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Rukwatitan, new titanosaur from Cretaceous of Tanzania

Ben Creisler

Here's the full ref in the new JVP:

Eric Gorscak, Patrick M. O'Connor, Nancy J. Stevens & Eric M. Roberts (2014)
The basal titanosaurian Rukwatitan bisepultus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda)
from the middle Cretaceous Galula Formation, Rukwa Rift Basin,
southwestern Tanzania.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(5): 1133-1154

Whereas titanosaurians represent the most diverse and cosmopolitan
clade of Cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs, they remain rare components of
Cretaceous African faunas. Currently recognized continental African
titanosaurians include Aegyptosaurus baharijensis and Paralititan
stromeri from early Upper Cretaceous deposits near Bahariya Oasis,
Egypt, and Malawisaurus dixeyi and Karongasaurus gittelmani from the
Lower Cretaceous (∼Aptian) Dinosaur Beds of Malawi, in addition to
several undesignated and fragmentary forms across the continent. Here,
we describe a new titanosaurian taxon, Rukwatitan bisepultus, on the
basis of a partial, semiarticulated postcranial skeleton recovered
from the middle Cretaceous Galula Formation in southwestern Tanzania.
Unique to Rukwatitan are carotid processes on posterior cervical
vertebrae, a deep coracobrachialis fossa and subquadrangular
cross-section of the humerus, and a slender, curved, teardrop-shaped
pubic peduncle on the ilium. Parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic
analyses of 35 sauropod taxa congruently place Rukwatitan as a
non-lithostrotian titanosaurian, a relationship supported by cervical
vertebrae with undivided pleurocoels and strongly procoelous anterior
caudal vertebrae. Rukwatitan differs from the potentially
penecontemporaneous and geographically proximate Malawisaurus by
exhibiting weakly developed chevron articulations and posteriorly
inclined neural spines on the middle caudal vertebrae, a proximally
robust and distally unexpanded humerus, and an anteroventrally
elongated coracoid. Similar to biogeographic patterns identified in
certain crocodyliform clades (e.g., small-bodied notosuchians),
titanosaurians on continental Africa appear to exhibit a regional
(e.g., southern versus northern Africa), rather than a continental- or
supercontinental-level signal.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Subject: Rukwatitan, new titanosaur from Cretaceous of Tanzania (news)
To: dinosaur@usc.edu

Ben Creisler

The official paper in the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology is
not yet online, but a number of news stories are out about a new
titanosaur Rukwatitan bisepultus found in Tanzania: