[N] 2012 New alvarezsaurid Bonapartenykus ultimus of Northern Patagonia
Federico L. Agnolin, Jaime E. Powell, Fernando E. Novas and Martin Kundrát (June 2012). /New alvarezsaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from uppermost Cretaceous of north-western Patagonia with associated eggs/. Cretaceous Research 35: 33–56. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2011.11.014.
The Alvarezsauridae represents a branch of peculiar basal coelurosaurs with an increasing representation of their Cretaceous radiation distributed worldwide. Here we describe a new member of the group, Bonapartenykus ultimus gen. et sp. nov. from Campanian–Maastrichtian strata of Northern Patagonia, Argentina. Bonapartenykus is represented by a single, incomplete postcranial skeleton. The morphology of the known skeletal elements suggests close affinities with the previously described taxon from Patagonia, Patagonykus, and both conform to a new clade, here termed Patagonykinae nov. Two incomplete eggs have been discovered in association with the skeletal remains of Bonapartenykus, and several clusters of broken eggshells of the same identity were also found in a close proximity. These belong to the new ooparataxon Arriagadoolithus patagoniensis of the new oofamily Arriagadoolithidae, which provides first insights into unique shell microstructure and fungal contamination of eggs laid by alvarezsaurid theropods. The detailed study of the eggs sheds new light on the phylogenetic position of alvarezsaurids within the Theropoda, and the evolution of eggs among Coelurosauria. We suggest that plesiomorphic alvarezsaurids survived in Patagonia until the latest Cretaceous, whereas these basal forms became extinct elsewhere.