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Le Loeuff J.,Musee des Dinosaures
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2010

Geologist Yves Milon, the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences of Rennes, hired the painter Mathurin Méheut in 1941 to produce a large mural decoration for the new Geological Institute. This resulted in a little known 130 m2 artwork that includes a Mesozoic triptych, the genesis of which is described here. The work was executed during the World War II, when Milon's illegal activities in several English intelligence services-led Resistance movements possibly prevented him from supervising the artist's work and which led to some anatomical inaccuracies. This decoration has survived several threats and constitutes a unique example of a large decorative palaeontological artwork in France. It has a special place in the history of dinosaur reconstructions as the choice of a decorative painting style is far from the usual forms of natural history illustration. © The Geological Society of London 2010.

Suteethorn S.,Mahasarakham University | Suteethorn S.,Montpellier University | Loeuff J.L.,Musee des Dinosaures | Buffetaut E.,CNRS ENS Geology Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2013

An isolated posterior cervical vertebra of a sauropod discovered at Phu Dan Ma (Kalasin Province, northeastern Thailand) is the first informative postcranial specimen from the Phu Kradung Formation, a Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous continental unit. The vertebra is referred to the family Mamenchisauridae, otherwise mainly known from China. In addition, spatulate teeth from the same formation and a mid-dorsal vertebra from the Upper Jurassic Khlong Min Formation of southern Thailand are reassigned to this family. The occurrence of mamenchisaurids in the earliest Cretaceous of Thailand supports a hypothesis of geographical isolation of Central, Eastern, and Southeast Asia during the Late Jurassic. It also suggests that the main changes in their dinosaur assemblages occurred during the Early Cretaceous, rather than at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary. © 2013 S. Suteethorn et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Diez Diaz V.,University of the Basque Country | Tortosa T.,University of Paris Descartes | Le Loeuff J.,Musee des Dinosaures
Annales de Paleontologie | Year: 2013

Recent discoveries in southern France and northern Spain suggest that the morphology of titanosaurian teeth shows much greater variations that previously thought. It is suggested that the different morphotypes are informative at specific or generic level and that titanosaurian genera may indeed be recognized by their isolated teeth. It is also confirmed that juvenile titanosaurian teeth have a rather uniform, cylindrical morphology. Four different morphotypes are described for the Ibero-Armorican Island in the Late Cretaceous. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Allain R.,CNRS Center for Research on Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Vullo R.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes | Le Loeuff J.,Musee des Dinosaures | Tournepiche J.-F.,Musee dAngouleme
Geologica Acta | Year: 2014

Early Cretaceous ornithomimosaurian theropod dinosaurs have been reported from various localities in Asia, whereas they remain poorly represented and extremely rare in North America, Africa and Europe. So far, the only known European ornithomimosaur is Pelecanimimus from the Barremian of Spain. The recent discovery in southwestern France of the Angeac bone bed, which has yielded several hundred ornithomimosaur bones, sheds new light on the ornithomimosaurian fossil record. Based on this new material, we re-evaluate here the systematic position of various isolated theropod bones from the Wealden of England, including historical taxa of uncertain affinities. Based on a unique combination of derived characters, Thecocoelurus and Valdoraptor are linked to the Angeac taxon but are considered to be nomina dubia. Valdoraptor from the Valanginian of West Sussex appears to be the oldest known ornithomimosaur together with the contemporaneous Nqwebasaurus from South Africa. Ornithomimosaurs were a common component of the Early Cretaceous European dinosaur fauna. Their presence in Spain, France and England further strengthens the palaeobiogeographic affinities of the European fossil biota with that of Asia during this period.

The global Late Maastrichtian non-avian dinosaur apparent biodiversity is extensively surveyed for the first time. It amounts to 104 species (including unnamed forms) in 2010. The real biodiversity being obscured by taphonomical biases and the scarcity of the continental fossil record, a species-area relationship is used to estimate it. The results show that several hundreds (between 628 and 1078) non-avian dinosaur species were alive in the Late Maastrichtian, which is almost an order of magnitude above previous estimates. Because of the complex Late Cretaceous palaeobiogeography, discussions about dinosaur extinction should be based on this estimated real global biodiversity, not on the apparent biodiversity of a single area. Given the mean duration of dinosaur genera (7.7 Ma), the presence of so many dinosaur species in the Latest Cretaceous is consistent with the termination of most lineages at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (the Late Maastrichtian sub-stage is 2.8 m.y. long). The Late Maastrichtian dinosaurian biodiversity is therefore consistent with the sudden extinction of the group following the Chicxulub impact.

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