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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, Campanian
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Family: Alvarezsauridae
Subfamily: Parvicursorinae
Genus: Khulsanurus
Averianov & Lopatin, 2021
Type species
Khulsanurus magnificus
Averianov & Lopatin, 2021

Khulsanurus (meaning "tail from Khulsan") is an extinct genus of alvarezsaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Barungoyot Formation of the Khulsan Locality in the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia. The type and only species is Khulsanurus magnificus.[1]


Khulsanurus is known from a holotype containing partial vertebral series of the neck and tail, scapulocoracoids, a right humerus, a possible left humerus, and a left pubis. Distinguishing autapomorphies of this specimen include pleurocoel-, carotid process-, and epipophysis-less cervical vertebrae, prominent infrapostzygapophyseal fossa of the caudal vertebrae which also bear anteriorly pointing prezygapophyses.[1]


Averianov & Lopatin (2021) placed Khulsanurus in a polytomy with Albinykus, Ceratonykus, Linhenykus, Parvicursor, Xixianykus, Qiupanykus, Nemegtonykus, PIN 5838/1 (=Ondogurvel) and a clade containing Shuvuuia and Mononykus in a strict consensus tree using unweighted characters. However, Averianov & Lopatin (2021) also recovered it in a polytomy with only Albinykus, Xixianykus, PIN 5838/1 (=Ondogurvel), Mononykus and Shuvuuia in a consensus tree using implied weighting.[1] Averianov & Sues (2022) conducted a phylogenetic analysis using implied weighting which recovered it in a similar position but with inclusion of a clade containing Linhenykus, Ceratonykus and Parvicuror and the exclusion of Qiupanykus and Nemegtonykus, while a 50% majority rule tree from the same analysis placed it within a polytomy with two clades.[2]

A phylogenetic analysis conducted by Averianov & Sues (2022) is reproduced below.[2]










PIN 5838/1 (=Ondogurvel)









Khulsanurus was found in the Campanian Barun Goyot Formation, which was also home to many other animals, including mammals such as Catopsbaatar and Nemegtbaatar, squamates such as Estesia, Gobiderma, and Proplatynotia, and numerous dinosaurs, including ornithischians such as Saichania, Tarchia, Zaraapelta, Tylocephale, Bagaceratops, Breviceratops, and Udanoceratops;[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] sauropods such as Quaesitosaurus;[13] and theropods, including Conchoraptor, Heyuannia, Nemegtomaia, Hulsanpes, Kuru, Shri, Ceratonykus, Ondogurvel, Parvicursor, Gobipteryx, and Hollanda.


  1. ^ a b c Averianov AO, Lopatin AV (2022). "The second taxon of alvarezsaurid theropod dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous Khulsan locality in Gobi Desert, Mongolia". Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. 34 (11): 2125–2136. doi:10.1080/08912963.2021.2000976. S2CID 244421277.
  2. ^ a b Averianov AO, Sues HD (2022). "New material and diagnosis of a new taxon of alvarezsaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Bissekty Formation of Uzbekistan". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 41 (5): e2036174. doi:10.1080/02724634.2021.2036174. S2CID 247391327.
  3. ^ Carpenter, K., Hayashi, S., Kobayashi, Y., Maryańska, T., Barsbold, R., Sato, K., and Obata, I., 2011, "Saichania chulsanensis (Ornithischia, Ankylosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia", Palaeontographica, Abteilung A, 294(1-3): 1-61
  4. ^ Arbour, V. M.; Currie, P. J.; Badamgarav, D. (2014). "The ankylosaurid dinosaurs of the Upper Cretaceous Baruungoyot and Nemegt formations of Mongolia". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 172 (3): 631−652. doi:10.1111/zoj.12185.
  5. ^ Penkalski, P.; Tumanova, T. (2017). "The cranial morphology and taxonomic status of Tarchia (Dinosauria: Ankylosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia". Cretaceous Research. 70: 117−127. Bibcode:2017CrRes..70..117P. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2016.10.004.
  6. ^ Kurzanov, S. M. (1990). "A new Late Cretaceous protoceratopsid genus from Mongolia". Paleontological Journal. 24: 85−91.
  7. ^ Maryańska, T.; Osmólska, H. (1975). "Protoceratopsidae (Dinosauria) of Asia" (PDF). Palaeontologia Polonica. 33: 134−143.
  8. ^ Maryańska, T.; Osmólska, H. (1974). "Pachycephalosauria, a new suborder of ornithischian dinosaurs" (PDF). Palaeontologica Polonica (30): 45−102.
  9. ^ Sullivan, R. M. (2006). "A taxonomic review of the Pachycephalosauridae (Dinosauria: Ornithischia)". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin (35): 347–365.
  10. ^ Czepiński, Ł. (2019). "Ontogeny and variation of a protoceratopsid dinosaur Bagaceratops rozhdestvenskyi from the Late Cretaceous of the Gobi Desert" (PDF). Historical Biology. 32 (10): 1394–1421. doi:10.1080/08912963.2019.1593404. S2CID 132780322. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-07-08. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  11. ^ Kim, B.; Yun, H.; Lee, Y.-N. (2019). "The postcranial skeleton of Bagaceratops (Ornithischia: Neoceratopsia) from the Baruungoyot Formation (Upper Cretaceous) in Hermiin Tsav of southwestern Gobi, Mongolia". Journal of the Geological Society of Korea. 55 (2): 179−190. doi:10.14770/jgsk.2019.55.2.179.
  12. ^ Tereschhenko, V. S. (2008). "Adaptive Features of Protoceratopsids (Ornithischia: Neoceratopsia)". Paleontological Journal. 42 (3): 50−64. doi:10.1134/S003103010803009X. S2CID 84366476.
  13. ^ Kurzanov, S. and Bannikov, A. (1983). "A new sauropod from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia". Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal 2: 90–96.