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Turiasaurus riodevensis, a latest Jurassic/earliest Cretaceous sauropod from Spain



The paper in Science won't be up until later today, but given that we can talk 
more freely now:

* It is BIG: humerus length is 1.79 m, compared to an estimated 1.81 for 
Argentinosaurus and 1.69 for Paralititan.
* It is fairly primitive; the phylogenetic analysis (modified version of 
Upchurch et al.'s DinosauriaII matrix) finds a Turiasauria
comprised of Galveosaurus + (Losillasaurus + Turiasauria) as the sister taxon 
to Neosauropoda. (It does some wacky things to other
sauropod clusters, such as the appearance of next-most-basal clade comprised of 
a series of "cetiosaurids" (Cetio., Patago.,
Barapa.) running up to a Omeisaurus + (Euhelopus + Mamenchisaurus) group; also, 
drives Jobaria and Atlasaurus down as primitive
* It is fairly complete as European sauropods go (damned by faint praise...)
* Spatulate teeth are reminiscent of Cardiodon and "Nesodon" (which might be 
* Despite some reports above (bbc, for instance), it was not found with 
Stegosaurus; only with stegosaurs.
* It is from a unit which straddles the J/K boundary, and is thus younger than 
the extremely Morrison-like Portuguese faunas.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
        Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796