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Re: Phuwiangosaurus pics?



Luis Perez writes:
 > >   > Anyone know of any Phuwiangosaurus skeletal images, or pics? I hear
 > >   > that this sauropod from Thailand is particularly hard to place in
 > >   > the sauropod tree [...]
 > > 
 > > That's what was thought when it was first described.  Since then,
 > > cladistic analysis of sauropods has come on by leaps and bounds, and
 > > it now seems to be fairly stably established as a basal titanosaurian
 > > -- e.g. Upchurch et al. 2004 (The _Dinosauria_ 2 chapter on sauropods)
 > > recovers it as the most basal titanosaur and therefore close to the
 > > brachiosaurid clade.  Don't forget that a _lot_ more titanosaurs are
 > > known now than when _Phuwiangosaurus_ was named, so there's a lot more
 > > context to evaluate it in.
 >
 > Ah, yes, then, this one would resemble something like perhaps
 > Ligabuesaurus or Venenosaurus or something like that, pretty basal?

Perhaps.  Trouble is, the whole area around the base of
Titanosauriformes, Somphospondyli and Titanosauria is rather poorly
resolved (different analyses get different results in detail), so it's
not wise to commit too strongly to anything's being particularly
similar to anything else.

If you want to restore _Phuwiangosaurus_, it would probably be better
to do it directly from the bones.  There are plenty of them: it's
better represented than most titanosaurs.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Programs must be written for people to read, and only
         incidentally for machines to execute" -- Abelson & Sussman,
         SICP, preface to the first edition.