Anatomy, taphonomy, and phylogenetic implications of a new specimen of Eolambia caroljonesa (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, USA

Andrew T. McDonald, Terry A. Gates, Lindsay E. Zanno, Peter J. Makovicky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Eolambia caroljonesa is the most abundant dinosaur in the lower Cenomanian Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah, and one of the most completely known non-had rosa urid iguanodontians from North America. In addition to the large holotype and paratype partial skulls, copious remains of skeletally immature individuals, including three bonebeds, have been referred to E. caroljonesa. Nevertheless, aspects of the postcranial anatomy of this taxon, particularly the pelvic girdle, have remained ambiguous due to the lack of associated postcranial material of larger, more mature individuals. Methodology/Principal findings Here we describe a recently discovered associated partial postcranial skeleton of a large Eolambia caroljonesa. This specimen, FMNH PR 3847, provides new anatomical data regarding the vertebral column and pelvic girdle, supplementing previous diagnoses and descriptions of E. caroljonesa. A new phylogenetic analysis incorporating information from FMNH PR 3847 places E. caroljonesa as a basal hadrosauromorph closely related to Protohadros byrdi from the Cenomanian Woodbine Formation of Texas. Histological analysis of FMNH PR 3847 reveals that it represents a subadult individual eight to nine years of age. Taphonomic analysis indicates that FMNH PR 3847 was preserved in a crevasse splay deposit, along with an unusual abundance of small crocodylomorph material. Conclusions/Significance FMNH PR 3847 provides a wealth of new morphological data, adding to the anatomical and systematic characterization of Eolambia caroljonesa, and histological data, revealing new information on growth history in a basal hadrosauromorph. Taphonomic characterization of FMNH PR 3847 and associated vertebrate material will allow comparison with other vertebrate localities in the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0176896
JournalPloS one
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 McDonald et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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