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Looking to catch up on Sauropods.



I just recently got a copy of "The Dinosauria" (I'm
just beginning to actually pick up and look for
literature that I should have gotten along time ago.
I'm new to this whole thing and much of the vocabulary
used in these posts goes way over my head).

Anyway, I got my copy and am hoping it will be a good
start toward a better understanding of this material,
yet a problem with the book is that some of the data
is outdated, some of it just needs to be clarified for
me, and some I've heard outside of the text and don't
completely understand.

First off it has Diplodocidae as a family broken into
Diplodocinae, Dicraosaurinae, and Mamenchisaurinae
subfamilies. Now, I've also heard the diplodocid
family expressed the same way only with
"Rebbachisaurinae" replacing "Mamenchisaurinae" (which
I realize doesn't belong). However yet again, I've
also seen Rebbachisauridae and Dicraeosauridae as
families along with Diplodocidae under Diplodocoidea.
Which way is accepted today?

What families do Euhelopus and Omeisaurus belong?

I recall seeing in the archives an old post in which
Dr. Holtz? said that when the gaps in the
Nemegtosaurus and Quaesitosaurus skulls are filled
with Brachiosaurid parts it looks fine. Now I know
both of these genera are considered Titanosaurs
(though I'm not familiar with what a Titanosaur skull
looks like) are Nemegtosaurus and Quaesitosaurus now
considered to have more Brachiosaurid skulls than how
they are figured in "The Dinosauria?"

How are Diplodocoids defined? From the descriptions
I've heard on list of Nigersaurus (though I've never
seen any material) it seems like it lacks alot of the
characteristics that are normally associated with the
group (long neck, whip-like tail, skid-like chevrons,
bifid cervical neural spines) 

Lastly a couple questions about Saltasaurus and
Titanosaurs. "The Dinosauria" says that Saltasaurus
had two types of armor, osteoderms (which I can only
picture like those of a crocodile) and dermal plates.
What is a dermal plate? Are these two types of armor
illustrated well anywhere? Titanosaurus
madagascariensis had a scute found with it, is this
like a crocodile's scute? Finally, I've heard that
Titanosaurs are "ventrodorsally compressed," is this
just inferred from the wider gap between tracks of the
left and right feet or are their trunks actually
shorter vertically in comparison to other sauropods
while they are wider?


                                        Thanks.





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