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RE: Pleurocoelus vs. Astrodon

Rob Gay wrote:

I don't
remember if it talks about _Astrodon_, but in the lit. cited section, there
are somethings about the Comanche fauna; specifically:
Lagston, W. Jr. 1974. Nonmammalian Comanchean tetrapods. Geoscience and Man

I've read this paper, and the sauropod described is provisionally referred to _Pleurocoelus_ by Langston. However, in the light of further Cretaceous North American sauropod material gathered (or described) more recently, it appears that the Comanche sauropod is NOT in fact _Pleurocoelus_. Among the differences, the tail vertebrae of the Arundel _Pleurocoelus_ and the Comanche "Pleurocoelus" are quite different. The latter might be _Cedarosaurus_ or a new titanosauriform genus.

The question of just what IS _Pleurocoelus_ is a curly one. The proportionately large pleurocoels of the Arundel type material is likely to be a juvenile trait (as Ken Carpenter believes); juvenile _Camarasaurus_ material was once assigned to the genus _Pleurocoelus_ because of the very large pleurocoels. Also, the juvenile material on which the genus _Bellusaurus_ was founded also shows very large pleurocoels. For this reason, Dong thought _Pleurocoelus_ and _Bellusaurus_ might be close relatives and he put them in the same subfamily, but it's probably just a juvenile trait seen in all young sauropods.



Dr Timothy J. Williams USDA/ARS, Agronomy Hall Iowa State University Ames IA 50014

Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax:   515 294 3163

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