A few years ago, I made a thing, and that thing was a megaraptoran composite:pwnz3r-dragon.deviantart.com/a…
I was really proud of it too, and it seemed to line up quite well with other skeletal reconstructions of the clade at the time, so I thought I did well with it.
Turns out, I was wrong.
And because I don't like being wrong, I redid the whole thing from the ground up. With new papers, species, photos of old data thrown my way, and generally more attention to detail. And I actually attempted a restoration of even the really fragmented parts rather than casting them aside and using speculative place holders.
Overall, I think this one's a lot better. It might not be a lanky, overgrown "compsognathid" looking thing anymore. But now it looks a lot more like how you'd expect a group of 7m+ theropods to look.
As for phylogenetic implications, I'm now less inclined to think it was a tyrannosauroid. Between this new look, and the few papers recently released on megaraptorans this past year, it seems to me at this point that megaraptora sits somewhere in that brownish soupy mix that is basal coelurosauria. I'm not sold on it being an allosauroid, especially because "neovenatoridae" seems to be crumbling apart as a concept anyway, since Neovenator itself seems to just be another carcharodontosaurid.
I do not have opinions on the phylogenetic placements of Siats or Chilantaisaurus yet. But I quite enjoy the concept of ginormous megaraptorans taking over the planet for even a small part of the mid-Cretaceous. Here's hoping!
Like last time, I'm more than willing to make any changes as new information about any megaraptoran rolls in. Let me know if you spot anything wrong, or new data pops up. More data is always a good thing.
Here's the details on what I used to make this skeletal.
Aerosteon riocoloradense- MCNA-PV-3137 (Sereno et al., 2008)
Australovenator wintonensis - AODF 604 (Hocknull et al., 2009; White et al., 2012;
White et al., 2013; White et al., 2015)
Megaraptor namunhuaiqui- MUCPv 341 (Calvo et al., 2004; Novas et al., 2016),
MUCPv-595 (Porfiri et al., 2014)
Murusraptor barrosaensis - MCF-PVPH-411 (Coria & Currie, 2016)
Allosaurus fragilis - DINO 2560 (Madsen, 1976)
Skull - Murusraptor brain case, lacrimal, postorbital, quadrate and lower jaw (Coria & Currie, 2016); Juvenile Megaraptor snout (Porfiri et al., 2014) modified to fit Murusraptor's posterior skull; Australovenator's dentary (White et al., 2015). Remaining elements speculative.
Vertebrae - Complete presacral series modified from Aerosteon (Sereno et al., 2008). Caudal vertebrae reconstructed from Aerosteon (Sereno et al., 2008), Megaraptor (Calvo et al., 2004) and Murusraptor (Coria & Currie, 2016), missing parts modified from Allosaurus (Madsen, 1976).
Ribs - Cervical ribs speculative. Dorsal ribs and gastralia from Australovenator (Hocknull et al., 2009) and Murusraptor (Coria & Currie, 2016).
Pectoral girdle - Scapulocoracoid and furcula from Aerosteon (Sereno et al., 2008). Sternal elements speculative.
Arms - Humerus and radius from Australovenator (Hocknull et al., 2009; White et al., 2012). Ulna and hand from Megaraptor (Novas et al., 2016).
Pelvic girdle - Ilium and pubis from Aerosteon (Sereno et al., 2008). Ischium restored from Murusraptor (Coria & Currie, 2016).
Leg - All hindlimb elements restored from Australovenator (Hocknull et al., 2009; White et al., 2013).
A = Australovenator wintonensis
B = Murusraptor
C = Megaraptor namunhuaiqui
D = Aerosteon riocoloradense
All scale bars represent 1m (with 10cm intervals) in relation to their respective species.
REFERENCES:Calvo, J.O., Porfiri, J.D., Veralli, C., Novas, F. and Poblete, F., 2013. Phylogenetic status of Megaraptor namunhuaiquii Novas based on a new specimen from Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina. Ameghiniana, 41(4), pp.565-575.
Coria, R.A. and Currie, P.J., 2016. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia. PloS one, 11(7), p.e0157973.
Hocknull, S.A., White, M.A., Tischler, T.R., Cook, A.G., Calleja, N.D., Sloan, T. and Elliott, D.A., 2009. New mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian) dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia. PLoS One, 4(7), p.e6190.
Madsen Jr, J.H., 1976. Allosaurus fragilis: a revised osteology. VancouverNovas, F.E., ROLANDO, A.M.A. and AGNOLÍN, F.L., 2016. Phylogenetic relationships of the Cretaceous Gondwanan theropods Megaraptor and Australovenator: the evidence afforded by their manual anatomy. Victoria, 74, pp.49-61.
Porfiri, J.D., Novas, F.E., Calvo, J.O., Agnolín, F.L., Ezcurra, M.D. and Cerda, I.A., 2014. Juvenile specimen of Megaraptor (Dinosauria, Theropoda) sheds light about tyrannosauroid radiation. Cretaceous Research, 51, pp.35-55.
Sereno, P.C., Martinez, R.N., Wilson, J.A., Varricchio, D.J., Alcober, O.A. and Larsson, H.C., 2008. Evidence for avian intrathoracic air sacs in a new predatory dinosaur from Argentina. PLoS one, 3(9), p.e3303.
White, M.A., Cook, A.G., Hocknull, S.A., Sloan, T., Sinapius, G.H. and Elliott, D.A., 2012. New forearm elements discovered of holotype specimen Australovenator wintonensis from Winton, Queensland, Australia. PLoS One, 7(6), p.e39364.
White, M.A., Benson, R.B., Tischler, T.R., Hocknull, S.A., Cook, A.G., Barnes, D.G., Poropat, S.F., Wooldridge, S.J., Sloan, T., Sinapius, G.H. and Elliott, D.A., 2013. New Australovenator hind limb elements pertaining to the holotype reveal the most complete neovenatorid leg. PloS one, 8(7), p.e68649.
White, M.A., Bell, P.R., Cook, A.G., Poropat, S.F. and Elliott, D.A., 2015. The dentary of Australovenator wintonensis (Theropoda, Megaraptoridae); implications for megaraptorid dentition. PeerJ, 3, p.e1512.
Special thanks go to
for their help!