Alexander Averianov and Hans-Dieter Sues (2016)
Review of Cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs from Central Asia.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
There are 24 known localities for skeletal remains of sauropod dinosaurs in the republics of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan). Sauropod remains are very rare at all these localities and represented usually only by isolated teeth. Only narrow-crowned teeth are known from the Cretaceous of Central Asia. The oldest record of such teeth is from the Aptian Sultanbobo Formation of Uzbekistan. Exposures of the Turonian Bissekty Formation at the most productive vertebrate locality in the region, Dzharakuduk in Uzbekistan, has yielded many isolated teeth and a few skeletal remains that can be attributed to a non-lithostrotian titanosaur. Similar narrow-crowned, cylindrical teeth from Cenomanian-to Coniacian-age strata in the Kyzylkum Desert, Uzbekistan, may belong to a closely related taxon. Another taxon, with teeth that are pentagonal in cross-section, is known from the Santonian Yalovach and Bostobe formations of Tajikistan and western Kazakhstan, respectively. A femur reported from the Santonian Syuksyuk Formation of southern Kazakhstan possibly belongs to a lithostrotian titanosaur. The change in tooth structure at the Coniacian–Santonian boundary in the region possibly suggests replacement of non-lithostrotian titanosaurs by lithostrotians. The titanosaur from the Bissekty Formation is similar to Dongyangosaurus sinensis from the Cenomanian–Turonian of Zhejiang (China) in the extensive pneumatization of the neural arch on the anterior caudal vertebrae with several fossae. It also resembles Baotianmansaurus henanensis from the Cenomanian of Henan (China) in the possession of very short anterior caudal centra. These three taxa possibly represent an as yet formally unrecognized endemic clade of Asian non-lithostrotian titanosaurs.