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1 June 2009 Hindlimb Osteology and Distribution of Basal Dinosauromorphs from the Late Triassic of North America
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The recent discovery of early dinosauromorphs from North America demonstrates that they were contemporaries with dinosaurs and other basal archosaurs during a substantial portion of the Late Triassic Period. Hindlimb material (femora, tibiae, a fibula, astragalocalcanea, and phalanges) of Dromomeron romeri, a non-dinosauriform dinosauromorph from the Petrified Forest Member of the Chinle Formation from north-central New Mexico, is described. A new species of Dromomeron from the lower portion of the Chinle Formation (eastern Arizona) and Dockum Group (northern Texas) is also described, based on several disarticulated femora and tibiae. D. romeri, Lagerpeton, and the new taxon form the sister group to all other dinosauromorphs and demonstrate that this clade, Lagerpetidae, persisted well into the Norian. Lagerpetidae is supported by several synapomorphies: femoral head hook-shaped in medial and lateral views; ventral emargination on the anterolateral side of the femoral head; an enlarged posteromedial tuber of the proximal end of the femur; femoral crista tibiofibularis larger than the medial condyle; anteromedial corner of the distal end of the femur forms 90° or acute (>90°) angle; and a posterior ascending process of the astragalus. An ontogenetic series of the femur of Dromomeron indicates that some character states previously used in phylogenetic analyses of early dinosaurs may be ontogenetically variable.

© 2009 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Sterling J. Nesbitt, Randall B. Irmis, William G. Parker, Nathan D. Smith, Alan H. Turner, and Timothy Rowe "Hindlimb Osteology and Distribution of Basal Dinosauromorphs from the Late Triassic of North America," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(2), 498-516, (1 June 2009).
Received: 28 August 2008; Accepted: 1 October 2008; Published: 1 June 2009

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