Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The postcranial skeleton of Monolophosaurus jiangi (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of Xinjiang, China, and a review of Middle Jurassic Chinese theropods

  • ZHAO XI-JIN (a1), ROGER B. J. BENSON (a2) (a3), STEPHEN L. BRUSATTE (a4) and PHILIP J. CURRIE (a5)

Abstract

The Middle Jurassic was a critical time in the evolution of theropod dinosaurs, highlighted by the origination and radiation of the large-bodied and morphologically diverse Tetanurae. Middle Jurassic tetanurans are rare but have been described from Europe, South America and China. In particular, China has yielded a number of potential basal tetanurans, but these have received little detailed treatment in the literature. Here we redescribe the postcranial skeleton of one of the most complete Chinese Middle Jurassic theropods, Monolophosaurus. Several features confirm the tetanuran affinities of Monolophosaurus, but the possession of ‘primitive’ traits such as a double-faceted pubic peduncle of the ilium and a hood-like supracetabular crest suggest a basal position within Tetanurae. This conflicts with most published cladistic analyses that place Monolophosaurus in a more derived position within Allosauroidea. We review the Middle Jurassic record of Chinese theropods and compare Monolophosaurus to other Middle Jurassic theropods globally. These comparisons suggest that Monolophosaurus and Chuandongocoelurus formed an endemic theropod clade limited to the Middle Jurassic of Asia. Other Middle Jurassic Chinese theropods deserve further study.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: rbb27@cam.ac.uk

References

Hide All
Allain, R. 2002. Discovery of megalosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda) in the Middle Bathonian of Normandy (France) and its implications for the phylogeny of basal Tetanurae. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22, 548–63.
Allain, R. 2005. The postcranial anatomy of the megalosaur Dubreuillosaurus valesdunensis (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of Normany, France. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25, 850–8.
Allain, R. & Chure, D. J. 2002. Poekilopleuron bucklandii, the theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Normandy. Palaeontology 45, 1107–21.
Allain, R., Tykoski, R., Aquesbi, N., Jalil, N.-E., Monbaron, M., Russell, D. & Taquet, P. 2007. An abelisauroid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Jurassic of the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco, and the radiation of ceratosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 3, 610–24.
Benson, R. B. J. 2008 a. A redescription of ‘Megalosaurushesperis (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Inferior Oolite (Bajocian, Middle Jurassic) of Dorset, United Kingdom. Zootaxa 1931, 5767.
Benson, R. B. J. 2008 b. New information of Stokesosaurus, a tyrannosauroid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from North America and the United Kingdom. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28, 732–50.
Benson, R. B. J. 2008 c. Reassessment of Middle Jurassic theropod relationships with a focus on the UK record. In 6th meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists, 30th June–5th July 2008, Spišska Nová Ves, Slovak Republic (ed. Krempaská, Z.), pp. 1516. Spišska Nová Ves: The Museum of Spiš.
Benson, R. B. J. 2008 d. A new theropod phylogeny focussing on basal tetanurans, and its implications for European ‘megalosaurs’ and Middle Jurassic dinosaur endemism. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28, 51A.
Benson, R. B. J. In press. A description of Megalosaurus bucklandii (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Bathonian of the United Kingdom and the relationships of Middle Jurassic theropods. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
Benson, R. B. J., Barrett, P. M., Powell, H. P. & Norman, D. B. 2008. The taxonomic status of Megalosaurus bucklandii (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of Oxfordshire, UK. Palaeontology 51, 419–24.
Bonaparte, J. F. 1986. Les dinosaures (carnosaures, allosauridés, sauropodes, cétiosaurides) du Jurassique Moyen de Cerro Cóndor (Chubut, Argentine). Annales de Paléontologie 72, 247–89.
Bonaparte, J. F., Novas, F. E. & Coria, R. A. 1990. Carnotaurus sastrei Bonaparte, the horned, lightly built carnosaur from the Middle Cretaceous of Patagonia. Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 416, 141.
Britt, B. B. 1991. Theropods of Dry Mesa Quarry (Morrison Formation, Late Jurassic), Colorado, with emphasis on the osteology of Torvosaurus tanneri. Brigham Young University, Geology Studies 37, 172.
Britt, B. B. 1997. Postcranial pneumaticity. In The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (eds Currie, P. J. & Padian, K.), pp. 590–3. San Diego: Academic Press.
Brusatte, S. L., Benson, R. B. J. & Hutt, S. 2008. The osteology of Neovenator salerii (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Wealden (Barremian) of the Isle of Wight. Monograph of the Palaeontographical Society 162 (631), 1166.
Brusatte, S. L. & Sereno, P. C. 2007. A new species of Carcharodontosaurus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Cenomanian of Niger and a revision of the genus. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 27, 902–16.
Brusatte, S. L. & Sereno, P. C. 2008. Phylogeny of Allosauroidea (Dinosauria: Theropoda): comparative analysis and resolution. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 6, 155–82.
Buckland, W. 1824. Notice on the Megalosaurus or great fossil lizard of Stonesfield. Transactions of the Geological Society 21, 390–7.
Carrano, M. T. 2007. The appendicular skeleton of Majungasaurus crenatissimus (Theropoda: Abelisauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. In Majungasaurus crenatissimus (Theropoda: Abelisauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar (eds Sampson, S. D. & Krause, D. W.), pp. 163–79. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Memoir no. 8.
Carrano, M. T. & Sampson, S. D. 2004. A review of coelophysoids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Jurassic of Europe, with comments on the late history of the Coelophysoidea. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paláontologie Monatshefte 2004, 537–58.
Carrano, M. T. & Sampson, S. D. 2008. The phylogeny of Ceratosauria (Dinosauria: Theropoda). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 6, 183236.
Charig, A. J. & Milner, A. C. 1997. Baryonyx walkeri, a fish-eating dinosaur from the Wealden of Surrey. Bulletin of the Natural History Museum, Geology Series 53, 1170.
Colbert, E. H. 1989. The Triassic dinosaur Coelophysis. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 57, 1160.
Coria, R. A. & Currie, P. J. 2006. A new carcharodontosaurid (Dinosauria; Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina. Geodiversitas 28, 71118.
Currie, P. J. & Carpenter, K. 2000. A new specimen of Acrocanthosaurus atokensis (Theropoda, Dinosauria) from the Lower Cretaceous Antlers Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Aptian) of Oklahoma, USA. Geodiversitas 22, 207–46.
Currie, P. J. & Zhao, X.-J. 1993. A new large theropod (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Jurassic of Xinjiang, People's Republic of China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 30, 2037–81.
Day, J. J. & Barrett, P. M. 2004. Material referred to Megalosaurus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, England: one taxon or two? Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 115, 359–66.
Dong, Z. 1984. A new theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Sichuan Basin. Vertebrata Palasiatica 22, 213–18 (in Chinese with English summary).
Dong, Z. & Tang, Z. 1985. A new Mid-Jurassic theropod (Gasosaurus constructus gen. et sp. nov.) from Dashanpu, Zigong, Sichuan Province, China. Vertebrata Palasiatica 23, 7683 (in Chinese with English summary).
Eberth, D. A., Brinkman, D. B., Chen, P.-J., Yuan, F.-T., Wu, S.-Z., Li, G. & Cheng, X.-S. 2001. Sequence stratigraphy, paleoclimate patterns and vertebrate fossil preservation in Jurassic–Cretaceous strata of the Junggar Basin, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, People's Republic China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 38, 1627–44.
Eudes-Deslongchamps, J. A. 1838. Mémoire sur le Poekilopleuron bucklandii, grand saurien fossile, intermédiaire entre les crocodiles et les lézards. Mémoire de la Société Linnéene de Normandie 6, 37146.
Gao, Y.-H. 1993. A new species of Szechuanosaurus from the Middle Jurassic of Dashanpu, Zigong, Sichuan. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 31, 308–14 (in Chinese with English summary).
Gauthier, J. 1986. Saurischian monophyly and the origin of birds. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 8, 155.
Harris, J. D. 1998. A reanalysis of Acrocanthosaurus atokensis, its phylogenetic status, and paleobiogeographic implications, based on a new specimen from Texas. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 13, 175.
He, X. 1984. The Vertebrate Fossils of Sichuan. Chengdu: Sichuan Scientific and Technological Publishing House (in Chinese).
Holtz, T. R. 2000. A new phylogeny of the carnivorous dinosaurs. Gaia 15 (for 1998), 561.
Holtz, T. R., Molnar, R. E. & Currie, P. J. 2004. Basal Tetanurae. In The Dinosauria (2nd edition) (eds Weishampel, D. B., Dodson, P. & Osmólska, H.), pp. 71110. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hutchinson, J. R. 2001. The evolution of pelvic osteology and soft tissues on the line to extant birds (Neornithes). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 131, 123–68.
Madsen, J. H. 1976. Allosaurus fragilis: a revised osteology. Utah Geological Survey Bulletin 109, 1163.
Madsen, J. H. & Welles, S. P. 2000. Ceratosaurus (Dinosauria, Theropoda). A revised osteology. Utah Geological Survey Miscellaneous Publication 2, 180.
Marsh, O. C. 1881. Principal characters of American Jurassic dinosaurs. Part V. American Journal of Science (series 3) 21, 417–23.
Novas, F. E., Valais, S. de, Vickers-Rich, P. & Rich, T. 2005. A large Cretaceous theropod from Patagonia, Argentina, and the evolution of carcharodontosaurids. Naturwissenschaften 92, 226–30.
O'Connor, P. M. 2007. The postcranial axial skeleton of Majungasaurus crenatissimus (Theropoda: Abelisauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. In Majungasaurus crenatissimus (Theropoda: Abelisauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar (eds Sampson, S. D. & Krause, D. W.), pp. 127–62. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Memoir no. 8.
Owen, R. 1842. Report on British fossil reptiles. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 11, 60294.
Peng, G., Ye, Y., Gao, Y., Shu, C. & Jiang, S. 2005. Jurassic dinosaur faunas in Zigong. Zigong: People's Publishing House.
Rauhut, O. W. M. 1995. Zur systematischen Stellung der afrikanischen Theropoden Carcharodontosaurus Stromer 1931 und Bahariasaurus Stromer 1934. Berliner Geowissenschaften Abhlandlungen E 16, 357–75.
Rauhut, O. W. M. 2003. The interrelationships and evolution of basal theropod dinosaurs. Special Papers in Palaeontology 69, 1213.
Rauhut, O. W. M. 2005 a. Osteology and relationships of a new theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Patagonia. Palaeontology 48, 87110.
Rauhut, O. W. M. 2005 b. Postcranial remains of ‘coelurosaurs’ (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Late Jurassic of Tanzania. Geological Magazine 142, 97107.
Sadleir, R., Barrett, P. M. & Powell, H. P. 2008. The anatomy and systematics of Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis, a theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Oxfordshire, England. Monograph of the Palaeontographical Society 160 (627), 182.
Sereno, P. C. 1999. The evolution of dinosaurs. Science 284, 2137–47.
Sereno, P. C., Dutheil, D. B., Iarochene, M., Larsson, H. C. E., Lyon, G. H., Magwene, P. M., Sidor, C. A., Varricchio, D. J. & Wilson, J. A. 1996. Predatory dinosaurs from the Sahara and Late Cretaceous faunal differentiation. Science 272, 986–91.
Sereno, P. C., Wilson, J. A., Larsson, H. C. E., Dutheil, D. B. & Sues, H.-D. 1994. Early Cretaceous dinosaurs from the Sahara. Science 266, 267–71.
Smith, N. D., Makovicky, P. J., Hammer, W. R. & Currie, P. J. 2007. Osteology of Cryolophosaurus ellioti (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Jurassic of Antarctica and implications for early theropod evolution. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 151, 377421.
Tykoski, R. S. & Rowe, T. 2004. Ceratosauria. In The Dinosauria (2nd edition) (eds Weishampel, D. B., Dodson, P. & Osmólska, H.), pp. 4770. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Upchurch, P., Hunn, C. A. & Norman, D. B. 2002. An analysis of dinosaurian biogeography: evidence for the existence of vicariance and dispersal patterns caused by geological events. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 269, 613–21.
Waldman, M. 1974. Megalosaurids from the Bajocian Middle Jurassic of Dorset. Palaeontology 17, 325–40.
Welles, S. P. 1984. Dilophosaurus wetherilli (Dinosauria, Theropoda). Osteology and Comparisons. Palaeontographica Abteilung A 185, 85180.
Zhao, X.-J. & Currie, P. J. 1993. A large crested theropod from the Jurassic of Xinjiang, People's Republic of China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 30, 2027–36.

Keywords

The postcranial skeleton of Monolophosaurus jiangi (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of Xinjiang, China, and a review of Middle Jurassic Chinese theropods

  • ZHAO XI-JIN (a1), ROGER B. J. BENSON (a2) (a3), STEPHEN L. BRUSATTE (a4) and PHILIP J. CURRIE (a5)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed