Gregory Funston

Gregory Funston
The University of Edinburgh | UoE · School of GeoSciences

Doctor of Philosophy

About

31
Publications
13,342
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358
Citations
Introduction
Gregory Funston currently works at the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh, studying the physiology of early Palaeocene Mammals.
Additional affiliations
March 2015 - present
University of Alberta
Position
  • Contract Lecturer - PALEO 419
Description
  • Primary instructor for PALEO 419, a senior-level survey of higher vertebrate paleontology. Topics include Archosaurs and Synapsids.
Education
September 2013 - August 2019
University of Alberta
Field of study
  • Systematics and Evolution

Publications

Publications (31)
Article
Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates to evolve flight¹,² and include the largest flying animals in Earth history.³,⁴ While some of the last-surviving species were the size of airplanes, pterosaurs were long thought to be restricted to small body sizes (wingspans ca. <1.8–1.6 m) from their Triassic origins through the Jurassic, before increasing in...
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A well-preserved left theropod metatarsal I from the Campanian Mesaverde Formation of Wyoming is described and identified as belonging to a caenagnathid, representing the first occurrence of this clade from the formation. The specimen is unique in being relatively small, but featuring a suite of characters (triangular shaft, relatively minimal cons...
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The Nemegt Formation of the Gobi Desert of Mongolia has produced one of the most abundant and diverse oviraptorosaur records globally. However, the caenagnathid component of this fauna remains poorly known. Two caenagnathid taxa are currently recognized from the Nemegt Formation: Elmisaurus rarus and Nomingia gobiensis . Because these taxa are know...
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Abstract: Tyrannosaurids were the apex predators of Late Cretaceous Laurasia and their status as dominant carnivores has garnered considerable interest since their discovery, both in the popular and scientific realms. As a result, they are well studied and much is known of their anatomy, diversity, growth, and evolution. In contrast, little is know...
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Late Cretaceous trends in Asian dinosaur diversity are poorly understood, but recent discoveries have documented a radiation of oviraptorosaur theropods in China and Mongolia. However, little work has addressed the factors that facilitated this diversification. A new oviraptorid from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia sheds light on the evolution of t...
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Dinosaur body fossilmaterial is rare in Scotland, previously known almost exclusively from the Great Estuarine Group on the Isle of Skye. We report the first unequivocal dinosaur fossil from the Isle of Eigg, belonging to a Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) taxon of uncertain affinity. The limb bone NMS G.2020.10.1 is incomplete, but through a combinatio...
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Our understanding of caenagnathid anatomy, diversity, and ecology has improved considerably in the past twenty years, but numerous issues still remain. Among these, the diversity and taxonomy of caenagnathids from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, have remained problematic. Whereas some authors recognize three genera, others suggest o...
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The Cretaceous birds of Alberta are poorly known, as skeletal elements are rare and typically consist of fragmentary postcranial remains. A partial avian coracoid from the upper Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada can be referred to the Ornithurae, and is referred to here as Ornithurine G (cf. Cimolopteryx). Its structure is simila...
Article
Caenagnathids were oviraptorosaur theropods characterized by elongate hind limbs that are proposed as adaptations for either wading or enhanced cursoriality. A lack of well preserved pelvic material, however, has thus far prevented reconstruction of both the hind limb and girdle for verification of these hypotheses. Here we describe an abundance of...
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The taxonomy of caenagnathids from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, has remained problematic because of incomplete, partial skeletons that do not overlap anatomically. This is particularly problematic for referring mandibular remains, which are the most abundant caenagnathid fossils recovered, but cannot be confidently tied to taxa k...
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Avimimids were unusual, birdlike oviraptorosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of Asia. Initially enigmatic, new information has ameliorated the understanding of their anatomy, phylogenetic position, and behaviour. A monodominant bonebed from the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia showed that some avimimids were gregarious, but the site is unusual in the appa...
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The fossil record of caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs consists mainly of their fused, complexly sculptured dentaries, but little is known about the growth and development of this diagnostic structure. Previous work has suggested that the ridges and grooves on the occlusal surface are either the vestiges of teeth and their alveoli or were adaptations to...
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Caenagnathid elements are exceptionally rare in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (HCF), and a small tibia constitutes only the fourth record from the formation. The tibia is elongate and gracile, with a semi-circular cross-section. A representative survey of Late Cretaceous, North American theropod tibiae suggests that cross-sectional shape can be us...
Preprint
Eggs and eggshell are generally rare in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Alberta, despite being relatively abundant nearby in Montana. Palaeontologists and other people have been prospecting the Horseshoe Canyon Formation for more than a 130 years, but eggshell fragments have only just been recovered. The fragments are unornamented with angusticanalic...
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Full-text available
Eggs and eggshell are generally rare in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Alberta, despite being relatively abundant nearby in Montana. Palaeontologists and other people have been prospecting the Horseshoe Canyon Formation for more than a 130 years, but eggshell fragments have only just been recovered. The fragments are unornamented with angusticanalic...
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Abstract: UALVP 56200, originally identified as a partial pelvis of an azhdarchid pterosaur, is a badly broken tyrannosaurid squamosal. Previous conclusions presented about myology and locomotion in azhdarchids are unsubstantiated and should be disregarded. UALVP 56200 is briefly redescribed as a squamosal, and provides insights on the extent of cr...
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Dinosaur community composition data for eleven fossil localities in the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Basin of Mongolia are compiled from field observations and records in the literature. Counts were generated from skeletons and represent numbers of individuals preserved in each locality. These data were used in the analyses of Funston et al. [1] “Ovirapt...
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The interfingering Baruungoyot and Nemegt Formations of Mongolia host an exceptional diversity of oviraptorosaurs that is unique in including members of all three Late Cretaceous families (avimimids, caenagnathids, and oviraptorids). The oviraptorosaurs from the Baruungoyot and Nemegt Formations are reviewed, with a description of a new species of...
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A partial pterosaur pelvis from the Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation of Canada adds to our knowledge of Late Cretaceous pterosaurs. The pelvis is tentatively referred to Azhdarchidae and represents the first pelvic material from a North American azhdarchid. The morphology of the ilium is bizarre compared with other pterosaurs: it is highly pneumat...
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A monodominant bonebed of Avimimus from the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia is the first oviraptorosaur bonebed described and the only recorded maniraptoran bonebed from the Late Cretaceous. Cranial elements recovered from the bonebed provide insights on the anatomy of the facial region, which was formerly unknown in Avimimus. Both adult and subadult...
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Temporal fenestration has long been considered a key character to understand relationships amongst reptiles. In particular, the absence of the lower temporal bar (LTB) is considered one of the defining features of squamates (lizards and snakes). In a re-assessment of the borioteiioid lizard Polyglyphanodon sternbergi (Cretaceous, North America), we...
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Our understanding of caenagnathids has benefited from recent discoveries, including nearly complete skeletons from the Hell Creek Formation of Montana. However, their phylogenetic relationships remain unclear. A new specimen from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta has implications for the phylogeny and paleobiology of these creatures. The pa...
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The hypothesis that oviraptorosaurs used tail-feather displays in courtship behavior previously predicted that oviraptorosaurs would be found to display sexually dimorphic caudal osteology. MPC-D 100/1002 and MPC-D 100/1127 are two specimens of the oviraptorosaur Khaan mckennai. Although similar in absolute size and in virtually all other anatomica...
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New specimens from Canada confirm the presence of elmisaurines in North America and shed light on the relationship of Leptorhynchos elegans to Mongolian forms. These specimens have hindlimb elements previously unknown from elmisaurines in the Dinosaur Park Formation, including tibiae and pedal phalanges. Metatarsal anatomy is sufficiently different...
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New specimens of Elmisaurus rarus from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia (Nemegt Formation) preserve bones not previously found in "elmisaurids" that help elucidate their relationships to Leptorhynchos elegans and other oviraptorosaurs. Elmisaurus rarus and the North American Leptorhynchos elegans are known from numerous but incomplete specimens tha...
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The systematic position of the small theropod dinosaur Troodon has had a confusing history and has been identified at different times as a lizard, a pachycephalosaurid, and a coelurosaurid. Troodon is now most commonly considered as a sister taxon to Dromeaosauridae, within Maniraptora. This study records the first evidence of Troodon in the Danek...
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Until recently, caenagnathids were a family of oviraptorosaurs represented only by fragmentary material. As such, caenagnathid biology has never been studied in depth. A well-preserved mandible provides new information on the anatomy and dietary habits of Chirostenotes. The mandible is edentulous, has a completely fused symphysis, with sharp occlus...

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