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[dinosaur] Dicraeosaurid cranial endocast from Lower Cretaceous of Argentina

Ben Creisler

A new paper:


A. Paulina Carabajal, R.A. Coria, P.J. Currie & E.B. Koppelhus (2017)
A natural cranial endocast with possible dicraeosaurid (Sauropoda, Diplodocoidea) affinities from the Lower Cretaceous of Patagonia.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2017.12.001


A natural neurocranium endocast sheds light on the neuroanatomy of dicraeosaurid sauropods.
The specimen represents the first Valanginian dicraeosaurid from South America.
Is the second known dicraeosaurid from South America in providing neuroanatomical information.


A partially preserved sauropod natural cranial endocast (MLL-003) was collected from the Lower Cretaceous Mulichinco Formation in Argentina. The cast consists of cemented sandstone that has preserved in detail the general endocranial morphology, but not the cranial nerves. The dural expansion, the dorsal portion of the medulla oblongata, the cerebrum and the optic lobes are preserved, and suggest the specimen belongs to a sauropod dinosaur. The presence of the pineal foramen, and possibly post-parietal foramen and floccular process, suggests this specimen is more likely related to dicraeosaurids than it is to Titanosauriformes. This makes specimen MLL-003 particularly relevant because the paleoneurology of Dicraeosauridae is poorly known.

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