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Titanosaurid (formerly DINO EGG NEWS)



In a message dated 95-12-11 03:21:46 EST, longrich@phoenix.Princeton.EDU
(Nicholas R. Longrich) writes:

>On Sun, 10 Dec 1995 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:
>
>> There is an undescribed skeleton believed to be of the titanosaurid
>> _Epachthosaurus_ about 3/4 complete. It was reported in _Archosaurian
>> Articulations_ Vol. 1 #3 (before the name _Epachthosaurus_ had been
>coined).
>
>       Anything unusual about the skeleton? I've heard that the 
>titanosaurs had extra hip vertebrae, similar to the ankylosaurs (possibly 
>for the same reasons, to help carry all that damn armor plating). What 
>else is there known? Are they tripods like diplodocids, or pretty firmly 
>on four legs?  
>
>

The skeleton, which is (of course) missing the neck and skull, seems to be
quite typical of titanosaurids. Manus and pes are present but I don't know
how complete. The ilia flare out laterally and there are at least six
sacrals. One feature not previously observed in sauropods is an ossified
tendon in the sacral region. The first twenty-five caudals were found, and
they're procoelous, and the dorsal neural arches are not divided--a primitive
feature retained by titanosaurids and for years making me doubt their close
relationship with diplodocids. Given the shape of the pelvis, I'd say
titanosaurids were "almost obligatory" quadrupeds.