Phylogenetic relationships of the Cretaceous Gondwanan theropods Megaraptor and Australovenator: the evidence afforded by their manual anatomy

Fernando E. Novas, Alexis M. Aranciaga Rolando and Federico L. Agnolín

Memoirs of Museum Victoria Vol 74 p. 49–61 (2016)

DOI
http://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.2016.74.05

Abstract

General comparisons of the manual elements of megaraptorid theropods are conducted with the aim to enlarge the morphological dataset of phylogenetically useful features within Tetanurae. Distinctive features of Megaraptor are concentrated along the medial side of the manus, with metacarpal I and its corresponding digit being considerably elongated. Manual ungual of digit I is characteristically enlarged in megaraptorids, but it is also transversely compressed resulting in a sharp ventral edge. We recognize two derived characters shared by megaraptorans and coelurosaurs (i.e., proximal end of metacarpal I without a deep and wide groove continuous with the semilunar carpal, and metacarpals I and II long and slender), and one derived trait similar to derived tyrannosauroids (i.e., metacarpal III length <0.75 length of metacarpal II). However, after comparing carpal, metacarpal and phalangeal morphologies, it becomes evident that megaraptorids retained most of the manual features present in Allosaurus. Moreover, Megaraptor and Australovenator are devoid of several manual features that the basal tyrannosauroid Guanlong shares with more derived coelurosaurs (e.g., Deinonychus), thus countering our own previous hypothesis that Megaraptora is well nested within Tyrannosauroidea.

Citation

Novas, F.E., Aranciaga Rolando, A.M. & Agnolín, F.L., 2016. Phylogenetic relationships of the Cretaceous Gondwanan theropods Megaraptor and Australovenator: the evidence afforded by their manual anatomy. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 74: 49-61. http://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.2016.74.05

PUBLICATION DATE: 30 July 2016

Connect with Museums Victoria

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest news about our exhibitions, special events, programs and offers.

Loading