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Sauropod Tooth Morphotypes Using Dental Enamel Wrinkling



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

New in PLoS ONE:

Femke M. Holwerda, Diego Pol & Oliver W. M. Rauhut (2015)
Using Dental Enamel Wrinkling to Define Sauropod Tooth Morphotypes
from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation, Patagonia, Argentina.
PLoS ONE 10(2): e0118100
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118100
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118100



The early Middle Jurassic is regarded as the period when sauropods
diversified and became major components of the terrestrial ecosystems.
Not many sites yield sauropod material of this time; however, both
cranial and postcranial material of eusauropods have been found in the
Cañadón Asfalto Formation (latest Early Jurassic–early Middle
Jurassic) in Central Patagonia (Argentina), which may help to shed
light on the early evolution of eusauropods. These eusauropod remains
include teeth associated with cranial and mandibular material as well
as isolated teeth found at different localities. In this study, an
assemblage of sauropod teeth from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation found
in four different localities in the area of Cerro Condor (Chubut,
Argentina) is used as a mean of assessing sauropod species diversity
at these sites. By using dental enamel wrinkling, primarily based on
the shape and orientation of grooves and crests of this wrinkling, we
define and describe three different morphotypes. With the exception of
one taxon, for which no cranial material is currently known, these
morphotypes match the local eusauropod diversity as assessed based on
postcranial material. Morphotype I is tentatively assigned to
Patagosaurus, whereas morphotypes II and III correspond to new taxa,
which are also distinguished by associated postcranial material. This
study thus shows that enamel wrinkling can be used as a tool in
assessing sauropod diversity.