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The Sauropod Thread

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    That is, a member of the same family as Amargasaurus, famous for its neck spines. Not so long ago there was another find of a dicraeosaur, the so called Bajadasaurus. This one has been named Pilmatueia and seems very closely related to Amargasaurus, but older.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667118300405

    1-s2.0-S0195667118300405-gr5.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    The study is specifically about Mussaurus ("mouse lizard", so called because when the first remains were found, they were thought to come from the smallest dinosaur known, until it was found they were actually hatchlings and the adults were yet to be found. Which they have now; the adults were around 3 m long).

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/early-sauropod-went-walking-four-legs-two-it-grew

    The study shows that Mussaurus started out walking on all fours and shifted to bipedal posture and proportions as it grew. Later sauropodomorphs would've remained quadrupedal due to the need to support a much bigger body.

    051719_jp_walking-dino_feat.jpg

    213639173.jpg

    dinosaurios-m-mussaurus_0001.jpg

    However, it should be noted that at least one trackway found in North America has been interpreted as that of a bipedal running sauropod (a juvenile, naturally), and is currently under study.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor




  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    I was just wondering if the dinos such as the spiny ones above ever developed toxins ?

    I think that if they did the defence would be formidable/


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Rubecula wrote: »
    I was just wondering if the dinos such as the spiny ones above ever developed toxins ?

    I think that if they did the defence would be formidable/

    I have wondered the same! The spines themselves don´t have (as far as I know) grooves that would indicate a venom inoculation system, but then neither does the barb of a stingray- instead their barb is "coated" on a poisonous mucus produced by special cells in their epidermis (no actual poison glands involved).
    So maybe we shouldn´t discard the idea...

    The spiniest sauropods, such as Amargasaurus and Bajadasaurus, were relatively small as sauropods go, so it would make sense for them to have some sort of extra defense against the large predators they likely coexisted with.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    I have wondered the same! The spines themselves don´t have (as far as I know) grooves that would indicate a venom inoculation system, but then neither does the barb of a stingray- instead their barb is "coated" on a poisonous mucus produced by special cells in their epidermis (no actual poison glands involved).
    So maybe we shouldn´t discard the idea...

    The spiniest sauropods, such as Amargasaurus and Bajadasaurus, were relatively small as sauropods go, so it would make sense for them to have some sort of extra defense against the large predators they likely coexisted with.
    :D

    I never meant a venom on the spines as such as there would possibly be evidence of venom glands or as you say grooves down the spines, instead I thought of the spines themselves being toxic to anything that tried to tackles them.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    It's a shame we don´t have complete limb or tail skeletons from either Amargasaurus or its closest relatives. It would be interesting to know if they had claws and whip-like tips like the diplodocids...


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    On the skull of Saturnalia, a small, carnivorous early sauropodomorph

    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0221387

    journal.pone.0221387.g015


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Sauropods may have had turtle-like beaks.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/giant-sauropod-dinosaurs-may-have-sported-turtlelike-beaks

    This is very big news! For a long time sauropods have been depicted either with lizard-like lips or with exposed teeth.

    figure-3.jpg

    diplodocus_head0.jpg

    This may not have been the case.

    The research helps answer a long-standing mystery, says study author Kayleigh Wiersma, a paleontologist at the University of Bonn in Germany. Since the 1930s, long rows of isolated sauropod teeth—still perfectly arranged in the position they would have been in the mouth during life—have been found embedded as fossils in rocks, but with not a scrap of fossil bone encasing them. “There must have been something holding them in place,” she says. “Otherwise they would have been scattered all around the dig site.”

    Now, they have studied seven sets of isolated tooth rows from a variety of sauropod species, including German “dwarf” sauropod Europasaurus, as well the groups that include well-known species such as Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, and Apatosaurus.

    The scientists report the likely presence of beaks in many of these species. The finding is based on seven fossils of isolated rows of up to 40 teeth, as well as a detailed analysis of the skulls and teeth of Camarasaurus and Europasaurus. The teeth fossils in these species typically show surface wear only about 50% of the way down to the jaw, Wiersma says. That indicates the teeth were once deeply embedded in a “rhamphotheca,” or beaklike structure made of keratin (which also forms our hair and nails, as well as bird beaks and feathers). Existing reconstructions of sauropod faces would have left the tooth roots exposed and the teeth too loosely attached to the skull, the authors say. In Camarasaurus and Europasaurus the pair also found tiny pits in the surface bone of the jaw, which may indicate the presence of blood vessels that once nourished beak tissue.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor




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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Yamanasaurus, first dinosaur found in Ecuador, is also the northernmost known saltasaurid.

    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcSfc7hqZ301RsFQQgaSgEJW9o7gpLF0XlV2-eEqZkqXYuy_kHL2

    https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/titanosaur-0012971


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Two plant-eating dinosaurs discovered in Argentina; one of them, Nullotitan, was one of the last giant sauropods, measuring about 24 m.

    https://nypost.com/2019/12/12/two-new-dinosaur-species-discovered-in-argentina/

    Isasicursor-y-Nullotitan-ILUSTRACIO%CC%81N-SEBASTIA%CC%81N-ROZADILLA-apaisada.jpg

    Nullotitan-glacialis-comparacio%CC%81n.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    On Alamosaurus' neck and the relationships of titanosaurs:

    https://sarahzgibson.com/2019/12/11/alamosaurus-how-this-massive-titans-neck-is-impacting-relationships-of-titanosaurs-plos-paleo-community/

    image-1.png

    Alamosaurus is currently the largest Cretaceous dinosaur known from North America and the only sauropod suspected of having coexisted with Tyrannosaurus itself (at least in NA).

    250px-Perot_Museum_Alamosaurus_and_Tyrannosaurus.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Rare Brachiosaurus specimen found at the Morrison formation.

    https://svpow.com/2020/01/30/at-last-it-can-be-told-we-found-a-big-brachiosaurus-in-the-salt-wash/
    Despite its iconic status, in dinosaur books and movies like Jurassic Park, Brachiosaurus is actually a pretty rare sauropod(..) Camarasaurus is known from over 200 individuals, Apatosaurus and Diplodocus from over 100 individuals apiece, but Brachiosaurus is only known from about 10. So any new specimens are important.

    brach-with-silhouettes-cropped.jpg?w=480&h=259

    brachiosaurus-holotype-humerus-in-the-field.jpg?w=480&h=640

    (Photo shows the Brachiosaurus holotype found in 1900)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Rib from sauropod found in Japan:

    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13172298

    13172298
    A rib bone fossil from about 100 million years ago is believed to be from the second largest dinosaur to have roamed Japan, researchers said.

    The fossil, from a herbivore, was excavated from a stratum on Goshourajima island in the city, according to an announcement on Feb. 27 by two museums that jointly conducted the research.

    The fossilized piece of the rib bone is 42 centimeters long, 18 cm wide and 9 cm thick. A reconstruction of the entire bone measures 1.4 meters long.

    The researchers estimated the overall length of the dinosaur at about 15 meters, making it the largest ever found in Kyushu.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Study reconstructs embryo skulls of Massosspondylus only 60% through their incubation period. These are among the oldest dinosaur embryos ever discovered, over 200 million years ago.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-60292-z.pdf

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/09/world/dinosaur-embryos-skulls-scli-intl-scn/index.html

    200409074558-02-dinosaur-embroys-scli-intl-scn-large-169.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    New reconstruction of sauropod Spinophorosaurus (so called because it was thought to have tail spines, later shown to be its clavicles) shows a different body plan than previously thought, with higher shoulders and neck resulting from a special, wedged sacrum. Moreover, this wedging appears to exist in other eusauropods, which helped enhance their frontal verticality and reach. This study may have consequences for the reconstruction of many sauropods, ; this adaptation of the sacrum may actually be the key behind sauropod's ability to keep their neck vertical and would give them a different profile from what's usually portrayed.

    The study also found a high degree of dorso-vental mobility of the neck than other reconstructions.


    Free paper:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-63439-0.pdf

    94482606_1994494560675773_2297137698915221504_o.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_sid=8024bb&_nc_ohc=AjnzPW9qMNMAX8vshDM&_nc_ht=scontent.fgdl5-3.fna&_nc_tp=7&oh=e088806fae356992af2bbb48d14bf4e3&oe=5EC3076D

    93541721_1994494290675800_6119431470189641728_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_sid=8024bb&_nc_ohc=Uhf_qKSJAM8AX9tTLaR&_nc_ht=scontent.fgdl5-1.fna&oh=a8576d2ea6d99afee3ee6634147c7a0d&oe=5EC5F8B7


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    How did a sauropod's footprints end up on a French cave ceiling?

    https://scienceblog.com/516341/dinosaur-footprints-on-a-cave-ceiling/

    capture_decran_2020-05-12_a_22.52.40.png


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    How much did the tail of a Giraffatitan (Brachiosaurus brancai) weigh? According to this study, around 2500 kg.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2020.00160/full
    Dinosaur locomotion and biomechanics, especially of their pelvic girdles and hindlimbs, have been analyzed in numerous studies.

    However, detailed volumetric musculoskeletal models of their tails are rarely developed. Here, we present the first detailed three-dimensional volumetric reconstruction of the caudal epaxial and hypaxial musculature of the Late Jurassic sauropod Giraffatitan brancai, and highlight the importance and necessity of 3D modeling in musculoskeletal reconstructions.

    The tail of this basal macronarian is relatively short compared to diplodocids and other coexisting macronarians.

    The center of mass lies well in front of the hindlimbs, which support only ca. half the body weight. Still, our reconstruction suggests a total weight for the entire tail of ca. 2500 kg.

    We conclude that the hypaxial and tail-related hindlimb muscles (most specifically the M. caudofemoralis longus and its counterpart the M. ilioischiocaudalis) in Giraffatitan were well developed and robustly built, compensating for the shorter length of the M. caufodemoralis longus, the main hindlimb retractor muscle, in comparison with other sauropods. Our methodology allows a better-constrained reconstruction of muscle volumes and masses in extinct taxa, and thus force and weight distributions throughout the tail, than non-volumetric approaches.

    5634c86924b6132e1871b8aa81c14632.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    First 3D look at an embryonic sauropod reveals unexpected facial features.

    Apparently they were born with a sort of horn to break through egg shells. Interestingly they also seem to have been born with binocular vision.

    https://phys.org/news/2020-08-3d-embryonic-sauropod-dinosaur-reveals.html?fbclid=IwAR0GZX2CC5iSFidXI2gABJx7s-CPn7BeFIRA2aqBDejioj6bTyNCivmGgCc

    first3dlooka.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    New study analyzes Patagotitan, one of the largest dinosaurs known, and finds it to have weighed anything from 42-71 tons. Titanosaurs like Patagotitan were among the most succesful sauropods, and the last survivors of the group by the end of the Cretaceous.

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02724634.2020.1793158?journalCode=ujvp20

    43179E8C00000578-4772144-image-a-30_1502235659123.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Fossilized blood parasites found in the vascular canals of a titanosaur from late Cretaceous Brazil; apparently the animal was elderly and suffered from osteomyelitis either caused or facilitated by the parasites.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195667120303591

    1-s2.0-S0195667120303591-fx1.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Opalized fossil teeth from Australia reveal diversity of sauropods in the mid Cretaceous:

    https://theconversation.com/colourful-opal-fossils-point-to-a-diverse-group-of-giant-dinosaurs-that-shared-australias-terrain-148541

    file-20201026-23-8ull5o.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=600&h=265&fit=crop&dpr=1


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Xinjiangtitan, a Chinese mamenchisaurid, has the longest complete neck known from any fossil creature, ever, at at least 13.36 m long (and possibly longer).

    In comparison, famous Berlin brachiosaur "Giraffatitan" has a 9.5 m long neck.

    https://svpow.com/2021/01/28/xinjiangtitan-has-the-longest-preserved-neck-of-any-lifeform-to-date/

    104805152_716920055553111_5318499170676990957_o.jpg?_nc_cat=101&ccb=2&_nc_sid=8024bb&efg=eyJpIjoidCJ9&_nc_ohc=UOxjdRRcPkwAX_Gu4pt&_nc_ht=scontent.fgdl5-1.fna&tp=14&oh=d940f1f77cb68832049540c9e1c58423&oe=6038CD05


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    As if the giant mamenchisaur weren´t impressive enough, there's mounting evidence that Barosaurus, a long known late Jurassic sauropod from North America often overshadowed by the likes of Diplodocus and Apatosaurus, could be a contender for the title of largest (or at least longest) animal known. Some specimens, when scaled after smaller, more complete ones, would appear to have been in the 40-50 m region.

    Esw_4-7XYAsX42-?format=jpg&name=4096x4096


    Seen here compared to Diplodocus:

    barosaurus_diplodocus_dryosaurus.jpeg

    All of this would mean the iconic rearing Barosaurus mounted as if battling an allosaur to protect its young at New York's Museum of Natural History is actually a small barosaur!

    4a3c9e8bc57c8d7921df3b0ddb988c56.jpg

    Barosaurus.jpg?height=400&width=330


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