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Systematics of new Dinosauriformes specimens from the Upper Triassic (Carnian) of Cerro da Alemoa, Santa Maria-RS Formation and their importance for evolution and paleobiology of the first dinosaurs.

Grant number: 18/24031-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Paleozoology
Principal Investigator:Max Cardoso Langer
Grantee:Gabriel Mestriner da Silva
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/03825-3 - The origin and rise of dinosaurs in Gondwana (late Triassic - early Jurassic), AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/07510-0 - Systematics of new Dinosauriform specimens from the Upper Triassic (Carnian) Santa Maria Formation and phylogenetic implications of silesaurid mandible histology, BE.EP.MS


The research plan presented contemplates the preparation and description of silesaurid materials collected in Cerro da Alemoa, near Santa Maria, RS, at the upper levels of the Upper Triassic Santa Maria Formation. The material consists of partial jaws containing teeth, vertebrae, ribs, ilia, femora, tibiae, fibulae and pedal elements. Simultaneously, computer tomography, scanning electron microscopy, and osteohistological analyzes of one of the mandibular elements will be performed to verify the nature of the dental implantation pattern present in Silesauridae (described as ankylo-tecodont in the literature). The information obtained will be included in a comparative study for taxonomic identification. A cladistic study encompassing the oldest dinosaurs will also be developed. This is justified as there are still many uncertainties regarding the phylogenetic position of Silesauridae, sometimes placed within ornitischian dinosaurs, sometimes recovered as the dinosaur sister-group. Further importance is cast upon these material as they represent the first occurrence of silesaurids in the locality and for the Brazilian Carnian as a whole. Their description will clarify distinct aspects of the origin and diversification of dinosauromorphs and the characteristics that were stablished in the clade and allowed for its evolutionary success.