Publications in the Year: 2006

Book Chapter

Mateus, O.  2006.  The European Enigmatic Dinosaur Evolution [in Japanese]. The Gigantic dinosaur Expo 2006 (catalogue). :69-71.mateus_2006_european.pdf

Conference Paper

Schulp, A, Mateus O, Polcyn M, Jacobs L.  2006.  A new Prognathodon (Squamata : Mosasauridae) from the Cretaceous of Angola, Jan. JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. 26:122A-122A. Abstractschulp_et_al_2006.pdf

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Mateus, O, Morais M, Schulp A, Jacobs L, Polcyn M.  2006.  The Cretaceous of Angola, Jan. JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. 26:96A-97A. Abstractmateus_et_al_2006_svp_abstracts_cretaceous_fo_angola.pdf

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Journal Article

Jacobs, LL, Mateus O, Polcyn MJ, Schulp AS, Antunes MT, Morais ML, da Silva Tavares T.  2006.  The occurrence and geological setting of Cretaceous dinosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and turtles from Angola. Paleont. Soc. Korea. 22(1):91-110. Abstractjacobs_mateus-et_al_2006_angola.pdf

Vertebrate-bearing fossiliferous outcrops of Cretaceous age in sub-Saharan Africa are rare because of younger superficial deposits, vegetation cover, and the widespread occurrence of Precambrian metamorphic plateau basement comprising much of the continent. However, one area of extensive marine and nonmarine
Cretaceous exposures is found between the plateau and the coast in Angola. The Angolan margin was formed in conjunction with the breakup of Gondwana and subsequent growth of the South Atlantic. Cretaceous deposits are constrained in age by the emplacement of oceanic crust, which began no later than magnetozone M3
(approximately 128 Ma, Barremian). Shallow marine facies are exposed in sea cliffs but equivalent facies become increasingly terrestrial inland. Few vertebrate fossils have been described from Angola aside from sharks.
Notable exceptions are the late Turonian mosasaurs Angolasaurus bocagei and Tylosaurus iembeensis from northern Angola. Those taxa are significant because they are among the earliest derived mosasaurs. Recent field work led to the discovery of a new skull of Angolasaursus as well as sharks, fish, plesiosaurs, the skull of a new taxon of turtle, additional mosasaurs, and the articulated forelimb of a sauropod dinosaur, the first reported dinosaur from Angola. In southern Angola, marine sediments spanning the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary are found.

Castanhinha, R, Mateus O.  2006.  On the left-right asymmetry in dinosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 26(Suppl. To 3):48A. Abstractcastanhinhamateus2006.pdf

The study of different kinds of morphological left-right (L-R) asymmetries in all taxa is a very powerful tool to understand evolution since it is a way to measure the developmentalstability of an organism against environmental perturbations. Excluding every pathologic or subtle asymmetry and all cases of taphonomic distortion, this work focuses only on two
kinds of unambiguous asymmetries: fluctuating and adaptative asymmetry. There are several cases of conspicuous left-right asymmetry in dinosaurs and is probably more common than previously thought. The pneumatic cavities systems in skull and vertebrae of theropodsand sauropods are the most common cases reported. The shape (but not the occurrence) of pneumatic cavities might have been exposed to weak selective pressure becoming more random than other body structures. Asymmetries are rarer in the appendicular bones possibly because it represents a strong handicap in the function of the limbs, consequently in the locomotion of the individual. Teeth counting show many exceptions to the typical L-R symmetry. Peculiar cases of adaptive asymmetry are related with the plates of stegosaurs and the ear displacement in the skull of the troodontids, which may have an important role in the physiology and ecology of the animals. The asymmetric displacement maximizes the surface exposure of the stegosaurs dorsal plates. This is an advantage, either the plates were used for thermoregulation, display or specific identification. Work in progress on the braincases of some troodontids specimens shows asymmetric ear openings, which suggests thatcan be an analogy resulting from convergent evolution between troodontids and strigiformes birds, used for 3D directional acoustics. Asymmetries are more common in animals that develop under stress. Animals that lived under dramatic environmental changes periods—like mass-extinctions episodes are believed to be—should present more asymmetries.
However, much more sampling and time accuracy is required in order to be able to relate dinosaur asymmetries to extinction episodes. Asymmetries show strong intra-individual variation and should be taken in consideration in taxonomical studies.

Schulp, AS, Polcyn MJ, Mateus O, Jacobs LL, Morais LM, Tavares TS.  2006.  New mosasaur material from the Maastrichtian of Angola, with notes on the phylogeny, distribution and palaeoecology of the genus Prognathodon. Publicaties van het Natuurhistorisch Genootschap in Limburg Reeks XLV aflevering 1. Stichting Natuurpublicaties Limburg, Maastricht . :57-67.schulp_polcyn_mateus_jacobs_et_al_2006_new_mosasaur_material_from_the_maastrichtian_of_angola_with_notes_on_the_phylogeny_distribution_and_palaeoecology_of_the_genus_prognathodon.pdf
Sander, PM, Mateus O, Laven T, Knotschke N.  2006.  Bone histology indicates insular dwarfism in a new Late Jurassic sauropod dinosaur, Jan. Nature. 441:739-741. Abstractsander_mateus_et_al_2006_europasaurus_sauropod_histology_drwarfism_nature.pdf

Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest animals ever to inhabit the land, with truly gigantic forms in at least three lineages1, 2, 3. Small species with an adult body mass less than five tonnes are very rare4, 5, and small sauropod bones generally represent juveniles. Here we describe a new diminutive species of basal macronarian sauropod, Europasaurus holgeri gen. et sp. nov., and on the basis of bone histology we show it to have been a dwarf species. The fossils, including excellent skull material, come from Kimmeridgian marine beds of northern Germany6, 7, and record more than 11 individuals of sauropods 1.7 to 6.2 m in total body length. Morphological overlap between partial skeletons and isolated bones links all material to the same new taxon. Cortical histology of femora and tibiae indicates that size differences within the specimens are due to different ontogenetic stages, from juveniles to fully grown individuals. The little dinosaurs must have lived on one of the large islands around the Lower Saxony basin8. Comparison with the long-bone histology of large-bodied sauropods suggests that the island dwarf species evolved through a decrease in growth rate from its larger ancestor.

Mateus, O, Walen A, Antunes MT.  2006.  The large theropod fauna of the Lourinhã Formation (Portugal) and its similarity to the Morrison Formation, with a description of a new species of Allosaurus. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. 36:123-129. Abstractmateus_walen_antunes_-_2006_-_the_large_theropod_fauna_of_the_lourinha_formation__portugal__and_its_similarity_to_the_morrison_formation__with_a_description_of_a_new_species_of_allosaurus.pdf

Late Jurassic theropod dinosaurs have been known in Portugal since 1863 but only now are they being fully understood, with the recognition of genera such as Allosaurus, Aviatyrannis, Ceratosaurus, Lourinhanosaurus, and Torvosaurus from the Lourinhã and Alcobaça Formations (Kimmeridgian/Tithonian). Ceratosaurus dentisulcatus can now be reported from Portugal. It represents the only occurrence of this species outside the Morrison Formation.
New cranial elements confirm the presence of Torvosaurus tanneri, in Portugal. Torvosaurus was the largest Late Jurassic land carnivore. New postcranial and cranial elements allow the erection of a new species from Portugal, Allosaurus europaeus n.sp. The theropod assemblage of Portugal is similar to that of the Morrison Formation.