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First dinosaur bone from Sicily identified by histology and its palaeobiogeographical implications

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An isolated fossil bone visible in cross-section in the wall of a cave near Palermo (Sicily) is described. The limestone containing the bone is late Cenomanian in age and was deposited in a backreef-lagoon environment from the Panormide carbonate platform. A histological study of the bone, which has a hollow shaft, shows a fibrolamellar structure and indicates that it belongs to a dinosaur, in all likelihood to a theropod. This is the first report of a dinosaur from Sicily. The occurrence of this bone shows that at certain times during the Cretaceous the Panormide platform was at least partly emergent and suggests that it may have formed a peninsula protruding from the northern margin of the African continent.
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Keywords: CENOMANIAN; CENTRALWESTERN TETHYS; DINOSAUR BONE; HISTOLOGY; PALAEOBIOGEOGRAPHY; PANORMIDE PLATFORM; SICILY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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