A highly pneumatic middle Cretaceous theropod from the British Lower Greensand

Chris T. Barker, Darren Naish, Claire E. Clarkin, Paul Farrell, Gabriel Hullmann, James Lockyer, Philipp Schneider, Robin K. C. Ward, Neil J. Gostling, Philip Mannion
2020 Papers in Palaeontology  
A series of axial elements from the Aptian Ferruginous Sands Formation of the Lower Greensand Group, discovered on the foreshore near Knock Cliff on the Isle of Wight, UK are (bar some isolated teeth and fragmentary postcranial material from the Cenomanian Cambridge Greensand) the youngest non-avian theropod remains reported from the British Mesozoic. These specimens have the potential to shed light on a poorly known section of the European dinosaur record. Consistency in size, appearance and
more » ... hering matrix indicates that the vertebrae belong to the same individual. This was a mid-sized tetanuran, the presence of several diagnostic characters indicating that it should be recognized as a new taxon, herein named Vectaerovenator inopinatus. The cervical and dorsal vertebrae are camerate and highly pneumatic. Tetanuran features include opisthocoelous cervicals and pneumatic foramina located within fossae; however, assigning this specimen to a specific clade is problematic. Within Tetanurae, Vectaerovenator possesses axial structures and homoplastic features seen in megalosauroids, carcharodontosaurians and certain coelurosaurs. Not only is Vectaerovenator one of the UK's youngest non-bird dinosaurs, and one of few valid British Greensand taxa, it is also the first diagnosable theropod taxon to be named from Aptian deposits of Europe.
doi:10.1002/spp2.1338 fatcat:ufsebmjsgfbp5jfw5dbzsnf7ca