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Huanghetitan ruyangensis - new big-ass sauropod from China




Lu J., Xu L., Zhang X., Hu W., Wu Y., Jia S., and Ji. Q. (2007) A new gigantic sauropod dinosaur with the deepest known body cavity from the Cretaceous of Asia. Acta Geologica Sinica 81: 167-176.


Abstract: ?A new species of sauropod dinosaur _Huanghetitan ruyangensis_ is erected based on the following characters: deepest body cavity with a dorsal rib reaching at least 2.93m long, anterior caudal vertebrae with mushroom-shaped neural spines. Based on this new specimen of _Hunaghetitan_ found in the early Late Cretaceous Magchuan Formation of Ruyang, Henan Province, the family Huanghetitanidae fam. nov. is proposed as a new rank to include only the genus _Huanghetitan_ You et al., 2006. At present, _Huanghetitan_ includes two species: _H. liujiaxensis_ You et al., 2006 and _H. ruyangensis_ sp. nov. The systematic relationships of _Huanghetitan_ among sauropod dinosaurs are briefly discussed.?

The new taxon is known from a partial skeleton comprising 6 sacrals, 10 proximal caudals, haemal arches, dorsal ribs, and an incomplete sacrum. The new family (Huanghetitanidae) is redundant, given that it includes only one genus (_Huanghetitan_). Both species (_H. liujiaxensis_, _H. ruyangensis_) share characters of the sacral vertebrae (fused neural spines low and forming a "platform"). The anterior caudals are slightly procoelous, mid-caudals are amphiplatyan. The tips of the neural spines of the sacrals and proximal caudals are laterally expanded, as in _Agustinia_, so the authors suggest that _Hunaghetitan_ might have been armored ? although no osteoderms were found. The analysis shows _Huanghetitan_ to be a non-titanosaurian titanosauriform between _Brachiosaurus_ and _Euhelopus_, although support was weak.

Cheers

Tim

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