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Sauropod remains from Early Jurassic of North-Eastern Germany

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Sebastian Stumpf, Jörg Ansorge & Wilfried Krempien (2015)
Gravisaurian sauropod remains from the marine late Early Jurassic
(Lower Toarcian) of North-Eastern Germany.
Geobios (advance online publication)

Basal sauropod remains recovered from the shallow-marine Lower
Toarcian (Harpoceras falciferum ammonite zone) “Green Series” clay of
Grimmen (North-Eastern Germany) are reported, representing, along with
the inclusion of Ohmdenosaurus from the coeval Posidonia Shale of
Southern Germany, the second unambiguous record of Early Jurassic
sauropod body fossil remains from Europe. The material consists of two
specimens: four partially preserved pelvic girdle elements and a
dorsal neural spine, which were found during the last quarter of the
20th century, but remained unstudied due to their fragmentary
condition. Based on the observed set of characters, both specimens can
clearly be referred to Gravisauria, indicating close morphological
resemblance to the late Early Jurassic Moroccan taxon Tazoudasaurus.
The material is suggestive of derivation from one (or two?)
ontogenetically immature individual(s) on account of being rather
small in size compared to the corresponding elements of other basal
sauropods; nevertheless, the possibility of phyletic dwarfism cannot
be ruled out due to the Lower Toarcian palaeogeography. Given the
fragmentary nature of the available material and the uncertainty as to
whether both specimens belong to the same individual, the specimens
are simply regarded as Gravisauria gen. et sp. indet. until more
complete material is available.