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A giant brachiosaurid from the Isle of Wight

Europe's largest dinosaur? A giant brachiosaurid
cervical vertebra from the Wessex Formation (Early
Cretaceous) of southern England 

Darren Naisha, , , David M. Martilla, David Cooperb
and Kent A. Stevensc 

aSchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences,
University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 3QL, UK
bLittle Shate, Mill Lane, Brighstone, Newport, Isle of
Wight PO30 4BU, UK
cDepartment of Computer and Information Science,
Deschutes Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
97403, USA 

Received 28 February 2002;  accepted 14 July 2004. 
Available online 17 November 2004. 

A single brachiosaurid sauropod cervical vertebra from
the Wessex Formation (Barremian, Early Cretaceous) of
the Isle of Wight is remarkable for its size. With a
partial centrum length (i.e., excluding evidence of
the anterior condyle) of 745 mm it represents the
largest sauropod cervical reported from Europe and is
close in size to cervical vertebrae of the giant
brachiosaurid Brachiosaurus brancai from Late Jurassic
Tanzania. The complete animal probably exceeded 20 m
in total length. The specimen shares important
morphological characters with Sauroposeidon proteles
from Early Cretaceous USA, including extensive lateral
fossae and well-developed posterior
centroparapophyseal laminae, indicating that it is
part of a Brachiosaurus?Sauroposeidon clade, and in
some characters is intermediate between the two. Owing
to the complexities of Isle of Wight sauropod taxonomy
the specimen is not attributed to a named taxon. 

Keywords: Dinosauria; Sauropoda; Brachiosauridae;
Brachiosaurus; Sauroposeidon; Early Cretaceous; Isle
of Wight; England 


Simon M. Clabby

Find out about the dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight at
    DinoWight- the Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight

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