A ceratopsian dinosaur from China and the early evolution of Ceratopsia

Xing Xu, Peter J. Makovicky, Xiao Lin Wang, Mark A. Norell, Hai Lu You

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs) represent one of the last and the most diverse radiations of non-avian dinosaurs1-4. Although recent systematic work unanimously supports a basal division of Ceratopsia into parrot-like psittacosaurids and frilled neoceratopsians, the early evolution of the group remains poorly understood, mainly owing to its incomplete early fossil record. Here we describe a primitive ceratopsian from China. Cladistic analysis posits this new species as the most basal neoceratopsian. This new taxon demonstrates that some neoceratopsian characters evolved in a more incremental fashion than previously known and also implies mosaic evolution of characters early in ceratopsian history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-317
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume416
Issue number6878
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 21 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank M. Gurnis, D. Yamazaki, R. Wenk, T. Lay and B. Kiefer for discussions. This research was supported by the CSEDI program of the National Science Foundation.

Funding Information:
We thank Z.-H. Zhou for help during the course of the work, members of the Liaoxi expedition of the IVPP for help in the field, Y.-L. Huo, F.-L. Wang and H.-J. Wang for preparing the specimens, and R.-S. Li for drawings. This work was supported by the Special Funds for Major State Basic Research Projects of China, the National Geographic Society of USA, the Chinese Natural Science Foundation, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and The Field Museum.

Copyright:
Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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