Translator Disclaimer
1 May 2013 New Data on the Diversity and Abundance of Small-Bodied Ornithopods (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Belly River Group (Campanian) of Alberta
Author Affiliations +

Relative to large-bodied dinosaurs, the diversity of small-bodied dinosaurs from the Campanian of North America is poorly understood due to a lack of well-preserved skeletons. We document the first articulated remains, as well as the first cranial bones, of non-iguanodontian ornithopods from the Belly River Group of Alberta. The geologically oldest specimen consists of the posterior half of an articulated skeleton from the middle unit of the Oldman Formation and shares many anatomical features with the contemporaneous Orodromeus makelai and the older Oryctodromeus cubicularis. A second, younger specimen from the upper Oldman Formation is distinct from other ornithopods in having a reduced distal portion of the fibula that is fused to the anterior surface of the tibia; it is designated as the type of a new taxon, Albertadromeus syntarsus, gen. et sp. nov. Numerous isolated elements from small ornithopods from the Dinosaur Park Formation are also identified, but cannot be assigned to the generic level with confidence. Although small-bodied ornithopod material is rare, their known postcranial material outnumbers those of taphonomically equivalent and contemporaneous pachycephalosaurs, which are known to be abundant and diverse due to their robust and frequently recovered cranial domes. These findings suggest considerable undiscovered diversity of small-bodied ornithopods, and highlight biases against the preservation of small taxa in this system.

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA—Supplemental materials are available for this article for free at

© 2013 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Caleb Marshall Brown, David C. Evans, Michael J. Ryan, and Anthony P. Russell "New Data on the Diversity and Abundance of Small-Bodied Ornithopods (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Belly River Group (Campanian) of Alberta," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(3), (1 May 2013).
Received: 20 March 2012; Accepted: 28 October 2012; Published: 1 May 2013

Get copyright permission
Back to Top