroe gas rock, (an informal unit of Navarro age), and other Upper Cretaceous units. In the Western Interior, production has been obtained from the Cretaceous Niobrara and Greenhorn Formations. Significant discoveries of natural gas and gas condensate also have been made in the Upper Cretaceous Wyandot Formation on the Scotian Shelf of eastern Canada. All North American chalk units share a similar depositional and diagenetic history. The diagenetic history of a chalk is critical in determining its reservoir potential. All chalk has a stable composition (low-Mg calcite) and very high primary porosity. With subsequent burial, mechanical and chemical (solution-transfer) compaction can reduce or completely eliminate pore space. The degree of loss of primary porosity in chalk sections is normally a direct function of the maximum depth to which it has been buried. Pore-water chemistry, pore-fluid pressures, and tectonic stresses also influence rates of cementation. Oil or gas reservoirs of North American chalk fall into three main groups: 1. Areas with thin overburden and significant primary porosity retention. 2. Areas with thicker overburden but considerable fracturing. 3. Areas with thick overburden in which marine pore fluids have been retained.

  1. Cratonia cotyledon gen. et sp. nov: a unique Cretaceous seedling related to Welwitschia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rydin, Catarina; Mohr, Barbara; Friis, Else Marie

    2003-08-07

    The fossil history of most extant seed plant groups is relatively well documented. Cycads, conifers and Ginkgo all have an extensive fossil record, and the understanding of early angiosperm diversity is increasing. The Gnetales are an exception. Few macrofossils have been described, and character evolution within the group is poorly known. Cratonia cotyledon is a new gnetalean fossil from the Early Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil. This well-preserved seedling consists of two cotyledons, a feeder and a root. The leaf surface shows polygonal epidermal cells and apparently paracytic or actinocytic stomata. The cotyledons have a very specific venation pattern, shared only by Cratonia and Welwitschia, with parallel primary veins and secondary veins fusing to form inverted 'Y's between the main veins. Based on the 'Y'-venation and the presence of a feeder, we assign Cratonia to the Gnetum-Welwitschia clade. Fossil seedlings are unusual and this complete specimen with unambiguously welwitschioid characters is spectacular. Cratonia indicates that the evolutionary split between Gnetum and Welwitschia had occurred in the Early Cretaceous. Further, the close relationship between a West African plant and an east South American Early Cretaceous fossil is consistent with a major geological event: the rifting of the Gondwana continent.

  2. Micropaleontology and palaeoclimate during the early Cretaceous in the Lishu depression, Songliao basin, Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Yan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Diverse and abundant microfossils, such as palynomorphs, algae and Ostracoda, were collected from lower Cretaceous strata of Lishu depression, located in southeastern Songliao basin, and were identified and classified in order to provide relevant, detailed records for paleoclimate research. The early Cretaceous vegetation and climate of southeastern Songliao basin have been inferred from the analysis of palynomorph genera, algae and Ostracoda of the LS1 and SW110 wells. The lower Cretaceous strata include, in ascending stratigraphic order, the Shahezi, Yingcheng and Denglouku formations. Palynological assemblages for each formation, based on biostratigraphic and statistical analyses, provide an assessment of their longitudinal variations. During deposition of the Shahezi Formation, the climate was mid-subtropical. Vegetation consisted of coniferous forest and herbage. During deposition of the Yingcheng Formation, the climate was south Asian tropical. Vegetation consisted mainly of coniferous forest and herbal shrub. In addition, fresh and saline non-marine water dominated the lacustrine setting during deposition of these formations. Deposition of the Denglouku Formation, however, occurred under a hot and dry tropical climate. The vegetation was mostly coniferous forest and lake waters became saline. Palaeoclimate variation is correlated by the lake level change and the development of sedimentary facies. Palaeoclimate contribute to the formation of hydrocarbon source rocks and reservoir.

  3. The first reported ceratopsid dinosaur from eastern North America (Owl Creek Formation, Upper Cretaceous, Mississippi, USA

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    Andrew A. Farke

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ceratopsids (“horned dinosaurs” are known from western North America and Asia, a distribution reflecting an inferred subaerial link between the two landmasses during the Late Cretaceous. However, this clade was previously unknown from eastern North America, presumably due to limited outcrop of the appropriate age and depositional environment as well as the separation of eastern and western North America by the Western Interior Seaway during much of the Late Cretaceous. A dentary tooth from the Owl Creek Formation (late Maastrichtian of Union County, Mississippi, represents the first reported occurrence of Ceratopsidae from eastern North America. This tooth shows a combination of features typical of Ceratopsidae, including a double root and a prominent, blade-like carina. Based on the age of the fossil, we hypothesize that it is consistent with a dispersal of ceratopsids into eastern North America during the very latest Cretaceous, presumably after the two halves of North America were reunited following the retreat of the Western Interior Seaway.

  4. The emergence of core eudicots: new floral evidence from the earliest Late Cretaceous.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friis, Else Marie; Pedersen, Kaj Raunsgaard; Crane, Peter R

    2016-12-28

    Eudicots, the most diverse of the three major clades of living angiosperms, are first recognized in the latest Barremian-earliest Aptian. All Early Cretaceous forms appear to be related to species-poor lineages that diverged before the rise of core eudicots, which today comprise more than 70% of angiosperm species. Here, we report the discovery of a well-preserved flower, Caliciflora mauldinensis, from the earliest Late Cretaceous, with unequivocal core eudicot features, including five sepals, five petals and two whorls of stamens borne on the rim of a floral cup containing three free carpels. Pollen is tricolporate. Carpels mature into follicular fruitlets. This character combination suggests a phylogenetic position among rosids, but more specific assignment is precluded by complex patterns of character evolution among the very large number of potentially relevant extant taxa. The whorled floral organization is consistent with ideas that this stable pattern evolved early and was a prerequisite for more integrated patterns of floral architecture that evolved later. However, limited floral synorganization in Caliciflora and all earlier eudicot flowers recognized so far, calls into question hypotheses that substantial diversification of core eudicots had already occurred by the end of the Early Cretaceous. © 2016 The Authors.

  5. Oldest fruits of the grape family (Vitaceae) from the Late Cretaceous Deccan cherts of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manchester, Steven R; Kapgate, Dashrath K; Wen, Jun

    2013-09-01

    Despite the inferred Cretaceous origin of the Vitaceae, fossils of the grape family are relatively young, with the oldest previously known examples limited to the Paleocene of Europe and North America. New fossil evidence indicates that the family was already present in India in the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian), about 10-15 million years before the tectonic collision of India with Eurasia. • Fruits and seeds were investigated by serial sections and peels of chert from the Deccan Intertrappean beds of central India, and compared anatomically with those of extant genera. • Indovitis chitaleyae gen. et sp. n. is described based on immature fruits bearing four to six seeds, and isolated mature seeds. The seeds possess paired ventral infolds and a dorsal chalaza, features diagnostic of the order Vitales. Characters of chalaza shape, infold morphology, and seed coat anatomy place I. chitaleyae within Vitaceae and favor a phylogenetic position either sister to the Vitis-Ampelocissus clade or sister to the Ampelopsis-Clematicissus-Rhoicissus clade. • Presence of the oldest known vitaceous fossils in the latest Cretaceous of India indicates a previously undocumented Gondwanan history and a possible southern hemisphere origin for the Vitales. An "out-of-India" scenario might explain the relatively sudden appearance of diverse Vitaceae in the Late Paleocene and Early Eocene of the Northern Hemisphere.

  6. High-resolution leaf-fossil record spanning the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, K.R.; Nichols, D.J.; Attrep, M.; Orth, C.J.

    1989-01-01

    THEORIES that explain the extinctions characterizing the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary1-3 need to be tested by analyses of thoroughly sampled biotas. Palynological studies are the primary means for stratigraphic placement of the terrestrial boundary and for estimates of plant extinction4-12, but have not been combined with quantitative analyses of fossil leaves (megaflora). Megafloral studies complement palynology by representing local floras with assemblages capable of high taxonomic resolution13, but have previously lacked the sample size and stratigraphic spacing needed to resolve latest Cretaceous floral history5,14-18. We have now combined megafloral data from a 100-m-thick composite K/T boundary section in North Dakota with detailed palynological analysis. Here the boundary is marked by a 30% palynofloral extinction coincident with iridium and shocked-mineral anomalies and lies ???2 m above the highest dinosaur remains. The megaflora undergoes a 79% turnover across the boundary, and smaller changes 17- and 25-m below it. This pattern is consistent with latest Cretaceous climatic warming preceding a bolide impact. ?? 1989 Nature Publishing Group.

  7. A diplodocid sauropod survivor from the early cretaceous of South America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo A Gallina

    Full Text Available Diplodocids are by far the most emblematic sauropod dinosaurs. They are part of Diplodocoidea, a vast clade whose other members are well-known from Jurassic and Cretaceous strata in Africa, Europe, North and South America. However, Diplodocids were never certainly recognized from the Cretaceous or in any other southern land mass besides Africa. Here we report a new sauropod, Leikupal laticauda gen. et sp. nov., from the early Lower Cretaceous (Bajada Colorada Formation of Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina. This taxon differs from any other sauropod by the presence of anterior caudal transverse process extremely developed with lateroventral expansions reinforced by robust dorsal and ventral bars, very robust centroprezygapophyseal lamina in anterior caudal vertebra and paired pneumatic fossae on the postzygapophyses in anterior-most caudal vertebra. The phylogenetic analyses support its position not only within Diplodocidae but also as a member of Diplodocinae, clustering together with the African form Tornieria, pushing the origin of Diplodocoidea to the Middle Jurassic or even earlier. The new discovery represents the first record of a diplodocid for South America and the stratigraphically youngest record of this clade anywhere.

  8. A microraptorine (Dinosauria–Dromaeosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Currie, Philip J.

    2009-01-01

    The fossil assemblages of the Late Cretaceous of North America are dominated by large-bodied dinosaur species. Associated skeletons of small dinosaurs are exceedingly rare, and small (Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada. Hesperonychus elizabethae gen. et sp. nov. is represented by a pelvic girdle from an animal weighing ≈1,900 g. Despite its size, the pubes and ilia are coossified, indicating that the animal was somatically mature. This is the smallest carnivorous, nonavian dinosaur known from North America. Phylogenetic analysis of Hesperonychus reveals that it is not closely related to previously described North American dromaeosaurids. Instead, Hesperonychus is a member of the dromaeosaurid clade Microraptorinae, a group containing the 4-winged Microraptor and the feathered Sinornithosaurus, both from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of China. Hesperonychus is the youngest known member of this lineage, extending the temporal range of the clade by 45 million years, and it is the first microraptorine known from North America, providing further evidence for an affinity between the dinosaur faunas of North America and Asia. Study of fossil collections from the Dinosaur Park and Oldman formations of Alberta has revealed numerous isolated bones of small, basal dromaeosaurids, which are tentatively referred to Hesperonychus. These fossils suggest that small dromaeosaurids were a significant component of the carnivore community in this Late Cretaceous biota. PMID:19289829

  9. Cretaceous plutonic rocks in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area, northern Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulow, Matthew J.; Hanson, Richard E.; Girty, Gary H.; Girty, Melissa S.; Harwood, David S.

    1998-01-01

    The northernmost occurrences of extensive, glaciated exposures of the Sierra Nevada batholith occur in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area of the northern Sierra Nevada. The plutonic rocks in this area, which are termed here the Castle Valley plutonic assemblage, crop out over an area of 225 km2 and for the most part are shown as a single undifferentiated mass on previously published geological maps. In the present work, the plutonic assemblage is divided into eight separate intrusive units or lithodemes, two of which each consist of two separate plutons. Compositions are dominantly granodiorite and tonalite, but diorite and granite form small plutons in places. Spectacular examples of comb layering and orbicular texture occur in the diorites. U-Pb zircon ages have been obtained for all but one of the main units and range from ~120 to 114 Ma, indicating that the entire assemblage was emplaced in a narrow time frame in the Early Cretaceous. This is consistent with abundant field evidence that many of the individual phases were intruded penecontemporaneously. The timing of emplacement correlates with onset of major Cretaceous plutonism in the main part of the Sierra Nevada batholith farther south. The emplacement ages also are similar to isotopic ages for gold-quartz mineralization in the Sierran foothills west of the study area, suggesting a direct genetic relationship between the voluminous Early Cretaceous plutonism and hydrothermal gold mineralization.

  10. Neurocranial osteology and neuroanatomy of a late Cretaceous titanosaurian sauropod from Spain (Ampelosaurus sp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, Fabien; Ridgely, Ryan C; Ortega, Francisco; Sanz, Jose Luis; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2013-01-01

    Titanosaurians were a flourishing group of sauropod dinosaurs during Cretaceous times. Fossils of titanosaurians have been found on all continents and their remains are abundant in a number of Late Cretaceous sites. Nonetheless, the cranial anatomy of titanosaurians is still very poorly known. The Spanish latest Cretaceous locality of "Lo Hueco" yielded a relatively well preserved, titanosaurian braincase, which shares a number of phylogenetically restricted characters with Ampelosaurus atacis from France such as a flat occipital region. However, it appears to differ from A. atacis in some traits such as the greater degree of dorsoventral compression and the presence of proatlas facets. The specimen is, therefore, provisionally identified as Ampelosaurus sp. It was CT scanned, and 3D renderings of the cranial endocast and inner-ear system were generated. Our investigation highlights that, although titanosaurs were derived sauropods with a successful evolutionary history, they present a remarkably modest level of paleoneurological organization. Compared with the condition in the basal titanosauriform Giraffatitan brancai, the labyrinth of Ampelosaurus sp. shows a reduced morphology. The latter feature is possibly related to a restricted range of head-turning movements.

  11. Evidence from paleosols for ecosystem changes across the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in eastern Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retallack, Gregory J.; Leahy, Guy D.; Spoon, Michael D.

    1987-12-01

    Ancient soils (paleosols) of the latest Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation are mildly calcareous, have clayey subsurface (Bt) horizons, and exhibit abundant large root traces, as is typical of forested soils in subhumid climates. The fact that some of the paleosols are capped by thin, impure coals is evidence for seasonally dry swamps. The paleosol evidence thus supports published reconstructions, based on fossil leaves, pollen, and vertebrates, that this area was subtropical, seasonally dry, subhumid, and forested mainly by angiosperms. Paleosols within the earliest Tertiary (Paleocene) Tullock Formation have thicker, coaly, surface (O and A) horizons and are more drab colored and less calcareous than paleosols of the Hell Creek Formation. These features are indications of waterlogging and of a humid climate. Large root traces and clayey subsurface (Bt) horizons are evidence of swamp woodland and forest. Inferred base level and paleoclimate are compatible with evidence from fossil leaves and pollen that indicates more abundant deciduous, early successional angiosperms and swamp conifers compared to those of Late Cretaceous time. Most of the paleosols have drab Munsell hues and can be expected to preserve a reliable fossil record of pollen and other plant remains. The carbonate content of the paleosols declines toward the top of the Hell Creek Formation, and the uppermost 3 m of the formation is noncalcareous. Because of this, the decline in diversity and abundance of bone over this interval is interpreted as a taphonomic artifact. Evidence from paleosols supports paleobotani-cal evidence for catastrophic change in ecosystems at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary.

  12. Stratigraphy, provenance, and diagenesis of the Cretaceous Horse Range Formation, east Otago, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, M.; Craw, D.; Landis, C.A.; Frew, R.

    2009-01-01

    The Horse Range Formation is a structurally controlled late Early Cretaceous to early Late Cretaceous nonmarine unit in east Otago, South Island, New Zealand, containing immature lithic debris. Clasts are generally rounded, with only minor subangular material. The formation contains clasts derived from two principal basement sources: schist and greywacke. Schist debris is most abundant at the base of the described section, and this material is dominated (>60%) by quartz from the greenschist facies core of the Otago Schist belt. Conglomerates with >70% greywacke clasts constitute most of the upper part of the Horse Range Formation. These greywacke conglomerates have a matrix of sand derived mainly from schist. A 60 m thick wedge of quartz-rich, locally carbonaceous sand occurs interlayered with greywacke conglomerates. The Horse Range Formation rests on sub-greenschist facies semischist, which forms only a small proportion ( 18 O SMOW near +24 permil and δ 13 C PDB near -2 permil, and was partly dissolved and redeposited from the immature basement debris (metamorphic calcite) and partly introduced from overlying Late Cretaceous and Teriary marine sediments by groundwater. (author). 43 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Secular variation in the major-ion chemistry of seawater: Evidence from fluid inclusions in Cretaceous halites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timofeeff, Michael N.; Lowenstein, Tim K.; da Silva, Maria Augusta Martins; Harris, Nicholas B.

    2006-04-01

    The major-ion (Mg 2+, Ca 2+, Na +, K +, SO42-, and Cl -) chemistry of Cretaceous seawater was determined from analyses of seawater-derived brines preserved as fluid inclusions in marine halites. Fluid inclusions in primary halite from three evaporite deposits were analyzed by the environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) technique: the Early Cretaceous (Aptian, 121.0-112.2 Ma) of the Sergipe basin, Brazil and the Congo basin, Republic of the Congo, and the Early to Late Cretaceous (Albian to Cenomanian, 112.2-93.5 Ma) of the Khorat Plateau, Laos, and Thailand. The fluid inclusions in halite indicate that Cretaceous seawater was enriched several fold in Ca 2+, depleted in SO42-, Na +, and Mg 2+, and had lower Na +/Cl -, Mg 2+/Ca 2+, and Mg 2+/K + ratios compared to modern seawater. Elevated Ca 2+ concentrations, with Ca 2+ > SO42- at the point of gypsum saturation, allowed Cretaceous seawater to evolve into Mg 2+-Ca 2+-Na +-K +-Cl - brines lacking measurable SO42-.The major-ion composition of Cretaceous seawater was modeled from fluid inclusion chemistries for the Aptian and the Albian-Cenomanian. Aptian seawater was extreme in its Ca 2+ enrichment, more than three times higher than present day seawater, with a Mg 2+/Ca 2+ ratio of 1.1-1.3. Younger, Albian-Cenomanian seawater had lower Ca 2+ concentrations, and a higher Mg 2+/Ca 2+ ratio of 1.2-1.7. Cretaceous (Aptian) seawater has the lowest Mg 2+/Ca 2+ ratios so far documented in Phanerozoic seawater from fluid inclusions in halite, and within the range chemically favorable for precipitation of low-Mg calcite ooids and cements. Results from halite fluid inclusions, together with Mg 2+/Ca 2+ ratios measured from echinoderm and rudist calcite, all indicate that Early Cretaceous seawater (Hauterivian, Barremian, Aptian, and Albian) had lower Mg 2+/Ca 2+ ratios than Late Cretaceous seawater (Coniacian, Santonian, and Campanian). Low Aptian-Albian Mg 2+/Ca 2+ seawater

  14. Deep-water formation in the North Atlantic during the latest Cretaceous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, E. E.; Rostami, M. A.; MacLeod, K. G.; Haynes, S.; Poulsen, C. J.; Vande Guchte, A.

    2017-12-01

    Global cooling during the late Campanian-Maastrichtian (78 - 66 Ma) has been linked to changes in ocean circulation. In the North Atlantic, both Northern Component (NCW) and Southern Component (SCW) Waters have been proposed as primary deep water sources in the Late Cretaceous. Neodymium (Nd) isotope records alone do not distinguish between these two alternatives because of similar initial ɛNd values. To provide additional resolution on deep water sources, we compiled an integrated dataset of Nd isotopes from fossil fish teeth, C and O isotopic records, and benthic foraminiferal assemblages from seven northeast (NE) and northwest (NW) North Atlantic DSDP, ODP and IODP sites with estimated paleodepths >2000 m. In the NE, deep water ɛNd values are -9.5 throughout the latest Cretaceous, while values at NW sites are slightly higher ( -8.5) in the Campanian and then decrease to -10 during the Maastrichtian. Although coverage is limited because many sites were below the CCD, distinct patterns occur in the stable isotopic data. NE δ13C values are 1.7‰ throughout while NW δ13C values increase from 1.2 ‰ in the Campanian to 1.9 ‰ in the Maastrichtian, and the increase is correlated with a shift to higher % benthic epifauna. These data suggest formation of oxygen-rich/nutrient-poor NCW in the NE Atlantic during the latest Cretaceous. Decreasing δ13C and increasing ɛNd values from north to south are consistent with flow of NCW into the NW Atlantic during the Campanian. In contrast, lower δ13C in the South Atlantic and ɛNd values that are similar at high northern and southern latitudes, but separated by regions with both higher and lower values, are inconsistent with flow of SCW into the North Atlantic. The shift to lower ɛNd values, higher δ13C values, and abundant epifauna in the NW Atlantic during the Maastrichtian may indicate formation of a proximal deep water mass analogous to modern Labrador Sea Water that introduced nonradiogenic ɛNd from weathering of

  15. Intracontinental mantle plume and its implications for the Cretaceous tectonic history of East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, In-Chang; Lee, Changyeol

    2017-12-01

    A-type granitoids, high-Mg basalts (e.g., picrites), adakitic rocks, basin-and-range-type fault basins, thinning of the North China Craton (NCC), and southwest-to-northeast migration of the adakites and I-type granitoids in southern Korea and southwestern Japan during the Cretaceous are attributed to the passive upwelling of deep asthenospheric mantle or ridge subduction. However, the genesis of these features remains controversial. Furthermore, the lack of ridge subduction during the Cretaceous in recently suggested plate reconstruction models poses a problem because the Cretaceous adakites in southern Korea and southwestern Japan could not have been generated by the subduction of the old Izanagi oceanic plate. Here, we speculate that plume-continent (intracontinental plume-China continent) and subsequent plume-slab (intracontinental plume-subducted Izanagi oceanic plate) interactions generated the various intracontinental magmatic and tectonic activities in eastern China, Korea, and southwestern Japan. We support our proposal using three-dimensional numerical models: 1) An intracontinental mantle plume is dragged into the mantle wedge by corner flow of the mantle wedge, and 2) the resultant channel-like flow of the mantle plume in the mantle wedge apparently migrated from southwest to northeast because of the northeast-to-southwest migration of the East Asian continental blocks with respect to the Izanagi oceanic plate. Our model calculations show that adakites and I-type granitoids can be generated by increased slab-surface temperatures because of the channel-like flow of the mantle plume in the mantle wedge. We also show that the southwest-to-northeast migration of the adakites and I-type granitoids in southern Korea and southwestern Japan can be attributable to the opposite migration of the East Asian continental blocks with respect to the Izanagi oceanic plate. This correlation implies that an intracontinental mantle plume existed in eastern China during the

  16. Possible Cretaceous Arctic terrestrial ecosystem dynamics based on a rich dinosaur record from Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorillo, A. R.; McCarthy, P. J.; Flaig, P. P.

    2010-12-01

    The widespread occurrence of large-bodied herbivores, specifically hadrosaurian and ceratopsian dinosaurs, in the Cretaceous of Alaska presents a proxy for understanding polar terrestrial ecosystem biological productivity in a warm Arctic world. These dinosaurs lived in Alaska at time when this region was at or near current latitudes. Thus these dinosaurs present a paradox. The warmer Cretaceous high-latitude climate, likely related to higher levels of CO2, may have increased plant productivity but the polar light regime fluctuations must have limited the available food during the winter months. The most detailed sedimentological data available regarding the paleoenvironments supporting these dinosaurs are from the Prince Creek Formation of northern Alaska and to a lesser extent the Cantwell Formation of the Alaska Range. The sediments of the Late Cretaceous Prince Creek Formation represent a continental succession deposited on a high-latitude, low-gradient, alluvial/coastal plain. The Prince Creek Formation records numerous paleosols that are consistent with seasonality and successional vegetative cover. Drab colors in fine-grained sediments, abundant carbonaceous plant material, and common siderite nodules and jarosite suggest widespread reducing conditions on poorly-drained floodplains influenced in more distal areas by marine waters. In addition, these rocks contain high levels of organic carbon and charcoal. Carbonaceous root-traces found ubiquitously within all distributary channels and most floodplain facies, along with common Fe-oxide mottles, indicate that the alluvial system likely experienced flashy, seasonal, or ephemeral flow and a fluctuating water table. The flashy nature of the alluvial system may have been driven by recurring episodes of vigorous seasonal snowmelt in the Brooks Range orogenic belt as a consequence of the high paleolatitude of northern Alaska in the Late Cretaceous. The presence of dinosaurian megaherbivores suggests that water was

  17. An evaluation of the Early Cretaceous of Spitsbergen: new insights into stratigraphy and palaeoclimate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Madeleine; Price, Gregory; FitzPatrick, Meriel; Watkinson, Matthew; Jerrett, Rhodri

    2015-04-01

    During the Early Cretaceous, Spitsbergen was located at a palaeolatitude of ~60°N. Abundant fossil wood derived from conifer forests, dinosaur trackways, enigmatic deposits such as glendonite horizons and rare outsized clasts, and stable isotope data from the Early Cretaceous formations of Spitsbergen suggest that the climate at that time was much more dynamic than the traditional view of "invariant greenhouse" conditions on Earth. The purpose of this study is to test the veracity of using such proxies as climate indicators, and to evaluate the climatic character of Arctic Svalbard during the Early Cretaceous. To these ends, the sedimentological and sequence stratigraphic context of glendonites and outsized clasts within the Rurikfjellet, Helvetiafjellet and Carolinefjellet formations are being documented. This is being achieved through high resolution sedimentary logging (bed-scale) of the Early Cretaceous succession at multiple locations, documentation of glendonites, outsized clasts, together with sampling (every < 0.5m) for stable isotope analysis, in order to constrain and elucidate the nature of environmental and possible climatic variations during this time. The Early Cretaceous succession at Festningen is 750m thick and is considered to have been deposited between the Berriasian and late Aptian/early Albian. The basal Rurikfjellet Formation comprises a normally regressive water to wave/storm dominated shoreface. A forced regression (expressed as a regional unconformity) marks the base of the overlying Helvetiafjellet Formation. The Helvetiafjellet and overlying Carolinefjellet Formation represent a strongly aggradational, weakly transgressive succession characterised by delta plain deposits, containing abundant terrestrial woody material and with ornithopod footprints, passing upward into deep water mudstones and rare storm beds. Abundant glendonites occur within the shoreface deposits of the upper Rurikfjellet Formation, and in the Carolinefjellet

  18. Early cretaceous zircon SHRIMP U-Pb age of the trachyte and its significances of the Gan-Hang belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Feiyu; Wu Jianhua; Liu Shuai

    2009-01-01

    The Shixi basin was located at Gan-Hang tectonic volcanic uranium deposit of rock-magma belt which belong to a part of the Mesozoic volcanic rocks in the northeastern of China. The appearance of the trachyte in Shixi basin have the majoy elements characteristic of the shoshonite series volcanic rocks. To determine the geological age of trachyte have very important significance on the geodynamics research and the study on the cause of uranium mineralization. The zircons of the trachyte have clear ring and high Th/U ratio which belong to the typical magmatic zircons. The zircon SHRIMP U-Pb dating resules show that 14points' age range is very smaller is 132-144 Ma and the weighted average age is (137.00±0.94)Ma which represents the diagenetic age of volcanic rocks. Accronding to the latest International Stratigraphic Chart the boundary of Jurassic and Cretaceous is (145.4±4.0)Ma. So the trachyte of Shixi Group belong to early Cretaceous. The large-scale acidic volcanic activity occurred in the Early Cretaceous in Southeastern China, and the Volcanic uranium deposit of Gan-Hang tectonic belt relate to Alkali metasomatism Uranium mineralization also occurred in the Early Cretaceous (120-130 Ma). The determined of trachyte in Shixi Group in the Early Cretaceous show that the acidic volcanic activity have connection with magma activity and the early Uranium mineralization consistent with the Alkali magma activity. (authors)

  19. Early Cretaceous Tertiary magmatism in Eastern Paraguay (western Paraná basin): geological, geophysical and geochemical relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comin-Chiaramonti, P.; Cundari, A.; DeGraff, J. M.; Gomes, C. B.; Piccirillo, E. M.

    1999-11-01

    Structural characteristics of Eastern Paraguay, at the westernmost side of the Paraná basin, show that the tectonics in the region is extensional. This tectonics controlled the emplacement of the alkaline rocks in Early Cretaceous-Tertiary times. Major structures are NW-trending zones of tectonic subsidence, i.e. the 'Asunción-Sapucai-Villarrica' and 'Amambay' grabens of the central and northeastern regions of Eastern Paraguay, respectively. Early Cretaceous potassic magmatism is widespread in the 'gravity lows', and predates the tholeiitic Early Cretaceous magmatism in the northern areas, whereas in central Paraguay it postdates the tholeiitic flood basalts. Sodic alkaline rocks (late Early Cretaceous-Tertiary) are widespread in cratonized areas of the La Plata Craton. The Early Cretaceous uncontaminated potassic rocks (and tholeiites) have geochemical features of 'subduction type' (e.g. Ta-Nb negative anomaly), while the contrary occurs for the closely associated younger sodic magmatism. This implies different mantle sources consistently with Sr-Nd isotopes which are Rb-Nd enriched and depleted for the potassic and sodic rocks, respectively. T DM(Nd) model ages point to two notional distinct metasomatic events occurred in Middle and Late Proterozoic times. A contribution of asthenospheric melts from Tristan da Cunha Plume is not appreciable. We suggest that the source(s) of the recurrent potassic magmatism and interposed tholeiitic event may not be easily accounted for by the Tristan da Cunha plume hypothesis.

  20. Constraining mass accumulation rates across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary clay layer using extraterrestrial helium-3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giron, M.; Sepulveda, J.; Mukhopadhyay, S.; Alegret, L.; Summons, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    The extended duration of the negative δ13C excursion observed in marine carbonates spanning the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event has lead to two main hypothesized post-extinction models ("Strangelove" and "Living Ocean";[1, 2]) for the status of marine primary productivity and the global carbon cycle. However, these models are largely inconsistent with recent paleontological and geochemical evidence suggesting heterogeneous changes in marine productivity and carbon export [3, 4]. While the analysis of lipid biomarkers in the cosmopolitan boundary clay layer allows us to assess changes in primary production by non-calcifying organisms in the immediate aftermath of the mass extinction [4], our poor understanding of the deposition of the clay layer precludes a more detailed reconstruction of short-term variations in marine ecosystem resilience. Here, we present data on extraterrestrial 3He derived from interplanetary dust particles used as a constant flux proxy to constrain fluctuations in mass accumulation rates (MARs) [5] and the duration of the boundary clay deposition in three classic and expanded K-Pg boundary sections: El Kef (Tunisia), Caravaca (Spain), and Kulstirenden (Denmark). Our results from different depositional environments indicate average durations for the sedimentation of the clay layer that are comparable (~10 kyr) to other localities [5], thus confirming its globally brief deposition. Early Paleogene MARs vary among locations when compared to background Late Cretaceous values and do not strictly follow carbonate content as traditionally assumed, thus suggesting variable depositional conditions at different locations. Changes in sediment MARs across the K-Pg will be used to calculate MARs of algal- and bacterial-derived biomarkers, as well as benthic foraminifera, in order to assess the timing and global nature of the recovery of marine primary production and carbon export. 1. Hsu, K.J., He, Q., Mckenzie, J.A., Weissert, H

  1. Progress in Late Cretaceous planktonic foraminiferal stable isotope paleoecology and implications for paleoceanographic reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrizzo, Maria Rose; Falzoni, Francesca; Huber, Brian T.; MacLeod, Kenneth G.

    2015-04-01

    Paleoecological preferences proposed for Cretaceous planktonic foraminiferal taxa have traditionally been based on morphological analogies with depth-stratified modern species, on biofacies comparison in continental margin and deepwater settings, and limited oxygen and carbon stable isotope data. These studies concluded that large-sized, keeled and heavily calcified planktonic foraminifera generally lived at deeper levels in the surface waters than small-sized, thinner-walled non-keeled species. Stable isotope data have been used to infer information on paleotemperature, paleoceanography and paleoproductivity of ancient oceans and constrain biological paleo-activities (i.e. photosymbiosis and respiration) of fossil species. These studies have suggested that the depth-distribution model based on analogy with modern taxa might not be fully applicable for Cretaceous species, and found particularly 13C-enriched values in some Maastrichtian multiserial taxa that have been related to the activity of photosymbionts. We have collected about 1500 δ18O and δ13C species-specific analyses on glassy preserved planktonic foraminifera from Tanzania (Tanzania Drilling Project TDP sites 23, 28 and 32) and well-preserved planktonic foraminifera from other mid-low latitude localities (Shatsky Rise, northwestern Pacific Ocean, ODP Leg 198 Hole 1210B; Exmouth Plateau, eastern Indian Ocean, ODP Leg 122, Hole 762C; Eratosthenes Seamount, eastern Mediterranean, ODP Leg 160, Hole 967E; Blake Nose, central Atlantic Ocean, ODP Leg 171B, holes 1050C and 1052E) to investigate Late Cretaceous species paleoecological preferences, life strategies and depth distribution in the surface water column. Our results indicates that several large-sized (> 500 μm) double-keeled species belonging to the genera Dicarinella, Marginotruncana and Contusotruncana, generally interpreted as deep to thermocline dwellers, instead occupied shallow/warm layers of the water column, whilst not all biserial species

  2. Precious metals associated with Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary igneous rocks of southwestern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Miller, Marti L.; Goldfarb, Richard J.; Miller, Lance D.

    1997-01-01

    Placer gold and precious metal-bearing lode deposits of southwestern Alaska lie within a region 550 by 350 km, herein referred to as the Kuskokwim mineral belt. This mineral belt has yielded 100,240 kg (3.22 Moz) of gold, 12, 813 kg (412,000 oz) of silver, 1,377,412 kg (39,960 flasks) of mercury, and modest amounts of antimony and tungsten derived primarily from the late Cretaceous-early Tertiary igneous complexes of four major types: (1) alkali-calcic, comagmatic volcanic-plutonic complexes and isolated plutons, (2) calc-alkaline, meta-aluminous reduced plutons, (3) peraluminous alaskite or granite-porphyry sills and dike swarms, and (4) andesite-rhyolite subaerial volcanic rocks.About 80 percent of the 77 to 52 Ma intrusive and volcanic rocks intrude or overlie the middle to Upper Cretaceous Kuskokwim Group sedimentary and volcanic rocks, as well as the Paleozoic-Mesozoic rocks of the Nixon Fork, Innoko, Goodnews, and Ruby preaccretionary terranes.The major precious metal-bearing deposit types related to Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary igneous complexes of the Kuskokwim mineral belt are subdivided as follows: (1) plutonic-hosted copper-gold polymetallic stockwork, skarn, and vein deposits, (2) peraluminous granite-porphory-hosted gold polymetallic deposits, (3) plutonic-related, boron-enriched silver-tin polymetallic breccia pipes and replacement deposits, (4) gold and silver mineralization in epithermal systems, and (5) gold polymetallic heavy mineral placer deposits. Ten deposits genetically related to Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary intrusions contain minimum, inferred reserves amounting to 162,572 kg (5.23 Moz) of gold, 201,015 kg (6.46 Moz) silver, 12,160 metric tons (t) of tin, and 28,088 t of copper.The lodes occur in veins, stockworks, breccia pipes, and replacement deposits that formed in epithermal to mesothermal temperature-pressure conditions. Fluid inclusion, isotopic age, mineral assemblage, alteration assemblage, and structural data indicate that

  3. Cretaceous plate interaction during the formation of the Colombian plateau, Northandean margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammer, Andreas; Piraquive, Alejandro; Díaz, Sebastián

    2015-04-01

    The Cretaceous subduction cycle at the Northandean margin ends with an accretionary event that welds the plateau rocks of the present Western Cordillera to the continental margin. A suture between plateau and rock associations of the continental margin is well exposed at the western border of the Central Cordillera, but overprinted by intense block tectonics. Analyzed in detail, its evolution tracks an increased coupling between lower and upper plate, as may be accounted for by the following stages: 1) The Cretaceous plateau suite records at its onset passive margin conditions, as it encroaches on the continental margin and accounts for an extensional event that triggered the emplacement of ultramafic and mafic igneous rock suites along major faults. 2) An early subduction stage of a still moderate plate coupling is documented by the formation of a magmatic arc in an extensional setting that may have been prompted by slab retreat. Convergence direction was oblique, as attested the transfer of strike-slip displacements to the forearc region. 3) A phase of strong plate interaction entailed the delamination of narrow crustal flakes and their entrainment to depths below the petrologic Moho, as evidenced by their present association to serpentinites in a setting that bears characteristics of a subduction channel. 4) During the final collisional stage deformation is transferred to the lower plate, where the stacking of imbricate sheets, combined with their erosional unloading, led to the formation of an antiformal bulge that fed a foreland basin. - The life time of this Cretaceous subduction cycle was strictly synchronous to the construction of the Colombian plateau. With the final collisional stage magmatic activity vanished. This coincidence incites to explore a relationship between plume activity and subduction.

  4. Rebuilding Biodiversity of Patagonian Marine Molluscs after the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberhan, Martin; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We analysed field-collected quantitative data of benthic marine molluscs across the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary in Patagonia to identify patterns and processes of biodiversity reconstruction after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. We contrast diversity dynamics from nearshore environments with those from offshore environments. In both settings, Early Palaeogene (Danian) assemblages are strongly dominated by surviving lineages, many of which changed their relative abundance from being rare before the extinction event to becoming the new dominant forms. Only a few of the species in the Danian assemblages were newly evolved. In offshore environments, however, two newly evolved Danian bivalve species attained ecological dominance by replacing two ecologically equivalent species that disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous. In both settings, the total number of Danian genera at a locality remained below the total number of late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) genera at that locality. We suggest that biotic interactions, in particular incumbency effects, suppressed post-extinction diversity and prevented the compensation of diversity loss by originating and invading taxa. Contrary to the total number of genera at localities, diversity at the level of individual fossiliferous horizons before and after the boundary is indistinguishable in offshore environments. This indicates an evolutionary rapid rebound to pre-extinction values within less than ca 0.5 million years. In nearshore environments, by contrast, diversity of fossiliferous horizons was reduced in the Danian, and this lowered diversity lasted for the entire studied post-extinction interval. In this heterogeneous environment, low connectivity among populations may have retarded the recolonisation of nearshore habitats by survivors. PMID:25028930

  5. Are glendonites reliable indicators of cold conditions? Evidence from the Lower Cretaceous of Spitsbergen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Madeleine; Price, Gregory; Watkinson, Matthew; Jerrett, Rhodri

    2017-04-01

    Glendonites are pseudomorphs after the mineral ikaite, and have been found in marine sediments throughout geological time. Ikaite is a metastable, hydrated form of calcium carbonate, which is only stable under specific conditions: between -2 and +5 °C, and with high alkalinity and phosphate concentrations. Glendonites are often associated with cold climates due to the strong temperature control on ikaite growth, and the coincidence in the geological record with episodes of global cooling. Glendonites are found in the Lower Cretaceous succession in Spitsbergen. During the Early Cretaceous, Spitsbergen was at a palaeolatitude of 60°N, and was part of a shallow epicontinental sea that formed during the Mesozoic as Atlantic rifting propagated northwards. Though the Early Cretaceous was generally characterised by greenhouse climate conditions, episodic cold snaps occurred during the Valanginian (the "Weissert Event") and during Aptian-Albian. Using high resolution carbon-isotope stratigraphy, we show that the first occurrences of glendonites are in the upper Lower Hauterivian and in the very upper Upper Hauterivian, stratigraphically higher than the Valanginian cooling event. Glendonites are also found in horizons in the Upper Aptian, coincident with the Aptian-Albian cold snap. Petrological analysis of the glendonite structure reveals differences between the Hauterivian and Aptian glendonites, with evidence for multiple diagenetic phases of growth in the Hauterivian glendonites, suggesting oscillating chemical conditions. This evidence suggests that local environmental conditions may have a stronger control on glendonite formation and preservation than global climate. We present a new model for ikaite growth and slow transformation to glendonite in marine sediments, which points to a more complex suite of diagenetic transformations than previously modelled. Furthermore, we critically assess whether such pseudomorphs after marine sedimentary ikaite may be indicators

  6. Early to mid Cretaceous vegetation of northern Gondwana - the onset of angiosperm radiation and climatic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coiffard, Clément; Mohr, Barbara

    2014-05-01

    Early Cretaceous Northern Gondwana seems to be the cradle of many early flowering plants, especially mesangiosperms that include magnoliids and monocots and basal eudicots. So far our knowledge was based mostly on dispersed pollen and small flowering structures. New fossil finds from Brazil include more complete plants with attached roots, leaves and flowers. Taxonomic studies show that these fossils belonged to clades which are, based on macroscopic characters and molecular data, also considered to be rather basal, such as several members of Nymphaeales, Piperales, Laurales, Magnoliales, monocots (Araliaceae) and Ranunculales. Various parameters can be used in order to understand the physiology and habitat of these plants. Adaptations to climate and habitat are partly mirrored in their root anatomy (evidence of tap roots), leaf size and shape, leaf anatomy including presence of glands, and distribution of stomata. An important ecophysiolocical parameter is vein density as an indicator for the plants' cabability to pump water, and the stomatal pore index, representing the proportion of stomatal pore area on the leaf surface, which is related to the water vapor resistance of the leaf epidermis. During the mid-Cretaceous leaf vein density started to surpass that of gymnosperms, one factor that made angiosperms very successful in conquering many kinds of new environments. Using data on these parameters we deduce that during the late Early to mid Cretaceous angiosperms were already diverse, being represented as both herbs, with aquatic members, such as Nymphaeles, helophytes (e.g. some monocots) and plants that may have grown in shady locations. Other life forms included shrubs and perhaps already small trees (e.g. Magnoliales). These flowering plants occupied various habitats, ranging from xeric (e.g. some Magnoliales) to mesic and shady (e.g. Piperales) or aquatic (e.g. Araceae, Nymphaeales). Overall, it seems that several of these plants clearly exhibited some

  7. The evolution of Early Cretaceous shallow-water carbonate platforms in times of frequent oceanic anoxia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Föllmi, Karl; Morales, Chloé; Stein, Melody; Bonvallet, Lucie; Antoine, Pictet

    2014-05-01

    The Early Cretaceous greenhouse world witnessed different episodes of pronounced paleoenvironmental change, which were associated with substantial shifts in the global carbon and phosphorus cycles. They impacted the growth of carbonate platforms on the shelf, lead to the development of widespread anoxic zones in deeper water, and influenced evolutionary pattern in general. A first phase (the Weissert episode) occurred during the Valanginian, which is indicated by a positive shift in the carbon-isotope record, widespread platform drowning, and evolutionary change. The spreading of anoxic conditions was limited to marginal basins and the positive change in carbon isotopes is linked to the storage of vegetal carbon in coal deposits rather than to organic matter in marine sediments. A second phase (the Faraoni episode) of important environmental change is observed near the end of the Hauterivian, where short and repetitive episodes of anoxia occurred in the Tethyan realm. This phase goes along with a decline in platform growth, but is barely documented in the carbon-isotope record. A third and most important episode (the Selli episode) took place in the early Aptian, and resulted in the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments, a positive carbon-isotope excursion and the disappearance of Urgonian-type carbonate platforms. Often considered to represent short and singular events, these Early Cretaceous phases are in fact preceded by periods of warming, increased continental weathering, and increased nutrient throughput. These preludes in environmental change are important in that they put these three Early Cretaceous episodes into a longer-term, historic perspective, which allow us to better understand the mechanisms leading to these periods of pronounced global change.

  8. Mineralogical characteristics of Cretaceous-Tertiary kaolins of the Douala Sub-Basin, Cameroon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukalo, Nenita N.; Ekosse, Georges-Ivo E.; Odiyo, John O.; Ogola, Jason S.

    2018-05-01

    As a step in evaluating the quality of Cretaceous-Tertiary kaolins of the Douala Sub-Basin, their mineralogical characteristics were determined. The X-ray diffractometry technique was used to identify and quantify the mineral phases present in bulk and analysis, thermal gravimetric analysis, and heat flow) were conducted to further characterise the kaolins. The main mineral phases present in the studied Cretaceous-Tertiary kaolins of the Douala Sub-Basin were kaolinite > smectite > illite, with mean values of 33.01 > 11.20 > 4.41 wt %; and 72.23 > 10.69 > 4.69 wt %, in bulk and <2 μm fractions, respectively. The kaolins, micromorphologically, consisted of pseudo-hexagonal and thin platy particles; swirl-textured particles; and books or stacks of kaolinite particles. Three main reactions occurred during heating of the kaolins: a low temperature endothermic reaction, observed between 48 and 109 °C; a second low temperature peak, observed between 223 and 285 °C; and a third endothermic peak was found between 469 and 531 °C. In addition, an exothermic reaction also occurred between 943 and 988 °C in some of the samples. The absence of primary minerals such as feldspars and micas in most of these kaolins is an indication of intensive weathering, probably due to the humid tropical climate of the region. The different morphologies suggested that these kaolins might have been transported. Therefore, a humid tropical climate was responsible for the formation of Cretaceous-Tertiary kaolins of the Douala Sub-Basin through intense weathering of surrounding volcanic and metamorphic rocks.

  9. High diversity in cretaceous ichthyosaurs from Europe prior to their extinction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosaurs are reptiles that inhabited the marine realm during most of the Mesozoic. Their Cretaceous representatives have traditionally been considered as the last survivors of a group declining since the Jurassic. Recently, however, an unexpected diversity has been described in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous deposits, but is widely spread across time and space, giving small clues on the adaptive potential and ecosystem control of the last ichthyosaurs. The famous but little studied English Gault Formation and 'greensands' deposits (the Upper Greensand Formation and the Cambridge Greensand Member of the Lower Chalk Formation offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate this topic, containing thousands of ichthyosaur remains spanning the Early-Late Cretaceous boundary. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To assess the diversity of the ichthyosaur assemblage from these sedimentary bodies, we recognized morphotypes within each type of bones. We grouped these morphotypes together, when possible, by using articulated specimens from the same formations and from new localities in the Vocontian Basin (France; a revised taxonomic scheme is proposed. We recognize the following taxa in the 'greensands': the platypterygiines 'Platypterygius' sp. and Sisteronia seeleyi gen. et sp. nov., indeterminate ophthalmosaurines and the rare incertae sedis Cetarthrosaurus walkeri. The taxonomic diversity of late Albian ichthyosaurs now matches that of older, well-known intervals such as the Toarcian or the Tithonian. Contrasting tooth shapes and wear patterns suggest that these ichthyosaurs colonized three distinct feeding guilds, despite the presence of numerous plesiosaur taxa. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Western Europe was a diversity hot-spot for ichthyosaurs a few million years prior to their final extinction. By contrast, the low diversity in Australia and U.S.A. suggests strong geographical disparities in the diversity pattern of Albian

  10. Constraints on deformation of the Southern Andes since the Cretaceous from anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffione, Marco; Hernandez-Moreno, Catalina; Ghiglione, Matias C.; Speranza, Fabio; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Lodolo, Emanuele

    2015-12-01

    The southernmost segment of the Andean Cordillera underwent a complex deformation history characterized by alternation of contractional, extensional, and strike-slip tectonics. Key elements of southern Andean deformation that remain poorly constrained, include the origin of the orogenic bend known as the Patagonian Orocline (here renamed as Patagonian Arc), and the exhumation mechanism of an upper amphibolite facies metamorphic complex currently exposed in Cordillera Darwin. Here, we present results of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) from 22 sites in Upper Cretaceous to upper Eocene sedimentary rocks within the internal structural domain of the Magallanes fold-and-thrust belt in Tierra del Fuego (Argentina). AMS parameters from most sites reveal a weak tectonic overprint of the original magnetic fabric, which was likely acquired upon layer-parallel shortening soon after sedimentation. Magnetic lineation from 17 sites is interpreted to have formed during compressive tectonic phases associated to a continuous N-S contraction. Our data, combined with the existing AMS database from adjacent areas, show that the Early Cretaceous-late Oligocene tectonic phases in the Southern Andes yielded continuous contraction, variable from E-W in the Patagonian Andes to N-S in the Fuegian Andes, which defined a radial strain field. A direct implication is that the exhumation of the Cordillera Darwin metamorphic complex occurred under compressive, rather than extensional or strike-slip tectonics, as alternatively proposed. If we agree with recent works considering the curved Magallanes fold-and-thrust belt as a primary arc (i.e., no relative vertical-axis rotation of the limbs occurs during its formation), then other mechanisms different from oroclinal bending should be invoked to explain the documented radial strain field. We tentatively propose a kinematic model in which reactivation of variably oriented Jurassic faults at the South American continental margin controlled

  11. Paleoclimatological implications of Mid-Cretaceous paleosol sphaerosiderites from 70 degrees paleonorth, central Spitsbergen

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, T.

    2010-12-01

    Paleoclimatological reconstructions of Mid-Cretaceous greenhouse atmospheric hydrology have been accomplished using a model-data comparison approach based on a stable isotopic tracer version of the GENESIS GCM benchmarked using oxygen isotopic data obtained from paleosol sphaerosiderites. While ample data coverage exists for much of mid-latitude North America, the paleo Arctic realm has thus far been represented by data only from the North Slope, Alaska. The new data presented here provides an additional paleo Arctic data point from central Spitsbergen. Mid-Cretaceous paleosol sphaerosiderites were identified in cores that penetrated the uppermost portions of the Aptian-Cenomanian (?) Carolinefjellet Formation of the Adventdalen Group - the upper age limit of the Carolinefjellet Formation in central Spitsbergen remains undefined near the Albian-Cenomanian boundary. Notably, on the Barents Shelf to the south the coeval Kolmule Formation of the Adventdalen Group is known to range in age into the lower Cenomanian suggesting the possibility that the Carolinefjellet Formation may also contain the Albian-Cenomanian boundary. Seven distinct sphaerosiderite-bearing horizons were identified within a 2.5 meter interval of dominantly light to medium gray siltstone and fine sandstone overlain by dark gray siltstone and black carbonaceous shale. The samples were microdrilled for stable carbon and oxygen isotopic analysis. Sphaerosiderite oxygen isotope values range from -11.6 per mil to -7.9 per mil. A comparison of this data with an Albian-Cenomanian North American data set indicates that amplified paleoatmospheric hydrologic processes are not required to adequately model the Mid-Cretaceous greenhouse atmosphere. The data is further compared and contrasted to similar data for the Paleocene-Eocene boundary to substantiate this conclusion.

  12. Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the Antarctic: Climatic cooling precedes biotic crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stott, Lowell D.; Kennett, James P.

    1988-01-01

    Stable isotopic investigations were conducted on calcareous microfossils across two deep sea Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary sequences on Maud Rise, Weddell Sea, Antarctica. The boundary is taken at the level of massive extinctions in calcareous planktonic microfossils, and coincides with a sharp lithologic change from pure calcareous ooze to calcareous ooze with a large volcanic clay component. The uppermost Maestrichtian is marked by a long-term decrease in delta value of 0 to 18 which spans most of the lower and middle A. mayaroensis Zone and represents a warming trend which culminated in surface water temperatures of about 16 C. At approximately 3 meters below the K-T boundary this warming trend terminates abruptly and benthic and planktonic isotopic records exhibit a rapid increase in delta value of 0 to 18 that continues up to the K-T boundary. The trend towards cooler surface water temperatures stops abruptly at the K-T boundary and delta value of 0 to 18 values remain relatively stable through the Paleocene. Comparison of the Antarctic sequence with the previously documented deep sea records in the South Atlantic reveal shifts of similar magnitude in the latest Maestrichtian. It is indicated that the Southern Ocean underwent the most significant, and apparently permanent, climatic change. The latest Cretaceous oxygen isotopic shift recorded at Maud Rise and other deep sea sites is similar in magnitude to large positive delta valve of 0 to 18 shifts in the middle Eocene, at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary and in the middle Miocene that marked large scale climatic transitions which ultimately lead to cryospheric development of the Antarctic. The climatic shift at the end of the Cretaceous represents one of the most significant climatic transitions recorded in the latest Phanerozoic and had a profound effect on global climate as well as oceanic circulation.

  13. Astronomically Forced Hydrology of the Late Cretaceous Sub-tropical Potosí Basin, Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasistro-Hart, A.; Maloof, A. C.; Schoene, B.; Eddy, M. P.

    2017-12-01

    Orbital forcings paced the ice ages of the Pleistocene, demonstrating that periodic variations in the latitudinal distribution of insolation amplified by ice-albedo feedbacks can guide global climate. How these forcings operate in the hot-houses that span most of the planet's history, however, is unknown. The lacustrine El Molino formation of the late Cretaceous-early Paleogene Potosí Basin in present-day Bolivia contains carbonate-mud parasequences that record fluctuating hydrological conditions from 73 to 63 Ma. This study presents the first cyclostratigraphic analysis using high-resolution drone-derived imagery and 3D elevation models, combined with conventional stratigraphic measurements and magnetic susceptibility data. The drone-derived data are integrated over the entire outcrop at two field areas using a novel application of stratigraphic potential field modeling that increases signal-to-noise ratios prior to spectral analysis. We demonstrate that these parasequences exhibit significant periodicities consistent with eccentricity (400 and 100 kyr), obliquity (50 kyr, 40 kyr, and 29 kyr), precession (17-23 kyr), and semi-precession (9-11 kyr). New U-Pb ID-TIMS zircon ages from intercalacted ash beds corroborate the interpreted sedimentation rates at two sites, indicating that the Potosí Basin contains evidence for hot-house astronomical forcing of sub-tropical lacustrine hydrology. Global climate simulations of late Cretaceous orbital end-member configurations demonstrate precessional-eccentricity and obliquity driven modulation of basin hydrology. In model simulations, the forcings drive long-term shifts in the location of the intertropical convergence zone, changing precipitation along the northern extent of the Potosí Basin's catchment area. This study is the first to demonstrate orbital forcing of a lacustrine system during the Maastrichtian and could ultimately contribute to a precise age for the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary.

  14. Cenozoic to Cretaceous paleomagnetic dataset from Egypt: New data, review and global analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Mireille; Saleh, Ahmed

    2018-04-01

    Different phases of igneous activity took place in Egypt during the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic and oriented samples were collected from three Cenozoic localities (Baharya oasis in the Western Desert, Abu Had in the Eastern Desert and Quseir along the Red Sea coast), and four Cretaceous localities (Toshki & Abu Simbel south of Aswan, and Shalaten & Abu Shihat along the Red Sea coast). Rock magnetic properties of the samples indicate magnetite and titanomagnetite as the main carrier of the remanent magnetization. Following stepwise demagnetization, characteristic remanent directions were identified only for 62% of the samples, a fairly low rate for that type of samples, and 8 new paleomagnetic poles were calculated. All our Cenozoic poles fall clearly off Master Polar Wander Paths proposed for South Africa. Therefore, all paleomagnetic results, previously published for Egypt, were compiled from Cretaceous to Quaternary. The published poles largely overlap, blurring the Egyptian Apparent Polar Wander Path. A new analysis at the site level was then carried out. Only poles having a kappa larger than 50 were selected, and new pole positions were calculated by area and by epoch, when at least 3 sites were available. Even though the selection drastically reduced the number of considered poles, it allows definition of a reliable Cenozoic apparent polar wander trend for Egypt that differs from the South African Master Polar Wander Path by about 10-15 °. If the Cretaceous igneous poles are in good agreement with the rest of the African data, the sedimentary poles plot close to the Cenozoic portion of the South African Master Polar Wander Path, a discrepancy that could be related either to inclination flattening and/or error on age and/or remagnetization in the Cenozoic.

  15. Mid-Cretaceous polar standstill of the Americas and motion of the Atlantic hotspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somoza, R.

    2008-05-01

    The hotspot (HS) fixity axiom installed early in the plate tectonics as an attractive toll for geodynamic analyzes. In particular, a mid-Cretaceous discrepancy between fixed Indo-Atlantic hotspot and paleomagnetic reference frames has been interpreted as evidence for true polar wander (TPW). Recent paleomagnetic findings (C.B. Zaffarana, this session) indicate that the Americas rotated (with different angular rates) about the spin axis between 125 and at least 100 Ma. This kinematic-paleogeographic scenario points to failure of the above mentioned TPW hypothesis, suggesting that the mid-Cretaceous HS-paleomagnetic discrepancy is related to motion of the Atlantic hotspots. On the other hand, dated outcrops and seamounts in the >2000 km White Mountains - New England trail define a tight cluster with no clear age progression when observed in African coordinates, suggesting that the sub-lithospheric melting anomaly responsible for the New England chain moved little with respect to Africa between 120 and 80 Ma. However, small circles centered in the feeder of the New England seamounts as seen from Africa misfit the 120-80 Ma trend of the Walvis ridge in the African South Atlantic, arguing for ~1 cm/yr inter-Atlantic HS motion, which in turn represents about 30 % the rate of coeval full spreading in the Central Atlantic. These observations suggest that a scenario where sub-lithospheric melting anomalies move and deform in concert with flow in the surrounding mantle needs to be allowed for assaying tectonic and geodynamic models. In agreement with this, reconstruction of Cretaceous poles from the Americas with respect to the moving-hotspot framework developed by O´Neill et al. (G3 6 (4), 2005) reduced to a half the paleopole-spin axis offset observed in fixed-HS coordinates (R. Somoza and C.B. Zaffarana, EPSL, in revision), with the residual offset being similar than that is found when large datasets of Cenozoic poles are observed in moving-HS coordinates.

  16. Modelling the interactions between vegetation and climate from the Cretaceous to the Eocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loptson, Claire; Lunt, Dan; Francis, Jane

    2013-04-01

    The climates during the Cretaceous (~144 to 66 Ma) and the early Eocene (~56 to 48 Ma) were much warmer than the present day. Atmospheric CO2 levels for these past climates have a large uncertainty associated with them, but were possibly as high as 2000 to 3000 ppm for the early Eocene (Beerling and Royer, 2011; Lowenstein and Demicco, 2006) and maximum values are thought to range from 800 to 1800 ppm during the Cretaceous (Royer et al., 2012). Current modelling efforts have had great difficulty in replicating the shallow latitudinal temperature gradient indicated by proxy data for these time periods (e.g. Heinemann et al., 2009; Winguth et al., 2010; Shellito et al., 2009). Mechanisms that can result in such a low temperature gradient have not been found (Winguth et al., 2010; Beerling et al., 2011; Sloan and Morrill, 1998), but a contributing factor could be that not all climate feedbacks are included in these models. Vegetation feedbacks have been shown to be especially important (e.g. Otto-Bliesner and Upchurch, 1997; Bonan, 2008) so by including a more accurate representation of vegetation in the climate model, the model-data discrepancies may be reduced. A fully coupled atmosphere-ocean GCM, HadCM3L, coupled to a dynamic global vegetation model (TRIFFID), was used to simulate the climate and the predicted vegetation distributions for and the early Eocene and 12 different time slices representing different ages throughout the Cretaceous at 4x pre-industrial CO2. The only difference in the way these simulations were set up are different boundary conditions that are specific to that time period, e.g. different solar constants and paleogeographies. This allows a direct comparison between the time slices. We present the changes in climate, and therefore vegetation, during the Cretaceous due to changes in these boundary conditions alone, with a focus on Antarctica. Additional Eocene simulations were also carried out with a) fixed globally-uniform vegetation and b

  17. Chemical of shales belonging to Castellanos and Migues formations (Cretaceous), Santa Lucia basin - Uruguay: Paleoenvironment considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peel, E.; Veloslavsky, G.; Fulfaro, J.

    1998-01-01

    In the present work there are analyzed 16 samples of shales belonging to Castellanos and Migues formations (Cretaceous), taken from cores of various boreholes of the Santa Lucia Basin (Uruguay). Chemical analysis of major elements, trace elements (B,V, Sr, Rb, Cr y Ga) and X- ray diffractometry were done to them in order to obtain a geochemical characterization. The characterization shows that their chemical composition is comparable to the world average composition of shales. Besides, the X-ray diffractometry. Based on that, it is clear to deduce that it existed a change in the environment conditions having a shift from a redactor environment which agrees with former micropaleontologic studies. (author)

  18. Cyclostratigraphic calibration of cretaceous magnetic polarity events (Cismon, Southern Alps, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, H.

    1994-01-01

    In an introductory section the problems of constructing a geologic time scale and the role of magnetic reversals and Milankovitch cycles in geochronology are outlined. Results of a detailed cyclostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic study of the Valanginian/Hauterivian part of the pelagic limestone section at Cismon in the Southern Alps are presented and used in conjunction to estimate the duration of magnetic subchrons between CM10N and CM8. The new estimates are shorter than in most published time scales by a factor of two to three. More research along these lines may make a revision of the Early Cretaceous time scale necessary. ?? 1994 International Association for Mathematical Geology.

  19. An archaic crested plesiosaur in opal from the Lower Cretaceous high-latitude deposits of Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Kear, Benjamin P; Schroeder, Natalie I; Lee, Michael S.Y

    2006-01-01

    Umoonasaurus demoscyllus gen. et sp. nov. is a new small-bodied (approx. 2.5 m) pliosauroid plesiosaur from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian) of southern Australia. It is represented by several partial skeletons (one with a near complete skull is the most complete opalized vertebrate fossil yet known), and is unique in having large crests on the skull midline and above the orbits. Umoonasaurus is surprisingly archaic despite its relatively late age (approx. 115 Myr ago)—being simultaneousl...

  20. Cylindroporella sugdeni Elliott, 1957, an Early Cretaceous Middle Eastern Dasycladalean alga - a revision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granier, Bruno R. C.

    2018-01-01

    The type material of Cylindroporella sugdeni Elliott, 1957, is revised. The total lack of sterile laterals and consequently the absence of the diagnostic feature of the genus Cylindroporella, i.e., the alternation of sterile and fertile laterals within the same whorl, leads to its exclusion from the genus Cylindroporella Johnson, 1954, and to its ascription to the genus Holosporella Pia, 1930. Recent stratigraphic investigations suggest that the stratum typicum originally reported as Early Cretaceous in age is more precisely Hauterivian or possibly Early Barremian in age.

  1. Sea water strontium isotopes, acid rain, and the cretaceous-tertiary boundary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacDougall, J.D.

    1988-01-01

    A large bolide impact at the end of the Cretaceous would have produced significant amounts of nitrogen oxides by shock heating of the atmosphere. The resulting acid precipitation would have increased continental weathering greatly and could be an explanation for the observed high ratio of strontium-87 to strontium-86 in sea water at about this time, due to the dissolution of large amounts of strontium from the continental crust. Spikes to high values in the sea water strontium isotope record at other times may reflect similar episodes. 17 references, 1 figure, 1 table

  2. Subtle traps in Cretaceous, Archuleta, Conejos, Mineral, and Rio Grande counties, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, W.T. Jr. (Coastal Oil and Gas Corp., Denver, CO (USA))

    1989-09-01

    Regional interpretation of the stratigraphy, faulting, fracturing, and hydrodynamics in Archuleta, Conejos, Mineral, and Rio Grande Counties in southern Colorado indicates that significant reserves of hydrocarbons could exist in subtle trapping situations within the Cretaceous sequences. The presence of Price-Gramps field (7 million bbl of oil ultimate recoverable), which produces primarily from the Dakota Formation, is presently anomalous in this area but is indicative of existing hydrocarbon potential. Hydrocarbon shows from drilled wells and outcrops suggest that significant quantities of hydrocarbons are present in this area, sourced both from the San Juan basin to the south and west, and from more local areas for fractured reservoirs.

  3. The biota of the upper cretaceous site of Lo Hueco (Cuenca, Spain)

    OpenAIRE

    Ortega, F.; Cambra-Moo, O.; Mocho, P.; Vidal, D.; Sanz, J.L.

    2015-01-01

    Artículo escrito por un elevado número de autores, solo se referencian el que aparece en primer lugar, el nombre del grupo de colaboración, si le hubiere, y los autores pertenecientes a la UAM The Late Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian) fossil site of Lo Hueco was recently discovered close to the village of Fuentes (Cuenca, Spain) during the cutting of a little hill for installation of the railway of the Madrid-Levante high-speed train. To date, it has yielded a rich collection of well-p...

  4. Disruption of the terrestrial plant ecosystem at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, western interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschudy, R.H.; Pillmore, C.L.; Orth, C.J.; Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.

    1984-01-01

    The palynologically defined Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the western interior of North America occurs at the top of an iridium-rich clay layer. The boundary is characterized by the abrupt disappearance of certain pollen species, immediately followed by a pronounced, geologically brief change in the ratio of fern spores to angiosperm pollen. The occurrence of these changes at two widely separated sites implies continentwide disruption of the terrestrial ecosystem, probably caused by a major catastrophic event at the end of the period.

  5. A new hermit crab (Anomura, Paguroidea) from the upper Albian (Cretaceous) of Annopol, Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraaije, René H B; Van Bakel, Barry W M; Jagt, John W M; Machalski, Marcin

    2015-05-06

    A new diogenid paguroid, Paguristes liwinskii sp. nov., is described from upper Albian phosphorite-bearing deposits near Annopol, along the east bank of the River Vistula (Wisła), east-central Poland. This new species constitutes an additional example of Early-Mid-Cretaceous macrofaunal shift, from marine reefal limestone to siliciclastic facies, triggered by the worldwide radiation of planktonic organisms. The species described here is the earliest known member of the genus Paguristes, previously recorded from the upper Santonian/lower Campanian to the Recent.

  6. Early Cretaceous ribbed aptychi - a proposal for a new systematic classification

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Měchová, L.; Vašíček, Zdeněk; Houša, Václav

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 85, č. 2 (2010), s. 219-274 ISSN 1214-1119 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30860518; CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Late Jurassic * J/K boundary * Early Cretaceous * aptychi Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.202, year: 2010 http://apps.isiknowledge.com/full_record.do?product=WOS&search_mode=GeneralSearch&qid=6&SID=Z1P9aiFnKb7Ka2PiKmk& page =1&doc=2

  7. The Cretaceous Fossil Burmaculex antiquus Confirmed as the Earliest Known Lineage of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borkent, Art; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-02-15

    A second female of mid-Cretaceous Burmaculex antiquus Borkent & Grimaldi, preserved in 99 myo Burmese amber, and the oldest known member of the Culicidae, is described in detail. Although generally opaque and distorted, some character states are added or refined. The discovery of well-developed scales on the legs shows that this feature must now be considered a synapomorphy of both the fossil and all extant members of the family. Previously described synapomorphies and further interpretation here confirm the phylogenetic position of this fossil as the sister group to extant and all known fossil Culicidae. It is placed in the new subfamily Burmaculicinae.

  8. Biostratigraphic data from Upper Cretaceous formations-eastern Wyoming, central Colorado, and northeastern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merewether, E.A.; Cobban, W.A.; Obradovich, J.D.

    2011-01-01

    Lithological and paleontological studies of outcrops of Upper Cretaceous formations were conducted at 12 localities in eastern Wyoming, central Colorado, and northeastern New Mexico. The sequence extends upward from the top of the Mowry Shale, or age-equivalent rocks, through the Graneros Shale, Greenhorn Limestone, Carlile Shale, Niobrara Formation, Pierre Shale, and Fox Hills Sandstone, or age-equivalent formations, to the top of the Laramie Formation, or laterally equivalent formations. The strata are mainly siliciclastic and calcareous, with thicknesses ranging from about 3,300 ft in northeastern New Mexico to as much as 13,500 ft in eastern Wyoming. Deposition was mainly in marine environments and molluscan fossils of Cenomanian through Maastrichtian ages are common. Radiometric ages were determined from beds of bentonite that are associated with fossil zones. The Upper Cretaceous formations at the 12 study localities are herein divided into three informal time-stratigraphic units based on fossil content and contact relations with adjacent strata. The basal unit in most places extends from the base of the Graneros to the top of the Niobrara, generally to the horizon of the fossil Scaphites hippocrepis, and spans a period of about 14 million years. The middle unit generally extends from the top of the Niobrara to the approximate middle of the Pierre, the horizon of the fossil Baculites gregoryensis, and represents a period of about 5 million years. The upper unit includes strata between the middle of the Pierre and the top of the Upper Cretaceous Series, which is the top of the Laramie Formation or of laterally equivalent formations; it represents a period of deposition of as much as 11 million years. Comparisons of the collections of fossils from each outcrop with the complete sequence of Upper Cretaceous index fossils can indicate disconformable contacts and lacunae. Widespread disconformities have been found within the Carlile Shale and between the Carlile

  9. Boreal- Tethyan Correlation of the Jurassic – Cretaceous Boundary Interval by Magneto- and Biostratigraphy

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Houša, Václav; Pruner, Petr; Zakharov, V. A.; Košťák, M.; Chadima, Martin; Rogov, M. A.; Šlechta, Stanislav; Mazuch, M.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 3 (2007), s. 63-75 ISSN 0869-5938 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/07/1365; GA ČR(CZ) GA205/06/0842 Grant - others:Russian Foundation for Basic Research(RU) 03-05-64297; Russian Foundation for Basic Research(RU) 06-05-64284 Program no. 14 of the Earthscience Division RAS Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Jurassic- Cretaceous boundary * Boreal and Tethyan deposits * magnetostratigraphy * biostratigraphy * Northern Siberia Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.682, year: 2007

  10. Mineralogical, geochemical and hydrocarbon potential of subsurface Cretaceous shales, Northern Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.A. Mousa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Twenty four Cretaceous shale core samples of Gibb Afia-1, Betty-1, Salam-1X and Mersa Matruh-1 wells were mineralogically and geochemically studied using XRD, XRF and Rock Eval Pyrolysis. Kaolinite, smectite and illite are the main clay minerals in addition to rare chlorite, while the non-clay minerals include quartz, calcite, dolomite and rare siderite. The shales were derived through intensive chemical weathering of mafic basement and older sedimentary rocks. These sediments were deposited in a near-shore shallow marine environment with some terrestrial material input. The shales have poor to fair organic content. It is marginally to rarely mature.

  11. Impact of CO2 and continental configuration on Late Cretaceous ocean dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puceat, Emmanuelle; Donnadieu, Yannick; Moiroud, Mathieu; Guillocheau, François; Deconinck, Jean-François

    2014-05-01

    The Late Cretaceous period is characterized by a long-term climatic cooling (Huber et al., 1995; Pucéat et al., 2003; Friedrich et al., 2012) and by major changes in continental configuration with the widening of the Atlantic Ocean, the initiation of the Tethyan ocean closure, and the deepening of the Central Atlantic Gateway. The Late Cretaceous also marks the end of the occurrence of Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs), that are associated to enhanced organic carbon burial, to major crises of calcifying organisms, and to possible ocean acidification (Jenkyns, 2010). It has been suggested that the evolution in continental configuration and climate occurring during the Late Cretaceous could have induced a reorganization in the oceanic circulation, that may have impacted the oxygenation state of the oceanic basins and contributed to the disappearance of OAEs (Robinson et al., 2010; Robinson and Vance, 2012). Yet there is no consensus existing on the oceanic circulation modes and on their possible evolution during the Late Cretaceous, despite recent improvement of the spatial and temporal coverage of neodymium isotopic data (ɛNd), a proxy of oceanic circulation (MacLeod et al., 2008; Robinson et al., 2010; Murphy and Thomas, 2012; Robinson and Vance, 2012; Martin et al., 2012; Moiroud et al., 2012). Using the fully coupled ocean-atmosphere General Circulation Model FOAM, we explore in this work the impact on oceanic circulation of changes in continental configuration between the mid- and latest Cretaceous. Two paleogeography published by Sewall et al. (2007) were used, for the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary and for the Maastrichtian. For each paleogeography, 3 simulations have been realized, at 2x, 4x, and 8x the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 level, in order to test the sensitivity of the modelled circulation to CO2. Our results show for both continental configurations a bipolar mode for the oceanic circulation displayed by FOAM. Using the Cenomanian/Turonian land-sea mask

  12. LATE JURASSIC AND EARLY CRETACEOUS AMMONITES FROM THE WEIMEI FORMATION IN GYANGZE, SOUTHERN TIBET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MASAHIKO TAKEI

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available The Weimei Formation in southern Tibet is a shallow marine sequence accumulated in the northern margin of the Indian subcontinent. It has been dated as Tithonian based on ammonites such as Haplophylloceras strigile (Blanford, Berriasella sp. and Himalayites sp. Six ammonite specimens were found in the type locality of the Weimei Formation. They include Spiticeras (Spiticeras spitiense (Blanford, Berriasella sp. and Phylloceras sp. The occurrence of S. spitiense indicates that the ammonite-bearing portion is assignable to the Berriasian stage. The Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary possibly exists within the Weimei Formation.

  13. Seawater strontium isotopes, acid rain, and the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdougall, J. D.

    1988-01-01

    A large bolide impact at the end of the Cretaceous would have produced significant amounts of nitrogen oxides by shock heating of the atmosphere. The resulting acid precipitation would have increased continental weathering greatly and could be an explanation for the observed high ratio of strontium-87 to strontium-86 in seawater at about this time, due to the dissolution of large amounts of strontium from the continental crust. Spikes to high values in the seawater strontium isotope record at other times may reflect similar episodes.

  14. Extended Late-Cretaceous Magnetostratigraphy of the James Ross Basin Island, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffee, T. M.; Mitchell, R.; Slotznick, S. P.; Buz, J.; Biasi, J.; O'Rourke, J.; Sousa, F.; Flannery, D.; Fu, R. R.; Kirschvink, J. L.

    2017-12-01

    Sediments in the James Ross Island Basin (JRB) in the West Antarctic Peninsula contain one of the world's highest-resolution records of the late Cretaceous period, including the end-Cretaceous (K-Pg) mass extinction event. However, the geological record of this region has been poorly studied, limited in the past only to the relative dating of local fossils. Recent studies of this region have provided only low-resolution data, with gaps of greater than 0.5 million years between samples where no data was collected. A high-resolution magnetostratigraphic sampling and analysis is necessary in order to accurately determine the age of the JRB sediments and connect them to the global time record. During the 2016 field season in Antarctica, our team collected nearly 1,300 sample cores from JRB sediments using a diamond-tipped, gasoline powered coring drill. Drill sites were densely clustered across bedding in order to obtain a high-resolution record of magnetostratigraphy, permitting the recognition of distinct, high-resolution units of time (<50 thousand years) present in local stratigraphy Our current results come from thermal demagnetization of the characteristic remanance (ChRM) of a group of over 300 of these samples from the Brandy Bay area which constrain the end of the Cretaceous Superchron (C34N) and the C34N/C34R reversal and allow us to investigate the presence of geomagnetic excursions before the end of superchron. These samples span in age from the top of C34N to the mid-Maastrichtian. We also test the Late Cretaceous True Polar Wander (TPW) hypothesis. Current theories on the global extent of TPW are not substantiated by any data sets that confirm the presence and similarity of the effect across multiple continents. Evidence of a rapid TPW oscillation in Antarctica can be correlated with other samples from the North American continent currently under study to provide evidence for the theory of global, short-timescale TPW.

  15. An Early Cretaceous root-climbing epiphyte (Lindsaeaceae) and its significance for calibrating the diversification of polypodiaceous ferns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, H; Kenrick, P

    2001-05-01

    The discovery of fossilised roots of a lindsaeoid fern within the trunk of the extinct tree fern Tempskya provides new fossil evidence for Lindsaeaceae in the Mesozic, as well as the first direct evidence of an ecological association between Tempskya and root-climbing epiphytes. Data were collected from permineralised Tempskya trunks from the Aspen Shale (Early Cretaceous, Albian), Wyoming (USA). The roots of the lindsaeoid fossil are clearly distinguishable from those of Tempskya and other living ferns based on a suite of distinctive anatomical features, which are described in detail. The foliage is unknown. The new fossil is interpreted as a root climber, and comparisons are made with similar living species in Lindsaea subgenus Odontoloma (Lindsaeaceae). The documentation of Lindsaeaceae in the Early Cretaceous adds to a small but growing body of data on the diversification of polypodiaceous ferns during this important period. These recent discoveries point to a much earlier (Early Cretaceous) crown group radiation of polypodiaceous ferns than previously suspected.

  16. Earth history. U-Pb geochronology of the Deccan Traps and relation to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoene, Blair; Samperton, Kyle M; Eddy, Michael P; Keller, Gerta; Adatte, Thierry; Bowring, Samuel A; Khadri, Syed F R; Gertsch, Brian

    2015-01-09

    The Chicxulub asteroid impact (Mexico) and the eruption of the massive Deccan volcanic province (India) are two proposed causes of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, which includes the demise of nonavian dinosaurs. Despite widespread acceptance of the impact hypothesis, the lack of a high-resolution eruption timeline for the Deccan basalts has prevented full assessment of their relationship to the mass extinction. Here we apply uranium-lead (U-Pb) zircon geochronology to Deccan rocks and show that the main phase of eruptions initiated ~250,000 years before the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and that >1.1 million cubic kilometers of basalt erupted in ~750,000 years. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the Deccan Traps contributed to the latest Cretaceous environmental change and biologic turnover that culminated in the marine and terrestrial mass extinctions. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  17. Possible markers of the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary in the Mediterranean Tethys: A review and state of art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Michalík

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available During the last decades, several integrated studies of Tethyan Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary sections from different countries were published with the objective to indicate problems for the selection of biological, chemical or physical markers suitable for identification of the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary – the only system boundary within the Phanerozoic still not fixed by GSSP. Drawing the boundary between the Jurassic and Cretaceous systems is a matter of global scale discussions. The problem of proposing possible J/K boundary stratotypes results from lack of a global index fossils, global sea level drop, paleogeographic changes causing development of isolated facies areas, as well as from the effect of Late Cimmerian Orogeny. This contribution summarizes and comments data on J/K boundary interval obtained from several important Tethyan sections and shows still existing problems and discrepancies in its determination.

  18. Paleomagnetism of Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks bounding the Santa Marta massif - NW corner of Colombia, South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayona, G.; Jimenez, G.; Silva, C.

    2008-12-01

    The Santa Marta massif (SMM) is a complex terrain located in the NW margin of South America, bounded by the left-lateral Santa Marta fault to the west and the right-lateral Oca fault to the north. The SMM is cored by Precambrian metamorphic and Jurassic intrusive rocks, whereas along the SE flank crop out Jurassic volcanic rocks overlying unconformably by Limestones of Cretaceous age. Paleomagnetic analysis of 30 sites in the Jurassic and Cretaceous units in the SE region uncovered two principal magnetic components. The component "a", isolated in low coercivity and temperatures, has declinations to the north and moderate positive inclinations representing the actual field direction (n=11, D=347.6 I=23 K=30.77, a95=8.4). The component "c", with high coercivity and temperatures, has two orientations. After two-step tilt corrections, the first has northward declination and positive, low inclination (n=9, D=12, I=3, K=18.99, a95=12.1); this direction was uncovered in Cretaceous and some Jurassic rocks near to the Santa Marta fault, and we consider it as a Cretaceous component. The second direction was uncovered only in Jurassic rocks and has NNE declinations with negative-low inclinations (n=9, D=11.3 I=-14.3 K=12.36, a95=15.2); this direction represents a Jurassic component. Jurassic and Cretaceous directions isolated in areas faraway of the Santa Marta Fault suggest slight clockwise vertical-axes rotation. The Jurassic component suggests northward translation of the SMM from Paleolatitude -7.3, to near the magnetic equador in the Cretaceous, and to northern latitudes in the Cenozoic.

  19. Ginkgoites myrioneurus sp nov and associated shoots from the Lower Cretaceous of the Jixi Basin, Heilongjiang, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, X.J. [Chinese Academy of Science, Nanjing (China). Nanjing Institute of Geology & Palaeontology

    2004-10-01

    Ginkgoalean leaves attributed to Ginkgoites myrioneurus sp. nov. and associated long and dwarf shoots were collected from the Lower Cretaceous coal-bearing Muling Formation of the Jixi Basin, eastern Heilongjiang, China. The common characteristic feature of the various leaves is the dense venation. The species may be distinguished from other known species of Ginkgoites from the Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous of eastern Asia in having 8-18 closely arranged oblanceolate segments each with 6-16 veins. The fragmentary long and dwarf shoots are similar to those of extant Ginkgo biloba in gross morphology. They are considered to belong to the same tree as that which produced Ginkgoites myrioneurus.

  20. Kinematic analysis of the Cretaceous Era dinosaur footprints near the Paluxy River, Texas: Predation event or not?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2009-03-01

    Motivation is enhanced by challenging students with interesting and open-ended questions. In this talk, a methodology for studying the locomotion of extinct animals based on their footprint trackways is developed and applied to a possible predation event recorded in Cretaceous Era deposits.ootnotetextJ.O. Farlow, ``Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur Tracks, Paluxy River Valley, Texas,'' South Central Geological Society of America, Baylor University, 1987. Students usually love learning about dinosaurs, an unexpected treat in a physics class. This example can be used in the classroom to help build critical thinking skills as the students decide whether the evidence supports a predation scenario or not.