A new primitive Neornithischian dinosaur from the Jurassic of Patagonia with gut contents

Leonardo Salgado, José I. Canudo, Alberto C. Garrido, Miguel Moreno-Azanza, Leandro C.A. Martínez, Rodolfo A. Coria, José M. Gasca

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Abstract

We describe a new species of an ornithischian dinosaur, Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov. The specimen, consisting in an almost complete skull and incomplete postcranium was collected from the marine-deltaic deposits of the Los Molles Formation (Toarcian-Bajocian), being the first reported dinosaur for this unit, one of the oldest from Neuquén Basin, and the first neornithischian dinosaur known from the Jurassic of South America. Despite showing a general stegosaurian appearance, the extensive phylogenetic analysis carried out depicts Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov. as a basal ornithopod, suggesting that both Thyreophora and neornithischians could have achieved significant convergent features. The specimen was preserved articulated and with some of its gut content place in the middle-posterior part of the thoracic cavity. Such stomach content was identified as seeds, most of them belonging to the Cycadales group. This finding reveals a possible and unexpected role of this ornithischian species as seed-dispersal agent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42778
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

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    Salgado, L., Canudo, J. I., Garrido, A. C., Moreno-Azanza, M., Martínez, L. C. A., Coria, R. A., & Gasca, J. M. (2017). A new primitive Neornithischian dinosaur from the Jurassic of Patagonia with gut contents. Scientific Reports, 7, [42778]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep42778