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Letters to Nature
Nature 370, 363 - 367 (04 August 1994); doi:10.1038/370363a0

A unique multitoothed ornithomimosaur dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain

Bernardino P. Pérez-Moreno*, José Luis Sanz, Angela D. Buscalioni, José J. Moratalla, Francisco Ortega & Diego Rasskin-Gutman

Unidad de Paleontología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autonóma de Madrid, 28049-Madrid, Spain

THE Lower Cretaceous lithographic limestones from Las Hoyas (province of Cuenca, Spain) have yielded important vertebrate fossil remains. We report here a new specimen, the first ornithomimosaur theropod found in Europe. Pelecanimimus polyodon gen. et sp. nov., has some striking elements preserved, such as the hyoid, sternum and integumentary impressions. The fossil has revealed other unexpected features, including a derived hand in an ancient ornithomimosaur, and a large number of teeth (over 200) with a distinctive morphology. This specimen suggests an alternative evolutionary process towards the toothless condition in Ornithomi-mosauria, which could be explained by an exaptation. Pelecanimimus polyodon stresses the relationship between Troodontidae and Ornithomimosauria.

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