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Allosauroids
Fossil range:
Middle JurassicLate Cretaceous, 176–70 Ma
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Allosaurus skull at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Carnosauria
Superfamily: Allosauroidea
Marsh, 1878
Families

Allosauroidea is a superfamily or clade of theropod dinosaurs which contains four families — the Sinraptoridae, Allosauridae, Carcharodontosauridae, and Neovenatoridae. The oldest-known allosauroid, Sinraptor dongi, appeared in the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian stage) of China, and the latest-known survivor of the group is the neovenatorid Orkoraptor of the Late Cretaceous, (Maastrichtian stage). Allosauroids had long, narrow skulls, large orbits, three-fingered hands, and usually had "horns" or ornamental crests on their heads. The most famous and best understood allosauroid is the North American genus Allosaurus.

Contents

Classification

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Taxonomy

Phylogeny

The clade Allosauroidea was originally proposed by Phil Currie and Zhao (1993; p. 2079), and later used as an undefined stem-based taxon by Paul Sereno (1997). Sereno (1998; p. 64) was the first to provide a stem-based definition for the Allosauroidea, defining the clade as "All neotetanurans closer to Allosaurus than to Neornithes." Kevin Padian (2007) used a node-based definition, defined the Allosauroidea as Allosaurus, Sinraptor, their most recent common ancestor, and all of its descendants. Thomas R. Holtz and colleagues (2004; p. 100) and Phil Currie and Ken Carpenter (2000), among others, have followed this node-based definition. However, in some analyses (such as Currie & Carpenter, 2000), the placement of the carcharodontosaurids relative to the allosaurids and sinraptorids is uncertain, and therefore it is uncertain whether or not they are allosauroids (Currie & Carpenter, 2000).

The cladogram presented here follows the 2009 analysis by Benson, Carrano and Brusatte.[1]

Allosauroidea

Sinraptoridae




Allosaurus


Carcharodontosauria

Carcharodontosauridae



Neovenatoridae





References

  1. ^ Benson, R.B.J., Carrano, M.T and Brusatte, S.L. (2009). "A new clade of archaic large-bodied predatory dinosaurs (Theropoda: Allosauroidea) that survived to the latest Mesozoic." Naturwissenschaften, (): . doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0614-x
  • Currie, P. J., and X. Zhao. 1993. A new carnosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Jurassic of Xinjiang, People's Republic of China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 30:2037-2081.
  • Holtz, T. R., Jr. and Osmólska H. 2004. Saurischia; pp. 21-24 in D. B. Weishampel, P. Dodson, and H. Osmólska (eds.), The Dinosauria (2nd ed.), University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • Sereno, P. C. 1997. The origin and evolution of dinosaurs. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 25:435-489.
  • Sereno, P. C. 1998. A rationale for phylogenetic definitions, with application to the higher-level taxonomy of Dinosauria. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Abhandlungen 210:41-83.

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