Paul Upchurch

Paul Upchurch
University College London | UCL · Department of Earth Sciences

M.A., Ph.D.

About

219
Publications
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Publications

Publications (219)
Article
Full-text available
Clade ages within the crocodylomorph clade Neosuchia have long been debated. Molecular and morphological studies have yielded remarkably divergent results. Despite recent advances, there has been no comprehensive relative comparison of the major time calibration methods available to estimate clade ages based on morphological data. We used four meth...
Article
Full-text available
Discovered in 1852, the scaly skin belonging to Haestasaurus becklesii was the first to be described in any non-avian dinosaur. Accordingly, it has played a crucial role in the reconstruction of sauropod integument and dinosaurs more broadly. Here, we reassess this historic specimen using Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence (LSF), revealing extensive, pr...
Article
Full-text available
Hudiesaurus sinojapanorum is a Late Jurassic sauropod from northwestern China that was erected on the basis of a cervicodorsal vertebra, four teeth, and a nearly complete forelimb. However, re-evaluation of this material, and comparisons with other taxa, indicate that there are few grounds for regarding these specimens as congeneric. Consequently,...
Article
Full-text available
Generally, the species is considered to be the only naturally occurring taxon. However, species recognised and defined using different species delimitation criteria cannot readily be compared, impacting studies of biodiversity through Deep Time. This comparability issue is particularly marked when comparing extant with extinct species, because the...
Article
Generally, the species is considered to be the only naturally occurring taxon. However, species recognised and defined using different species delimitation criteria cannot readily be compared, impacting studies of biodiversity through Deep Time. This comparability issue is particularly marked when comparing extant with extinct species, because the...
Article
The titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur Diamantinasaurus matildae is represented by two individuals from the Cenomanian-lower Turonian 'upper' Winton Formation of central Queensland, northeastern Australia. The type specimen has been described in detail, whereas the referred specimen, which includes several elements not present in the type series (part...
Article
The titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur Savannasaurus elliottorum is represented by a partial postcranial skeleton from the lower Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian-lowermost Turonian) Winton Formation of Queensland, northeast Australia. Here, we present a detailed description of this specimen, as well as an emended diagnosis for this titanosaur. Savannasaur...
Chapter
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The Coelurosauria are a group of mostly feathered theropods that gave rise to birds, the only dinosaurians that survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event and are still found today. Between their first appearance in the Middle Jurassic up to the end Cretaceous, coelurosaurians were party to dramatic geographic changes on the Earth's surface...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Coelurosauria are a group of mostly feathered theropods that gave rise to birds, the only dinosaurians that survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event and are still found today. Between their first appearance in the Middle Jurassic up to the end Cretaceous, coelurosaurians were party to dramatic geographic changes on the Earth’s surface...
Article
Full-text available
Spatiotemporal changes in fossil specimen completeness can bias our understanding of a group's evolutionary history. The quality of the sauropodomorph fossil record was assessed a decade ago, but the number of valid species has since increased by 60%, and 17% of the taxa from that study have since undergone taxonomic revision. Here, we assess how 1...
Article
Fossil-rich deposits from the Middle and Late Jurassic of China have yielded a diverse array of sauropod dinosaurs, including numerous species referred to Mamenchisaurus and Omeisaurus. Despite an abundance of fossils and a proliferation of taxa, the anatomy of Middle–Late Jurassic Chinese sauropods remains poorly documented. Here, we comprehensive...
Article
Full-text available
Since their origin in the Late Triassic, crocodylomorphs have had a long history of evolutionary change. Numerous studies examined their phylogeny, but none have attempted to unify their morphological characters into a single, combined dataset. Following a comprehensive review of published character sets, we present a new dataset for the crocodylom...
Article
Since their origin in the Late Triassic, crocodylomorphs have had a long history of evolutionary change. Numerous studies examined their phylogeny, but none have attempted to unify their morphological characters into a single, combined dataset. Following a comprehensive review of published character sets, we present a new dataset for the crocodylom...
Article
Full-text available
Titanosaurs were a globally distributed clade of Cretaceous sauropods. Historically regarded as a primarily Gondwanan radiation, there is a growing number of Eurasian taxa, with several putative titanosaurs contemporaneous with, or even pre-dating, the oldest known Southern Hemisphere remains. The early Late Cretaceous Jinhua Formation, in Zhejiang...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Coelurosauria are a group of mostly feathered theropods that gave rise to birds, the only dinosaurs that survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event and are still found today. Between their first appearance in the Middle Jurassic up to the end Cretaceous, coelurosaurs were party to dramatic geographic changes on the Earth's surface, incl...
Article
The Late Jurassic Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania, southeastern Africa, records a rich sauropod fauna, including the diplodocoids Dicraeosaurus and Tornieria, and the brachiosaurid titanosauriform Giraffatitan. However, the taxonomic affinities of other sympatric sauropod taxa are poorly understood. Here, we critically reassess and redescribe these...
Article
Specimen-level phylogenetic approaches are widely used in molecular biology for taxonomic and systematic purposes. However, they have been largely ignored in analyses based on morphological traits, where phylogeneticists mostly resort to species-level analyses. Recently, a number of specimen-level studies have been published in vertebrate palaeonto...
Article
Full-text available
The fragmentation of the supercontinent Pangaea has been suggested to have had a profound impact on Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate distributions. One current paradigm is that geographic isolation produced an endemic biota in East Asia during the Jurassic, while simultaneously preventing diplodocoid sauropod dinosaurs and several other tetrapod gro...
Preprint
The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous interval represents a time of environmental upheaval and cataclysmic events, combined with disruptions to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Historically, the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary was classified as one of eight mass extinctions. However, more recent research has largely overturned this view, revea...
Article
Full-text available
The role of climate change in the origin and diversification of early hominins is hotly debated. Most accounts of early hominin evolution link observed fluctuations in species diversity to directional shifts in climate or periods of intense climatic instability. None of these hypotheses, however, have tested whether observed diversity patterns are...
Article
Full-text available
Despite a global fossil record, Metatheria are now largely restricted to Australasia and South America. Most metatherian paleodiversity studies to date are limited to particular subclades, time intervals, and/or regions, and few consider uneven sampling. Here, we present a comprehensive new data set on metatherian fossil occurrences (Barremian to e...
Preprint
Crocodyliforms have a much richer evolutionary history than represented by their extant descendants, including several independent marine and terrestrial radiations during the Mesozoic. However, heterogeneous sampling of their fossil record has obscured their macroevolutionary dynamics, and obfuscated attempts to reconcile external drivers of these...
Article
Full-text available
A new, largely complete eusauropod dinosaur with cranial and postcranial elements from two skeletons, Mierasaurus bobyoungi gen. nov., sp. nov. from the lower Yellow Cat Member (Early Cretaceous) of Utah (USA), is the first recognized member of Turiasauria from North America. Moreover, according to our phylogenetic results, Moabosaurus utahensis fr...
Preprint
Reconstructing deep time trends in biodiversity remains a central goal for palaeobiologists, but our understanding of the magnitude and tempo of extinctions and radiations is confounded by uneven sampling of the fossil record. In particular, the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary, 145 million years ago, remains a poorly understood interval, despite...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eucamerotus foxi is a macronarian sauropod from the Wessex Formation (Early Cretaceous, Barremian) of the Isle of Wight. It is represented by NHMUK R2522, a partial dorsal neural arch, and differs from other known sauropods by the presence of a stout robust prezygoparapophyseal lamina (PRPL) which bifurcates distally. NHMUK R90 are a pair of dorsal...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eucamerotus foxi is a macronarian sauropod from the Wessex Formation (Early Cretaceous, Barremian) of the Isle of Wight. It is represented by NHMUK R2522, a partial dorsal neural arch, and differs from other known sauropods by the presence of a stout robust prezygoparapophyseal lamina (PRPL) which bifurcates distally. NHMUK R90 are a pair of dorsal...
Preprint
Atoposaurids are a group of small-bodied, extinct crocodyliforms, regarded as an important component of Jurassic and Cretaceous Laurasian semi-aquatic ecosystems. Despite the group being known for over 150 years, the taxonomic composition of Atoposauridae and its position within Crocodyliformes are unresolved. Uncertainty revolves around their plac...
Article
Poropat, S.F., Nair, J.P., Syme, C.E., Mannion, P.D., Upchurch, P., Hocknull, S.A., Cook, A.G., Tischler, T.R. & Holland, T. XX.XXXX. 2017. Reappraisal of Austrosaurus mckillopi Longman, 1933 Longman, H.A., 1933. A new dinosaur from the Queensland Cretaceous. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 10, 131–144. [Google Scholar] from the Allaru Mudstone of...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in the geographic spread of fossil localities strongly biases inferences about the evolution of biodiversity, due to the ubiquitous scaling of species richness with area. This obscures answers to key questions, such as how tetrapods attained their tremendous extant diversity. Here, we address this problem by applying sampling standardizat...
Data
Supplementary Figures, Supplementary Tables, Supplementary Methods and Supplementary References
Article
2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society. The 'Age of Mammals' began in the Paleocene epoch, the 10million year interval immediately following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene mass extinction. The apparently rapid shift in mammalian ecomorphs from small, largely insectivorous forms to many small-to-large-bodied, diverse taxa has driven a hypothesis that the e...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Titanosauriforms represent the most diverse clade of sauropod dinosaurs, with >120 species, a global distribution, and a Late Jurassic to end-Cretaceous temporal range. Interrelationships of this clade are poorly understood, especially for derived titanosaurs; however, a wealth of new data provides an opportunity to remedy this problem. Based on fi...
Article
Full-text available
The Early Jurassic of China has long been recognized for its diverse array of sauropodomorph dinosaurs. However, the contribution of this record to our understanding of early sauropod evolution is complicated by a dearth of information on important transitional taxa. We present a revision of the poorly known taxon Sanpasaurus yaoi Young, 1944 from...
Article
Full-text available
Australian dinosaurs have played a rare but controversial role in the debate surrounding the effect of Gondwanan break-up on Cretaceous dinosaur distribution. Major spatiotemporal gaps in the Gondwanan Cretaceous fossil record, coupled with taxon incompleteness, have hindered research on this effect, especially in Australia. Here we report on two n...
Data
Supplementary Figures 1-7, Supplementary Tables 1-3, Supplementary Methods and Supplementary References
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructing deep time trends in biodiversity remains a central goal for palaeobiologists, but our understanding of the magnitude and tempo of extinctions and radiations is confounded by uneven sampling of the fossil record. In particular, the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary, 145 million years ago, remains poorly understood, despite an apparen...
Article
Full-text available
Atoposaurids are a group of small-bodied, extinct crocodyliforms, regarded as an important component of Jurassicand Cretaceous Laurasian semi-aquatic ecosystems. Despite the group being known for over 150 years, thetaxonomic composition of Atoposauridae and its position within Crocodyliformes are unresolved. Uncertaintyrevolves around their placeme...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) mass extinction on the evolution of many groups, including placental mammals, has been hotly debated. The fossil record suggests a sudden adaptive radiation of placentals immediately after the event, but several recent quantitative analyses have reconstructed no significant increase in either clade ori...
Data
Full-text available