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Camarasaurus articulated bone sets of manus and pedes (free pdf)



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new open access paper:

Emanuel Tschopp, Oliver Wings, Thomas Frauenfelder, and Winand Brinkmann (2015)
Articulated bone sets of manus and pedes of Camarasaurus (Sauropoda,
Dinosauria). Palaeontologia Electronica 18.2.44A: 1-65
palaeo-electronica.org/content/2015/1284-manus-and-pes-of-camarasaurus
http://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2015/1284-manus-and-pes-of-camarasaurus

Skeletons of sauropods are rarely found with fore and hind feet, and
until now, only one specimen of this clade has been reported with all
four autopodia preserved complete and articulated. This makes
interpretations on their locomotion difficult and proper assignments
of footprints to genus- or even species-level taxa are generally
impossible. Camarasaurus SMA 0002 from the Upper Jurassic Morrison
Formation at Howe Ranch in the vicinity of Shell (Wyoming, USA) is the
first sauropod with completely preserved and articulated osteological
remains of all feet in addition to autopodial skin impressions. We
describe in detail the morphology of the SMA 0002 autopodial bones and
integumentary impressions, and draw comparisons with the published
data on Camarasaurus and other sauropod manus and pedes. Our
reconstruction orients the lateral side of the manus claw such that it
faces the ground and possibly even contacts it distally. A 3D
reconstruction of the autopodia of SMA 0002 yields new insights into
the still debated relationship of footprint lengths to hip height in
sauropods, and indicates that it might be variable among genera.
Furthermore, manual and pedal morphology and the 3D model yield
crucial information about the expected footprint shape of
Camarasaurus. The recovered characteristics of the footprint do not
possess a set of features to be confidently referred to a known
ichnospecies.