Phylogeny of Basal Iguanodonts (Dinosauria: Ornithischia): An Update
The precise phylogenetic relationships of many non-hadrosaurid members of Iguanodontia, i.e., basal iguanodonts, have been unclear. Therefore, to investigate the global phylogeny of basal iguanodonts a comprehensive data matrix was assembled, including nearly every valid taxon of basal iguanodont. The matrix was analyzed in the program TNT, and the maximum agreement subtree of the resulting most parsimonious trees was then calculated in PAUP. Ordering certain multistate characters and omitting taxa through safe taxonomic reduction did not markedly improve resolution. The results provide some new information on the phylogeny of basal iguanodonts, pertaining especially to obscure or recently described taxa, and support some recent taxonomic revisions, such as the splitting of traditional “Camptosaurus” and “Iguanodon”. The maximum agreement subtree also shows a close relationship between the Asian Probactrosaurus gobiensis and the North American Eolambia, supporting the previous hypothesis of faunal interchange between Asia and North America in the early Late Cretaceous. Nevertheless, the phylogenetic relationships of many basal iguanodonts remain ambiguous due to the high number of taxa removed from the maximum agreement subtree and poor resolution of consensus trees.