Sunday 1 September 2013

A basal Tetanuran Dinosaur tooth from the Late Jurassic of the Czech Republic.

The Tetanurans are a large subgroup of the Theropod Dinosaurs, including the Spinosaurs, Tyranosaurs, Ornithomimids, Maniraptors, Therizinosaurs, Oviraptors, Birds, Troodontids, Dromeosaurs, Allosaurs, Raptors and other groups. They appeared in the Middle Jurassic and different groups have flourished ever since, though only one group, the Birds, survived the end-Cretaceous extinction.

In a forthcoming paper in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, available online since 4 February 2013, Daniel Madzia of the Institute of Geological Sciences at Masaryk University describes a basal Tetanuran tooth from the Late Jurassic carbonate rocks of Švédské šance on the southeastern margin of the Bohemian Massif.

Basal Tetanuran Dinosaur tooth from the Late Jurasic of Švédské šance in the Czech Republic. Madzia (2012).

The specimen was apparently transfered to the Institute of Geological Sciences at Masaryk University from the collection of the German Technical University in Brno when that institution closed in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II, and had a label in German identifying it as a tooth of Teleosaurus, a Jurassic marine Crocodile, which it does not closely resemble. Madzia (wisely) does not attempt to identify the tooth to any group more specific than the Tetanurans. Tetanuran Dinosaurs, particularly Allosaurs and Spinosaurs, were abundant across much of Europe by the Late Jurassic, but this is the first such material known from the Czech Republic.

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