Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 91 Ma
|Rear of skull|
Itemirus is known from a single small damaged fossil braincase or neurocranium, in 1958 found near the village of Itemir at the Dzharakuduk escarpment in layers of the Bissekty Formation. This holotype has accession number PIN 327/699. The type species, Itemirus medullaris, was named and described by Sergei Kurzanov in 1976. The generic name refers to Itemir. The specific name refers to the medulla oblongata, the brain part encased by the partial braincase.
Kurzanov noted anatomical similarities to the Tyrannosauridae and the Dromaeosauridae; he assigned Itemirus to a separate Itemiridae. In 2004 Thomas Holtz suggested it was a member of the Tyrannosauroidea. Nicholas Longrich and Philip J. Currie in 2009 included Itemirus in a cladistic analysis of internal dromaeosaurid relationships and found it to be a velociraptorine. In 2014, during a study assigning more material to Itemirus, it was found that the genus could be placed in Dromaeosaurinae in a phylogeny.
- Kurzanov, S. M. (1976) Braincase structure in the carnosaur Itemirus n. gen. and some aspects of the cranial anatomy of dinosaurs. Paleontological Journal 10:361-369.
- Holtz, T.R., 2004, "Tyrannosauroidea". In: D. B. Weishampel, P. Dodson, and H. Osmolska (eds.), The Dinosauria (second edition). University of California Press, Berkeley pp. 111-136
- Longrich, N.R. and Currie, P.J. (2009). "A microraptorine (Dinosauria–Dromaeosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of North America." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(13): 5002–5007. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0811664106
- Sues, H.-D.; Averianov, A. (2014). "Dromaeosauridae (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Bissekty Formation (Upper Cretaceous: Turonian) of Uzbekistan and the phylogenetic position of Itemirus medullaris Kurzanov, 1976". Cretaceous Research. 51: 225–240. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2014.06.007.
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