Paraxenisaurus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 72.5 Ma
Paraxenisaurus normalensis as Deinocheirid.jpg
Paraxenisaurus normalensis reconstructed as a deinocheirid
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Clade: Ornithomimosauria
Family: Deinocheiridae
Genus: Paraxenisaurus
Serrano-Brañas et al., 2020
Species:
P. normalensis
Binomial name
Paraxenisaurus normalensis
Serrano-Brañas et al., 2020

Paraxenisaurus (meaning "strange lizard") is a genus of deinocheirid theropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Mexico during the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous Period, 73 to 72.1 million years ago.

During the 1990s, ornithomimosaur fossils were discovered at three sites in the Cerro del Pueblo Formation of Coahuila state. Two decades later. these remains were identified as belonging to a distinct North American taxon, new to science. In 2020, they were named and described by Mexican paleontologists Claudia Inés Serrano-Brañas, Belinda Espinosa-Chávez, Sarah Augusta Maccracken, Cirene Gutiérrez-Blando, Claudio de León-Dávila and José Flores Ventura as the type species Paraxenisaurus normalensis. The generic name is derived from the Greek paráxenos, "strange". The specific name is after the Benemérita Escuela Normal de Coahuila, a teacher training institution, where the fossils had been deposited. They include the holotype BENC 2/2-001, a partial skeleton lacking the skull. Four additional specimens were referred, from separate individuals. The material contains vertebrae of the backbone, as well as a thighbone, an astragalus and hand and foot elements.[1]

The length of Paraxenisaurus has been estimated at 5.7 metres, its weight at six hundred kilogrammes.[1]

A phylogenetic analysis recovered Paraxenisaurus as a member of the Deinocheiridae, in a polytomy with Deinocheirus and Garudimimus. It would then be the first deinocheirid dinosaur found in North America.[1]

Paraxenisaurus shared its habitat with more lightly built Ornithomimidae, such as Tototlmimus.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Claudia Inés Serrano-Brañas; Belinda Espinosa-Chávez; S. Augusta Maccracken; Cirene Gutiérrez-Blando; Claudio de León-Dávila; José Flores Ventura (2020). "Paraxenisaurus normalensis, a large deinocheirid ornithomimosaur from the Cerro del Pueblo Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Coahuila, Mexico". Journal of South American Earth Sciences. 101: Article 102610. doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2020.102610.