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new titanosaur paper
New paper in the latest issue of Paleobiology:
Wilson, J. A., and M. T. Carrano. 1999. Titanosaurs and the origin of
"wide-gauge" trackways: a biomechanical and systematic perspective on
sauropod locomotion. Paleobiology 25: 252-267.
Presents evidence suggesting that the "wide-gauge" sauropod trackways are
not simply due to different size or substrate, but actually reflect
taxonomic differences: "narrow-gauge" trackways are the primitive condition,
but "wide-gauge" trackways are produced by the peculiar titanosaurs. They
have synthesized a number of pelvic, limb, and vertebral features of
Titanosauria to build up a model of the clade as being very specialized in
locomotion: more flexible vertebrae and joints giving them a greater
locomotor repertoire. They even suggest that titanosaurs (or at least the
derived saltasaurids) may have been better at assuming and maintaining a
bipedal stance than other sauropods.
Interesting stuff. One weird clade of sauropods, though...
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Deptartment of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu Phone:301-405-4084
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 301-314-9661