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Huabeisaurus (Sauropoda: Titanosauriformes) osteology; from Upper Cretaceous of China.
From: Ben Creisler
New in PLoS ONE:
Michael D. D'Emicl, Philip D. Mannion, Paul Upchurch, Roger B. J.
Benson, Qiqing Pang & Cheng Zhengwu (2013)
Osteology of Huabeisaurus allocotus (Sauropoda: Titanosauriformes)
from the Upper Cretaceous of China.
PLoS ONE 8(8): e69375.
The Late Cretaceous titanosauriform sauropod Huabeisaurus allocotus
Pang and Cheng is known from teeth and much of the postcranial
skeleton. Its completeness makes it an important taxon for integrating
and interpreting anatomical observations from more fragmentary
Cretaceous East Asian sauropods and for understanding titanosauriform
evolution in general.
We present a detailed redescription of Huabeisaurus allocotus and a
suite of anatomical comparisons with other titanosauriforms that
demonstrate its validity via autapomorphies (e.g., division of some
presacral vertebral laminae, reduced development of caudal ribs, the
development of fossae relative to one another in caudal vertebral
neural arches, high tibia-to-femur ratio). Huabeisaurus shares many
features with other Cretaceous East Asian sauropods (e.g., pendant
cervical ribs, anterior-middle caudal vertebrae with a nearly flat
anterior centrum face and a concave posterior centrum face) that are
absent in sauropods from other landmasses and strata, suggesting a
close relationship among many of these forms within the clade
Restudy of Huabeisaurus provides further evidence for the existence of
a clade of somphospondylans – Euhelopodidae – mainly found in the
Cretaceous of East Asia. Euhelopodidae represents a fourth example of
the evolution of narrow crowns within Sauropoda, along with
diplodocoids, brachiosaurids, and advanced titanosaurs
(lithostrotians). Despite being known from fewer species than
Diplodocoidea, Brachiosauridae, or Lithostrotia, euhelopodids
possessed a broader range of tooth shapes than any of these clades,
suggesting that euhelopodids exemplified a comparably broad range of
feeding strategies and perhaps diets.