A new lambeosaurine hadrosaurid, Velafrons coahuilensis, is described as the first lambeosaurine from the Cerro del Pueblo Formation of Coahuila, Mexico, and the first lambeosaurine genus to be named from North America in more than 70 years. Although the holotype specimen is a juvenile individual - as evidenced by its incomplete crest development and relative size compared to other North American lambeosaurines - ontogeny independent autapomorphies have been identified including quadrate with narrow quadratojugal notch and a postorbital with well developed, dorsally positioned squamosal process. Additionally, this taxon is unique in that the prefrontal is not dorsally deflected and anteroposteriorly expanded as in other lambeosaurine taxa of its size, but rather retains the frontal-prefrontal "clamp" present in smaller individuals of other taxa. Phylogenetic analysis places Velafrons in a polytomy with numerous other fan-crested lambeosaurines. The crest structure of Velafrons more closely resembles that of Corythosaurus and Hypacrosaurus because it possesses an anteriorly projecting nasal process over the dorsal premaxilla process. Biogeographically, Velafrons is one of three distinct hadrosaurids known from approximately 73.5 Ma - two lambeosaurines and one hadrosaurine - all restricted to the southern region of the Western Interior Basin of North America. ?? 2007 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Additional publication details
Velafrons coahuilensis, a new labeosaurine haddrosaurid (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Late Campanian Cerro del Pueblo formation, Coahuila, Mexico