Monday, May 17, 2010

Utahraptor ostrommaysorum

One of the few old taxa I have yet to post an entry on in The Theropod Database.  A big update will be coming to that site soon, btw.  All the new taxa that have been described, new tetanurine phylogeny, the first installments of my analyses of prior cladistic analyses, and more.

Utahraptor Kirkland, Gaston and Burge, 1993
= "Utahraptor" Kirkland, 1992
U. ostrommaysorum Kirkland, Gaston and Burge, 1993 emmend. Olshevsky, 2000
= "Utahraptor spielbergi" Bonar, Lassieur, McCafferty and Voci, 1993
= Utahraptor ostrommaysi Kirkland, Gaston and Burge, 1993
Barremian, Early Cretaceous
Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, US
Holotype- (CEU 184v.86) pedal ungual II
Paratypes- (BYU 9429) (3.89 m) mid caudal vertebrae (67 mm)
(BYU 9435) distal caudal vertebra
(BYU 9436) distal caudal vertebra
(BYU 9438) pedal ungual II
(BYU 13068) pedal ungual II
(CEU 184v.260) (5.03 m) tibia (503 mm)
(CEU 184v.294) pedal ungual II
(CEU 184v.400) premaxilla
Referred- (BYU 15465) (~5.9 m) femur (600 mm) (Erickson et al., 2009)
(BYU coll.) teeth (Kirkland et al., 2005)
(BYU and CEU coll.) (at least nine individuals; juvenile to adult; ~3-5.6 m, some ~11 m?) 190 elements including premaxillae, nasal, quadratojugal, cervical vertebrae, dorsal vertebrae, sacral vertebrae, proximal caudal vertebrae, coracoid, partial ilium, incomplete ischium, femora (310-565 mm), astragalus, metatarsal II, phalanx II-1, metatarsal III, metatarsal IV (Britt et al., 2001)

Comments- The name Utahraptor was first used in a press release from Kirkland and Dinamation International Society (Olshevsky, 2000) and subsequently published in several articles in July 1992 (e.g. Browne, 1992). Its species name was originally going to be U. spielbergi, but Steven Spielberg's lawyers apparently objected (Bakker pers. comm. to Tegowski, 1996). That name has only been published in a children's magazine and merchandise, which of course lacked a proper description. Once the taxon was properly published, Kirkland et al. (1993) spelled the species name ostrommaysi, but this was emmended by Olshevsky to ostrommaysorum as it honors both Ostrom and Mays. The name Utahraptor "oweni" has also appeared online in various places but is probably a mistake for Valdoraptor oweni.

The type material was discovered in 1975 (BYU material) and 1991-1992 (CEU material), but only described in 1993. The other CEU type material may belong to the same individual as the holotype. A supposed lacrimal (CEU 184v.83) was also a paratype, but was later found to be a postorbital from the ankylosaur Gastonia (Britt et al., 2001). Britt et al. also state a previously identified surangular is actually a long bone fragment, but no surangular was identified in the original description. They determined that the supposed manual unguals BYU 9438, BYU 13068 and CEU 184v.294 are actually pedal unguals, which was confirmed by Senter (2007a).

New material was announced by Britt et al. (2001) in an abstract, but has yet to be described in detail. This consists of one individual from the Yellow Cat (=Gaston) Quarry (CEU coll.) and at least eight from the Dalton Well Quarry (70 elements in the BYU coll.). Anatomical information on these specimens can be gleaned from the matrices of Senter (2007b) and Longrich and Currie (2009). Of particular interest are caudal vertebrae about twice as long as those belonging to a specimen with a 565 mm long femur. If this turns out to be correct and not due to misidentification or unusual proportions, it could indicate individuals over ten meters long.

References- Browne, 1992. A creature to make T. rex tremble. The New York Times. July 21st.

Bonar, Lassieur, McCafferty and Voci, 1993. Disney Adventures. 3(9), 27-37.

Kirkland, Burge and Gaston, 1993. A large dromaeosaur (Theropoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of eastern Utah. Hunteria. 2(10), 1-16.

Tegowski, DML 1997.

Olshevsky, 2000. An annotated checklist of dinosaur species by continent. Mesozoic Meanderings. 3, 1-157.

Britt, Chure, Stadtman, Madsen, Scheetz and Burge, 2001. New osteological data and the affinities of Utahraptor from the Cedar Mountain Fm. (Early Cretaceous) of Utah. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 21(3), 36A.

Kirkland, Scheetz and Foster, 2005. Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous dinosaur quarries of Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. in Rishard (compiler). 2005 Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America Field Trip Guidebook, Grand Junction Geological Society. Field Trip 402, 1-26.

Senter, 2007a. A method for distinguishing dromaeosaurid manual unguals from pedal "sickle claws". Bulletin of the Gunma Museum of Natural History. 11, 1-6.

Senter, 2007b. A new look at the phylogeny of Coelurosauria (Dinosauria: Theropoda). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 5(4), 429-463.

Erickson, Rauhut, Zhou, Turner, Inouye, Hu and Norell, 2009. Was dinosaurian physiology inherited by birds? Reconciling slow growth in Archaeopteryx. PLoS ONE. 4(10), e7390. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007390

Longrich and Currie, 2009. A microraptorine (Dinosauria–Dromaeosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106(13), 5002-5007.

U. sp. (Carpenter, online)
Aptian, Early Cretaceous
Poison Strip Member of Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, US
Material- ? pelvic element
Reference- (offline)

U. sp. (Carpenter, online)
Early Albian, Early Cretaceous
Ruby Ranch Member of Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, US
Material- ? manual ungual
Reference- (offline)