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Lirainosaurus (titanosaur sauropod) skeleton and dermal armor from Late Cretaceous of Spain

From: Ben Creisler

A new paper in the open access Palaeontologia Electronica:

Verónica Díez Díaz, Xabier Pereda Suberbiola, and José Luis Sanz (2013)
Appendicular skeleton and dermal armour of the Late Cretaceous
titanosaur Lirainosaurus astibiae (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) from Spain.
Palaeontologia Electronica article number: 16.2.19A

Lirainosaurus astibiae is the best-known titanosaurian sauropod
species from the Iberian Peninsula. It was described by Sanz and
collaborators in 1999 on the basis of several cranial and postcranial
remains from the Late Cretaceous of Laño (northern Spain); new remains
from this and other Iberian fossil-sites have recently been referred
to this species. This paper focuses on the description of the
appendicular skeleton and dermal armour of Lirainosaurus. Comparison
with other European titanosaurs confirms that Lirainosaurus astibiae
clearly differs from them, and highlights two diagnostic appendicular
features: the presence of a dorsal prominence together with a ventral
ridge on the medial surface of the scapular blade, and the combination
of an anterolateral process and an anteroventral ridge on the sternal
plate. Equations for predicting body mass and size in sauropods
suggest a body size up to 6 meters and a body mass of at least 2-4
tonnes for the largest individuals of Lirainosaurus astibiae, it being
one of the most slender titanosaurs found to date. The study of the
non-axial postcranial skeleton supports the hypothesis that
Lirainosaurus astibiae is a derived lithostrotian close to