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A reassessment of the basal dinosaur Guaibasaurus candelariensis, from the Late Triassic Caturrita Formation of south Brazil

  • Max C. Langer (a1), Jonathas S. Bittencourt (a1) and Cesar L. Schultz (a2)

Abstract

The dinosaur record of the Santa Maria beds of Rio Grande do Sul (Mid–Late Triassic; south Brazil) includes the herrerasaur Staurikosaurus pricei, and two basal members of the sauropodomorph lineage: Saturnalia tupiniquim and Unaysaurus tolentinoi. The most enigmatic of the saurischian taxa is, however, Guaibasaurus candelariensis, previously regarded as either a basal theropod or a basal sauropodomorph. This study provides a detailed anatomical revision of all specimens originally referred to G. candelariensis by Bonaparte and co-authors, including its type-series and a more recently excavated partial postcranium. Although coming from different sites, these specimens share a unique combination of traits, and at least one possible autapomorphic feature of the pelvis, which support the inclusivity and uniqueness of the species. G. candelariensis was a medium-sized (nearly 2 m long) biped with an intriguing mix of plesiomorphic and derived (eusaurischian/theropod) features. Phylogenetic studies reveal weak support for the nesting of G. candelariensis within Theropoda, but this affinity is bolstered by various traits it shares with neotheropods. The Norian age of G. candelariensis corroborates previous studies that suggest the continuous radiation of more basal dinosauromorphs until the end of the Triassic, after the appearance of the three main dinosaur clades.

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A reassessment of the basal dinosaur Guaibasaurus candelariensis, from the Late Triassic Caturrita Formation of south Brazil

  • Max C. Langer (a1), Jonathas S. Bittencourt (a1) and Cesar L. Schultz (a2)

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