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Titanosaur tail skeleton and caudofemoral musculature

From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Lucio M. Ibiricu, Matthew C. Lamanna & Kenneth J. Lacovara (2013)
The influence of caudofemoral musculature on the titanosaurian
(Saurischia: Sauropoda) tail skeleton: morphological and phylogenetic
Historical Biology (advance online publication)

Due to their abundance, taxonomic and morphological diversity, wide
range of body sizes and broad geographical distribution, titanosaurian
sauropods were one of the most important Cretaceous herbivorous
dinosaur groups. Consequently, titanosaurs constitute one of the best
samples in which to evaluate the relationship between bony structures
and unpreserved soft-tissues within Sauropoda. We reconstruct the
morphology and interpret the implications of selected soft-tissues
associated with the titanosaurian caudal skeleton. These tissues,
especially the M. caudofemoralis longus (CFL), exerted a considerable
influence on the anatomy of the caudal vertebrae and haemal arches. In
all studied titanosaurian taxa, the reconstructed caudofemoral
musculature corresponds to one of three principal morphotypes that
accord with previously recognised phylogenetic patterns within the
clade. Basal titanosaurians had an elongate M. CFL that extended for
much of the proximal half of the tail; in saltasaurines, this muscle
was much shorter. Non-saltasaurine lithostrotians exhibited an
intermediate condition. Furthermore, the differing position of the
fourth trochanter, and therefore, the insertion of the caudofemoral
muscles, among various titanosaurian taxa suggests distinctions in the
locomotor function of these animals.