We describe a new partial skull with braincase of a maiasaurin hadrosaurid from the Milk River Ridge Reservoir near Warner, southern Alberta, as the first diagnostic occurrence of Maiasaura in Canada. This material was collected in the Oldman Formation, at approximately the same stratigraphic level as a nearby bonebed of the ceratopsid Coronosaurus brinkmani. The assignment of this specimen to Maiasaura, rather than to Brachylophosaurus, is supported by the narrow and acute posterior margin of the external naris, the relationship between the postorbital and squamosal in the supratemporal bar, and the morphology of the frontals, which are greatly thickened and elevated anteriorly, with the dorsal surface not completely covered by the nasofrontal contact at adult size. The occurrence of both Maiasaura and Brachylophosaurus in approximately similar-aged deposits of the Comrey Sandstone zone in southern Alberta provides support for some cladogenesis in the evolutionary history of Maiasaurini. Geographically, the more western distribution of Maiasaura localities with respect to all Brachylophosaurus localities is consistent with the hypothesis that a preference for more inland versus seaway-adjacent habitats may have influenced the phylogenetic divergence of these taxa.
First occurrence of Maiasaura (Dinosauria, Hadrosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous Oldman Formation of southern Alberta, Canada
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Bradley D. McFeeters, David C. Evans, Michael J. Ryan, Hillary C. Maddin; First occurrence of Maiasaura (Dinosauria, Hadrosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous Oldman Formation of southern Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 2020;; 58 (3): 286–296. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2019-0207
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