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Comahuesaurus (sauropod) bone assemblage in Argentina



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:


Alberto Carlos Garrido&  Leonardo Salgado (2015)
Taphonomy and depositional environment of a Lower Cretaceous
monospecific dinosaur bone assemblage (Puesto Quiroga Member, Lohan
Cura Formation), Neuquén Province, Argentina.
Journal of South American Earth Sciences (advance online publication)
doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2015.03.008
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S089598111500053X



Highlights

The paper describes the taphonomy of a bone deposit of the first
fossil record in Puesto Díaz Quarry (Puesto Quiroga Member, Lohan Cura
Formation, Lower Cretaceous of Neuquén Basin, Argentina). The deposit
consists of a monospecific dinosaur bone assemblage that includes 126
specimens from, at least, three individuals of the rebbachisaurid
sauropod dinosaur Comahuesaurus windhauseni. The fact that there are
more than one individual of the same species suggests a mass mortality
by a catastrophic event. Scattered skeletal elements would indicate
that the corpses must have been subaerially exposed, long enough to
allow disarticulation by scavenging, decay, and defleshing.

Abstract

The Puesto Díaz Quarry (Lohan Cura Formation, Lower Cretaceous of
Neuquén Basin, Argentina) consists of a monospecific dinosaur bone
assemblage that includes 126 specimens from, at least, three
individuals of the rebbachisaurid sauropod Comahuesaurus windhauseni.
The bonebed was originated as a debris flow of an ephemeral-river bed,
in distal areas of low relief. Bones are disarticulated,
three-dimensionally distributed through the host facies, showing a
normal grading arrangement, which can be correlated with the size,
shape and hydraulic behavior inferred for each specimen. Taphonomic
evidence suggests that the bones did not experience a prolonged
transport, and that these were quickly buried by the debris flow
event. The fact that there are more than one individual of the same
species suggests a mass mortality by a catastrophic event. Scattered
skeletal elements would indicate that the corpses must have been
subaerially exposed, long enough to allow disarticulation by
scavenging, decay, and defleshing.