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RE: sauropod



K and T Dykes wrote:

While much of the pelvis, rib cage and neck of a 30+ metre gardener
apparently caught the eye, I'm sure the authors would've preferred to find a
millimetre long dryolestoid mammal molar or some such, and I hope their
disappointment over their new friend isn't all too great. They estimate its
length at between 32-34 metres.

Try checking sauropod footprints for said mammal. There might be a complete dryolestid skeleton there, squished perfectly in two dimensions. ;-)


Back to the sauropod _Futalognkosaurus_ ... as well as scraping small mammals out between its toenails, this sauropod is notable for other reasons (including those mentioned above). It comes up in a clade with _Mendozasaurus_ and _Malawisaurus_ (88% bootstrap support - not bad at all), and the authors erect (and define) the new suprageneric clade Lognkosauria for this trio.

Looking at the cladogram, this part of sauropod evolution seems to be in dire need of some new family-level taxa, instead of a continuing profusion of 'subfamilies' and 'tribes'. Titanosauridae has effectively been scrapped, so why not have Opisthocoelicaudiidae and Aeolosauridae instead of Opisthocoelicaudiinae and Aeolosaurini? The Titanosauria were a *very* diverse clade, and they deserve better, methinks.

Cheers

Tim

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