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Notocolossus, new gigantic titanosaur from Upper Cretaceous of Mendoza Province, Argentina (free pdf)



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper in open access:


Bernardo J. González Riga, Matthew C. Lamanna, Leonardo D. Ortiz
David, Jorge O. Calvo & Juan P. Coria (2016)
A gigantic new dinosaur from Argentina and the evolution of the
sauropod hind foot.
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 19165
doi:10.1038/srep19165
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep19165



Titanosauria is an exceptionally diverse, globally-distributed clade
of sauropod dinosaurs that includes the largest known land animals.
Knowledge of titanosaurian pedal structure is critical to
understanding the stance and locomotion of these enormous herbivores
and, by extension, gigantic terrestrial vertebrates as a whole.
However, completely preserved pedes are extremely rare among
Titanosauria, especially as regards the truly giant members of the
group. Here we describe Notocolossus gonzalezparejasi gen. et sp. nov.
from the Upper Cretaceous of Mendoza Province, Argentina. With a
powerfully-constructed humerus 1.76 m in length, Notocolossus is one
of the largest known dinosaurs. Furthermore, the complete pes of the
new taxon exhibits a strikingly compact, homogeneous
metatarsus—seemingly adapted for bearing extraordinary weight—and
truncated unguals, morphologies that are otherwise unknown in
Sauropoda. The pes underwent a near-progressive reduction in the
number of phalanges along the line to derived titanosaurs, eventually
resulting in the reduced hind foot of these sauropods.