Turiasaurus

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Turiasaurus
Temporal range: Late Jurassic, 145 Ma
Turiasaurus skeleton.jpg
Mounted replica skeleton
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Clade: Turiasauria
Genus: Turiasaurus
Royo-Torres, Cobos & Alcala, 2006
Species:
T. riodevensis
Binomial name
Turiasaurus riodevensis
Royo-Torres et al., 2006

Turiasaurus (meaning "Turia lizard"; Turia is the Latin name of Teruel) is a genus of sauropod dinosaurs. It is known from a single fossil specimen representing the species T. riodevensis, found in a Spanish rock formation dated to the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, around 145 million years old.

Description

Size compared with a human

Turiasaurus is believed to be the largest dinosaur ever found in Europe, and is among the largest dinosaurs known. It was originally estimated at 36–39 metres (118–128 ft) in length and with a weight of 40 to 48 tonnes,[1] the combined weight of six or seven adult male elephants. More recent estimates suggest a length of 30 metres (98 ft) in length, but a comparable weight of 50 tonnes.[2] The length of its skull is 70 centimetres, which is not too large. According to the paleontologist Luis Alcalá, this is because a larger head might have caused Turiasaurus to break its neck.[3]

Phylogenetic analysis shows that Turiasaurus lies outside of the Neosauropoda division and belongs to a new clade, Turiasauria, together with Losillasaurus and Galveosaurus.[1]

History

Life restoration

Fragmentary remains of this animal, including an articulated left forelimb (holotype), skull fragments, teeth, vertebrae and ribs, have been found in terrestrial deposits of the Villar del Arzobispo Formation of Riodeva (Teruel Province, Eastern Spain), and a forelimb from Portugal.[4] The fossils were once known informally as "Riodevasaurus", a nomen nudum.[citation needed] The type species, Turiasaurus riodevensis, was formally described by Royo-Torres, Cobos & Alcala, in 2006.[1] In the early 2010s, excavations were made east of Madrid that uncovered the most complete fossil of such creatures in the whole world.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c Royo-Torres, R., Cobos, A., and Alcalá, L. (2006). "A Giant European Dinosaur and a New Sauropod Clade." Science 314: 1925-1927.
  2. ^ Paul, G.S., 2010, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press.
  3. ^ "El Turiasaurus". El Mundo. 2012.
  4. ^ Mateus, O. (2009). The sauropod Turiasaurus riodevensis in the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Journal of vertebrate Paleontology, 29.
  5. ^ "Největší dinosaurus moc nemyslel, zato pořádně jedl". excavations. seznam. Retrieved 21 April 2012.

External links

  • BBC report on Turiasaurus
  • Fact-Sheet with picture (in german)
  • Fundación Conjunto Paleontológico de Teruel
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