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New dinosaur named after Marvel's Thanos

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Abelisaurid theropods are well-know from the Cretaceous of several parts of the Southern Hemisphere, including South America, Madagascar, and Africa, but also in India and Europe. Abelisaurids are high-diverse among other theropods with several cervicocephalic specializations reaching medium/large sizes. In the present contribution, we describe a new abelisaurid (Thanos simonattoi, gen. et sp. nov.) from the São José do Rio Preto Formation, Bauru Group, Brazil (Upper Cretaceous). Thanos differs from other theropods by having a well-developed keel becoming wider and deeper posteriorly on the ventral surface; two lateral small foramina separated by a relative wide wall on each lateral surface of the centrum, and well-developed and deep prezygapophyseal spinodiapophyseal fossae. The closed sutures between the axis and odontoid suggest that Thanos had reached a subadult/adult stage before death. Thanos is phylogenetically related to Brachyrostra abelisaurid. The keel on the ventral axial centrum in abelisauroids is here interpreted as a homoplastic condition that became more pronounced towards the phylogeny. The presence of well-developed keel in Thanos suggests that this taxon could be more derived than other abelisaurids. Finally, even though abelisaurids could reach large sizes, Thanos shared the environment with a larger theropod that was probably close to Megaraptora.


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Carnoferox is that you?

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