Mendozasaurus

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Mendozasaurus
Temporal range: Coniacian
~89–86 Ma
Scientific classification
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Mendozasaurus

González Riga 2003
Binomial name
Mendozasaurus neguyelap
González Riga 2003

Mendozasaurus is a genus of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur. It was a member of Titanosauria, which were massive sauropods that were common on the southern landmasses during the Cretaceous period. The titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur Mendozasaurus neguyelap is represented by several partial skeletons from a single locality within the Coniacian (lower Upper Cretaceous) Sierra Barrosa Formation in the south of Mendoza Province, northern Neuquén Basin, Argentina. The type species, Mendozasaurus neguyelap, was described by Argentine paleontologist Bernardo Javier González Riga in 2003. Mendozasaurus is the first dinosaur named from Mendoza Province, Argentina.

Description

Size comparison of two specimens

This species belonged to the discovered clade Lognkosauria,[1] a transitional group of titanosaurs which included the gigantic Futalognkosaurus and Puertasaurus. Like both of these animals, Mendozasaurus had a long neck with very wide cervical neural spines. Holtz estimated it's length at 22 m (72 ft).[2] In 2010 Gregory S. Paul estimated Mendozasaurus at 20 meters (65.6 feet) in length and 16 tonnes (17.6 short tons) in weight.[3]

Classification

A phylogenetic analysis conducted by González Riga and colleagues in 2018 recovered Mendozasaurus as the most basal member of Lognkosauria, including Futalognkosaurus and the gigantic titanosaurs Argentinosaurus, Notocolossus, Patagotitan and Puertasaurus.[4]

The following cladogram shows the position of Mendozasaurus in Lognkosauria according to González Riga and colleagues, 2018.[4]

Lognkosauria

Mendozasaurus

Futalognkosaurus

Argentinosaurus

Notocolossus

Patagotitan

Puertasaurus

References

  1. ^ Calvo, J.O.; Porfiri, J.D.; González-Riga, B.J.; Kellner, A.W. (2007). "A new Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem from Gondwana with the description of a new sauropod dinosaur". Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. 79 (3): 529–41. doi:10.1590/s0001-37652007000300013. PMID 17768539.
  2. ^ "Holtz Genus List" (PDF).
  3. ^ Paul, Gregory S. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs. Oxford: Princeton University Press. p. 207. ISBN 9780691137209.
  4. ^ a b Gonzalez Riga, B.J.; Mannion, P.D.; Poropat, S.F.; Ortiz David, L.; Coria, J.P. (2018). "Osteology of the Late Cretaceous Argentinean sauropod dinosaur Mendozasaurus neguyelap: implications for basal titanosaur relationships". Journal of the Linnean Society. 184 (1): 136–181. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx103. hdl:10044/1/53967.

Further reading

  • González Riga, B.J. (2003). "A new titanosaur (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Mendoza, Argentina". Amehginiana 40: 155-172.
  • González Riga, B.J. (2005). "Nuevos restos fósiles de Mendozasaurus neguyelap (Sauropoda: Titanosauridae) del Cretácico Tardío de Mendoza, Argentina". Ameghiniana 42 (3): 535-538.
  • González Riga, B.J. and Astini, R. (2007). "Fossil preservation of large titanosaur sauropods in overbank fluvial facies: a case study in the Cretaceous of Argentina". Journal of South American Earth Sciences 23: 290-303.

External links

  • Sauropod dinosaurs: Complementary information on South American titanosaurs


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