New specimens of a titanosaur sauropod from the Maastrichtian of Big Bend National Park, Texas

John A. Fronimos, Thomas M. Lehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

New specimens of a titanosaur sauropod from Maastrichtian strata in Big Bend National Park, Texas, include well-preserved dorsal vertebrae in association with pelvic elements. Anterior dorsal vertebrae are characterized by postspinal and centroprezygapophyseal laminae, with spinodiapophyseal laminae convergent on the anterior base of the neural spine. Posterior dorsal vertebrae are characterized by postzygodiapophyseal laminae and divided spinodiapophyseal laminae, with spinoprezygapophyseal laminae contributing to the prespinal lamina. The ilium and pubis differ from specimens previously collected, indicating a greater morphological disparity among titanosaurs in the Maastrichtian of West Texas than previously recognized. This disparity may be attributable to intraspecific variation or to the presence of multiple taxa. The new material is compatible with the only presently known North American titanosaur, Alamosaurus sanjuanensis, but is not formally referred due to lack of overlap with the hypodigm of that species. Comparison with other derived titanosaurs finds the closest affinities to Trigonosaurus pricei, Uberabatitan riberoi, and Baurutitan britoi of the Upper Cretaceous Brazilian Bauru Group, consistent with a South American immigration event at the end of the North American sauropod hiatus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-899
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 2014

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