Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative

Clairmont, Canada

Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative

Clairmont, Canada
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Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Bell P.R.,University of Alberta | Currie P.J.,University of Alberta | Lee Y.-N.,Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2012

Bite marks attributable to . Tarbosaurus bataar are identified on fragments of gastralia from the giant putative ornithomimosaur, . Deinocheirus mirificus. Hundreds of bone fragments collected from the holotype quarry of . D. mirificus by members of the Korea-Mongolia International Dinosaur Project at Altan Uul III (Mongolia) were visually inspected for biomodification. Parallel striae and gouges were identified on two gastralia, which are interpreted as bite marks. Serration marks, interpreted from parallel striae, are broadly U-shaped and measure 0.5. mm in diameter. A comparison of these marks with the denticles of Nemegt theropods reveals the tyrannosaur, . Tarbosaurus as the most likely culprit. The identification of tyrannosaur bite marks on the bones of . D. mirificus sheds light on both the diet of . Tarbosaurus and the taphonomy of the only known specimen of . Deinocheirus. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Xing L.,University of Alberta | Xing L.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Harris J.D.,Dixie State University | Currie P.J.,University of Alberta
Acta Geologica Sinica | Year: 2012

Three-dimensional tracks provide unique insights into the locomotor mechanics of their track makers. An isolated, large hadrosauriform print attributable to Caririchnium lotus from the "mid"-Cretaceous Lotus track site (Jiaguan Formation) in China permits reconstruction of the footfall, weight-bearing, and kick-off phases of the step cycle. Large-scale modifications of the pes during the step cycle indicate C. lotus trackmakers were capable of locomotory modifications in response to substrate consistency beyond the "expected" shift between bipedal and quadrupedal postures. An unusual curvature to the trace of one of the outer digits indicates substantial transverse mobility. The remaining digits demonstrate lesser degrees of transverse movement accompanied by extension of the digits during footfall. The absence of overprinted scale-scratch marks and toe drags are consistent with a vertical kick-off of the pes and concomitant flexion of the digits. This track suggests that pedal mobility in C. lotus track makers was greater than previously suspected and has implications for reconstructions of hadrosauriform locomotion.

Xing L.,University of Alberta | Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Currie P.J.,University of Alberta | Shibata M.,Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum | And 2 more authors.
Lethaia | Year: 2012

A fragmentary rib from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) Yixian Formation in northeastern China preserves rare, direct evidence of feeding behaviour by an unidentified theropod. The rib, which comes from the holotype of Dongbetitan, preserves an embedded, broken theropod tooth. Comparison of the tooth with all known theropods from the Yixian Formation suggests that it belongs to a new taxon of medium-sized theropod. Given the large size difference between the sauropod and the theropod and the absence of reactive bone growth around the tooth, the bite likely occurred post-mortem during scavenging. Recognition of a new, medium-sized theropod increases the known diversity of taxa from the Yixian Formation and helps fill a gap in the theropod palaeoecology of that formation, which previously consisted of only small (<2m) forms. □China, Cretaceous, feeding behaviour, theropod, titanosauriformes, sauropod. © 2012 The Authors, Lethaia © 2012 The Lethaia Foundation.

Burns M.E.,University of Alberta | Vavrek M.J.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

A sample of six probable fragmentary ankylosaur ossicles, collected from Cenomanian deposits of the Dunvegan Formation along the Peace River, represent one of the first dinosaurian skeletal fossils reported from pre-Santonian deposits in Alberta. Specimens were identified as ankylosaur by means of a palaeohistological analysis. The primary tissue is composed of zonal interwoven structural fibre bundles with irregularly-shaped lacunae, unlike the elongate lacunae of the secondary lamellar bone. The locality represents the most northerly Cenomanian occurrence of ankylosaur skeletal remains. Further fieldwork in under-examined areas of the province carries potential for additional finds. © 2014 Burns, Vavrek.

Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Brink K.S.,University of Toronto
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2013

The holotype of 'Procheneosaurus' convincens, a juvenile lambeosaurine, is the most complete hadrosaurid known from Kazakhstan. North American species of Procheneosaurus are considered juveniles of Corythosaurus, Hypacrosaurus, and Lambeosaurus, rendering the generic name unusable. A replacement name, Kazaklambia convincens comb. nov., is herein proposed as this specimen is morphologically distinct from other Eurasian taxa and known juvenile lambeosaurines at a similar ontogenetic stage in having a prefrontal process of the postorbital with a dorsal thickening forming a dome lateral to the frontal dome, doming of the nasal anterodorsal to the orbit, and a frontal length/width ratio <1. The juvenile status of Kazaklambia makes phylogenetic placement difficult; however, morphometric and morphological information (particularly in relation to the hollow cranial crest and the length of the frontal) suggest a close affiliation with the basal lambeosaurines Amurosaurus and Tsintaosaurus, and support the hypothesis for an Asian origin for Lambeosaurinae. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Coria R.A.,National University of Rio Negro
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Paleoepidemiology (the study of disease and trauma in prehistoric populations) provides insight into the distribution of disease and can have implications for interpreting behavior in extinct organisms. A monospecific bonebed of the giant carcharodontosaurid Mapusaurus (minimum number of individuals = 9) from the Cañadón del Gato site, Neuquén Province, Argentina (Cenomanian) provides a rare opportunity to investigate disease within a single population of this important apex predator. Visual inspection of 176 skeletal elements belonging to a minimum of nine individuals yielded a small number of abnormalities on a cervical vertebra, two ribs, pedal phalanx, and an ilium. These are attributed to traumatic (two cases), infectious (two cases) and anomalous (one case) conditions in a minimum of one individual. The emerging picture for large theropod (abelisaurids, allosaurids, carcharodontosaurids, tyrannosaurids) populations suggests that 1) osseous abnormalities were relatively rare (7-19% of individuals) but consistently present, and 2) trauma was a leading factor in the frequency of pathological occurrences, evidence of an active, often perilous lifestyle. © 2013 Bell, Coria.

Fanti F.,University of Bologna | Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Sissons R.L.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2013

The Wapiti Formation in west-central Alberta preserves one of the most diverse Late Cretaceous terrestrial track records yet identified in Canada. At least seven morphotypes are recognized and attributed to mammals, small reptiles or amphibians, tyrannosaurids, medium-sized theropods, hadrosaurids, and ankylosaurs. Most tracks occur isolated on slump blocks associated with latest Campanian (Wapiti Formation unit 4) exposures found along Pipestone Creek and Red Willow River. With the possible exception of hadrosaurids, tracks provide some of the most compelling evidence for the occurrence of such taxa within the Wapiti Formation ecosystem. The apparent absence of ceratopsian tracks is surprising considering their bones are abundantly preserved in nearby monodominant bonebeds. The overall faunal signal represented by the Wapiti Formation trackmakers is typical of and consistent with other coeval assemblages in similar environments. The Wapiti Formation tracks, combined with the known fossil bone record, provide another data point in a growing palaeobiogeographical picture of the dinosaur faunas of high-latitude northwestern North America during the Late Cretaceous. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Fanti F.,University of Bologna | Sissons R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative
Lethaia | Year: 2013

An isolated track from the latest Campanian-Maastrichtian Wapiti Formation (Alberta) is tentatively identified as a pterosaur manus print. The basic digital formula (digit I < digit II < digit III) is consistent with the plesiomorphic condition in pterosaurs. The track measures 25.5 cm in length, making it the largest putative pterosaur manus print (estimated wingspan 7.7 m) from North America. Although precise chronostratigraphic data are lacking, sedimentary evidence indicates the track comes from a mid- to late Campanian fluvial deposits that accumulated approximately 400 km from the closest shoreline within a high-latitude (65°N) setting. © 2013 The Authors, Lethaia © 2013 The Lethaia Foundation.

Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Fanti F.,University of Bologna | Acorn J.,University of Alberta | Sissons R.S.,Grande Prairie
Journal of Paleontology | Year: 2013

Fossil mayfly larvae (cf. Heptageniidae) are reported for the first time in the Cretaceous of Canada. The new fossils come from the latest Campanian part of the Wapiti Formation, which crops out in west-central Alberta, near the British Columbia border. These sediments represent mixed lentic and lotic fluvial environments consistent with modern heptageniid ecology. This discovery helps fill a significant temporal gap in heptageniid evolution between the Eocene and their earliest appearance in the Turonian. © 2013 The Paleontological Society.

Arbour V.M.,University of Alberta | Burns M.E.,University of Alberta | Bell P.R.,Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative | Currie P.J.,University of Alberta
Journal of Morphology | Year: 2014

Ankylosaurian dinosaurs are most notable for their abundant and morphologically diverse osteoderms, which would have given them a spiky appearance in life. Isolated osteoderms are relatively common and provide important information about the structure of the ankylosaur dermis, but fossilized impressions of the soft-tissue epidermis of ankylosaurs are rare. Nevertheless, well-preserved integument exists on several ankylosaur fossils that shows osteoderms were covered by a single epidermal scale, but one or many millimeter-sized ossicles may be present under polygonal, basement epidermal scales. Evidence for the taxonomic utility of ankylosaurid epidermal scale architecture is presented for the first time. This study builds on previous osteological work that argues for a greater diversity of ankylosaurids in the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta than has been traditionally recognized and adds to the hypothesis that epidermal skin impressions are taxonomically relevant across diverse dinosaur clades. J. Morphol. 275:39-50, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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