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Cretaceous sauropod diversity and taxonomic succession in South America

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Caio César de Jesus Faria, Bernado González Riga, Carlos Roberto dos
Anjos Candeiro, Thiago da Silva Marinho, Leonardo Ortiz David, Felipe
Medeiros Simbras, Roberto Barboza Castanho, Fellipe Pereira Muniz &
Paulo Victor Luiz Gomes da Costa Pereira (2014)
Cretaceous sauropod diversity and taxonomic succession in South America.
Journal of South American Earth Sciences (advance online publication)


A comprehensive listing of the Cretaceous South American sauropods is presented.
The relationship between the variation in sea level and diversity of
sauropods in South America is discussed.
The different types of depositional environments were related to the
South American sauropod findings.
Among the sauropods from South America, Titanosauria is the most
abundant group, as well as having a close phylogenetic relationship
between species from Argentina and Brazil.


The South American sauropod dinosaurs fossil record is one of the
world’s most relevant for their abundance (51 taxa) and
biogeographical implications. Their historical biogeography was
influenced by the continental fragmentation of Gondwana. The scenery
of biogeographic and stratigraphic distributions can provide new
insight into the causes of the evolution of the sauropods in South
America. One of the most important events of the sauropods evolution
is the progressive replacement of Diplodocimorpha by the
Titanosauriformes during the early Late Cretaceous. The fluctuation of
the sea levels is frequently related to the diversity of sauropods,
but it is necessary to take into account the geological context in
each continent. During the Maastrichthian, a global sea level drop has
been described; in contrast, in South America there was a significant
rise in sea level (named ‘Atlantic transgression’) which is confirmed
by sedimentary sequences and the fossil record of marine vertebrates.
This process occurred during the Maastrichtian, when the hadrosaurs
arrived from North America. The titanosaurs were amazingly diverse
during the Late Cretaceous, both in size and morphology, but they
declined prior to their final extinction in the Cretaceous/Paleocene
boundary (65.5Yrs).