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Vahiny, new titanosaurian sauropod from Upper Cretaceous of Madagascar



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

In the new issue of Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology:


Kristina Curry Rogers & Jeffrey A. Wilson (2014)
Vahiny depereti, gen. et sp. nov., a new titanosaur (Dinosauria,
Sauropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Maevarano Formation, Madagascar.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(3): 606-617
DOI:10.1080/02724634.2013.822874
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02724634.2013.822874#.U2lVQfldXeI

Here we describe Vahiny depereti, gen. et sp. nov., a new titanosaur
dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Maevarano Formation of northwestern
Madagascar. Vahiny is distinguished from other titanosaurs by
characteristics of the basal tubera, basipterygoid processes,
parasphenoid, and cranial nerve foramina. Diagnostic cranial material
of Vahiny formalizes the long-standing hypothesis that two titanosaur
genera were present in the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. The other
titanosaur, Rapetosaurus krausei, is the most common dinosaur in the
fauna and is known from hundreds of bones, including multiple partial
skeletons and skulls. In contrast, non-Rapetosaurus elements are
extremely rare. Of these elements, which have been called ‘Malagasy
Taxon B,’ we identify a partial braincase as the holotype of Vahiny
depereti. Although Vahiny and Rapetosaurus coexisted on the island of
Madagascar, differences in their braincases indicate that they are not
closely related to one another. Instead, Vahiny is most similar to
Jainosaurus from the Late Cretaceous of India, and shares similarities
with the South American taxa Muyelensaurus and Pitekunsaurus.
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