We describe a new dromaeosaurid theropod from the Upper Cretaceous Wulansuhai Formation of Bayan Mandahu, Inner Mongolia. The new taxon, Linheraptor exquisitus gen. et sp. nov., is based on an exceptionally well-preserved, nearly complete skeleton. This specimen represents the fifth dromaeosaurid taxon recovered from the Upper Cretaceous Djadokhta Formation and its laterally equivalent strata, which include the Wulansuhai Formation, and adds to the known diversity of Late Cretaceous dromaeosaurids. Linheraptor exquisitus closely resembles the recently reported Tsaagan mangas. Uniquely among dromaeosaurids, the two taxa share a large, anteriorly located maxillary fenestra and a contact between the jugal and the squamosal that excludes the postorbital from the infratemporal fenestra. These features suggest a sister-taxon relationship between L. exquisitus and T. mangas, which indicates the presence of a unique dromaeosaurid lineage in the Late Cretaceous of Asia. A number of cranial and dental features seen in L. exquisitus and T. mangas, and particularly some postcranial features of L. exquisitus, suggest that these two taxa are probably intermediate in systematic position between known basal and derived dromaeosaurids. The discovery of Linheraptor exquisitus is thus important for understanding the evolution of some salient features seen in the derived dromaeosaurids.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Mar 2010|
- Upper Cretaceous
- Nei Mongol