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Titanosaur cranial material from France



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online paper:


Verónica Díez Díaz, Géraldine Garcia, Fabien Knoll, Xabier Pereda
Suberbiola & Xavier Valentin (2012)
New cranial remains of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs from the Late
Cretaceous of Fox-Amphoux-Métisson (Var, SE France).
Proceedings of the Geologists' Association (advance online publication)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2012.04.002
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016787812000326


The Fox-Amphoux Syncline of the Aix Basin (SE France) has yielded a
diverse Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage, including several taxa
of dinosaurs. Here, we report on cranial material of titanosaurian
sauropods, which consist of a partial braincase, two fragmentary skull
roofs, and nine teeth, from the Métisson locality (Var Department).
The braincase differs from those found previously in Europe (i.e.,
Ampelosaurus atacis, Lirainosaurus astibiae, and an unnamed juvenile
skull from Romania) as well as from other titanosaurian braincases in
having a groove that extends along the ventral surface of the
occipital condyle neck (this feature may be autapomorphic). One of the
fragmentary skull roofs may belong to the same taxon, whereas the
other suggests the presence of a second titanosaur at Métisson very
close to Ampelosaurus. Two dental morphologies are present in the
sample; one of them includes teeth of different sizes. We suggest that
this could be accounted for by age differences within a single taxon,
or be due to different positions in the tooth row. The presence of a
new, still unnamed titanosaurian taxon in the Ibero-Armorican Island
supports previous works indicating a high titanosaurian diversity
during the Campanian-Maastrichtian in southern Europe.