A new oviraptorid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Bayan Mandahu, Inner Mongolia

Nicholas R. Longrich, Philip J. Currie, Dong Zhi-Ming

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A new oviraptorid is described on the basis of a partial forelimb collected from the Upper Cretaceous redbeds of Bayan Mandahu, Inner Mongolia. Machairasaurus leptonychus, gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by slender, weakly curved manual unguals, reduced flexor tubercles, penultimate phalanges that are subequal in length to the preceding phalanges, and short, robust manual digits. Machairasaurus is found to be a member of the Ingeniinae, along with Ingenia yanshini, Heyuannia huangi, Conchoraptor gracilis, and Nemegtomaia barsboldi. Machairasaurus exhibits unusual proportions of the manus, suggesting that the manus was not primarily used to grasp prey. Instead, Machairasaurus and other oviraptorids are likely to have fed largely on plant material. The recognition of a previously unknown oviraptorid at Bayan Mandahu provides further evidence that the Bayan Mandahu dinosaur assemblage is distinct from that found at the Djadokhta Formation exposures at Bayn Dzak, Tugriken Shireh, and Ukhaa Tolgod. Given that these localities are separated by just a few hundred kilometres and represent similar palaeoenvironments, marked differences in the fauna suggest that the Bayan Mandahu Formation of Inner Mongolia is not coeval with the known Djadokhta localities in Mongolia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-960
Number of pages16
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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