Gondwanatitan

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Gondwanatitan
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous,70 Ma
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Clade: Titanosauria
Clade: Lithostrotia
Family: Aeolosauridae
Genus: Gondwanatitan
Kellner & de Azevedo, 1999
Species:
G. faustoi
Binomial name
Gondwanatitan faustoi
Kellner & de Azevedo, 1999

Gondwanatitan (meaning "giant from Gondwana") was a titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur. Gondwanatitan was found in Brazil, at the time part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, in the late Cretaceous Period (70 mya). Like some other sauropods, Gondwanatitan was tall and ate tough shoots and leaves off of the tops of trees. G. faustoi's closest relative was Aeolosaurus.

The type species is Gondwanatitan faustoi, formally described by Kellner and de Azevedo in 1999.

Etymology

Gondwanatitan means "Gondwana Titan", and is named after Gondwana, the supercontinent that the genus' South American range was once part of, and the Titans of classical Greek mythology. The type and only named species, G. faustoi, is a patronym honoring Dr. Fausto L. de Souza Cunha, a former curator at the Museu Nacional/UFRJ who led the excavation of the type specimen.[1]

Description

Gondwanatitan was a fairly small sauropod, only 7 meters long.[2] It had relatively gracile limb bones.[1] The middle caudal vertebrae are distinctively "heart-shaped", which allows isolated caudal vertebrae to be easily distinguished from those of Aeolosaurus.[3]

The vertebrae from the middle part of its tail had elongated centra.[4] Gondwanatitan had vertebral lateral fossae that resembled shallow depressions.[4] Fossae that similarly resemble shallow depressions are known from Saltasaurus, Alamosaurus, Malawisaurus, and Aeolosaurus.[4] Its middle tail vertebrae's neural spines are angled anteriorly when the vertebrae are aligned.[4] These vertebrae resemble those of Cedarosaurus, Venenosaurus, and Aeolosaurus.[4]

Classification

Gondwanatitan is a member of the clade Aeolosauridae.[5] It is closely related to the genera Pitekunsaurus, Aeolosaurus, and Overosaurus.[6]

Provenance

The type specimen of Gondwanatitan faustoi was found in strata of the Adamantina Formation.[1] Other material assigned to the genus has been found in the Cambabe Formation.[5]

History

The type specimen of Gondwanatitan faustoi was discovered in 1983 on the farm of Yoshitoshi Myzobuchi in São Paulo, Brazil.[1] The specimen was excavated between 1984 and 1986, but preparation work on the specimen did not begin in earnest until 1997. It was finally described as a new genus and species in 1999. In 2001, G. faustoi was briefly transferred to the genus Aeolosaurus, making Gondwanatitan a junior synonym of that genus, but it has since been widely regarded as separate.[7][8]

External links

  • Gondwanatitan site (in French)
  • Gondwanatitan in the Paleobiology Database

References

  1. ^ a b c d Kellner, Alexander W. A.; de Azevedo, Sergio A. K. (1999). "A new sauropod dinosaur (Titanosauria) from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil". National Science Museum Monographs. 15: 111–142.
  2. ^ Paul, G. S. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs. Princeton University Press.
  3. ^ Santucci, Rodrigo M.; de Arruda-Campos, Antonio C. (2011). "A new sauropod (Macronaria, Titanosauria) from the Adamantina Formation, Bauru Group, Upper Cretaceous of Brazil and the phylogenetic relationships of Aeolosaurini". Zootaxa. 3085: 1–33.
  4. ^ a b c d e Tidwell, Virginia; Carpenter, Kenneth; Meyer, S. (2001). "New titanosauriform (Sauropoda) from the Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Utah". In Tanke, D. H.; Carpenter, Kenneth (eds.). Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. Indiana University Press. pp. 139–165.
  5. ^ a b Franco-Rosas, Aldirene Costa; Salgado, Leonardo; Rosas, Claudio Fabían; Carvalho, Ismar de Souza (2004). "Nuevos materiales de titanosaurios (Sauropoda) en el Cretácico Superior de Mato Grosso, Brasil". Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia. 7 (3): 329–336. doi:10.4072/rbp.2004.3.04.
  6. ^ Coria, Rodolfo A.; Filippi, Leonardo S.; Chiappe, Luis M.; García, Rodolfo; Arcucci, Andrea B. (2013). "Overosaurus paradasorum gen. et sp. nov., a new sauropod dinosaur (Titanosauria: Lithostrotia) from the Late Cretaceous of Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina". Zootaxa. 3683 (4): 357–376. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3683.4.2.
  7. ^ Santucci, Rodrigo Miloni; Bertini, Reinaldo José (2001). "Distribução paleogeográfica e biocronológica dos titanossauros (Saurischia, Sauropoda) do Grupo Bauru, Cretáceo Superior do sudeste Brasileiro". Revista Brasileira de Geociências. 31 (3): 307–314.
  8. ^ Martinelli, A. G.; Riff, D.; Lopes, R. P. (2011). "Discussion about the occurrence of the genus of the genus Aeolosaurus Powell 1987 (Dinosauria, Titanosauria) in the Upper Cretaceous of Brazil". Gaea. 7 (1): 34–40. doi:10.4013/gaea.2011.71.03.
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