Argyrosaurus

Argyrosaurus (/ˌɑːrdʒaɪroʊˈsɔːrəs/ AR-jy-ro-SOR-əs) is a genus of herbivorous titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur that lived about 90 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now Argentina.

Argyrosaurus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous 90 Ma
Argyrosaurus superbus holotype
Holotype forelimb and assigned femur as depicted in 1893
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Clade: Titanosauria
Family: Argyrosauridae
Genus: Argyrosaurus
Lydekker, 1893
Species:
A. superbus
Binomial name
Argyrosaurus superbus
Lydekker, 1893

Description

Argyrosaurus-Scale-Diagram-SVG-Steveoc86-001
A hypothetical scale diagram showing the Argyrosaurus holotype forelimb compared to some humans, with known material in white.

Argyrosaurus was a medium-sized sauropod which is estimated to measure 17 metres (56 ft) long and weighing up to 12 tonnes (12 long tons; 13 short tons).[1]

It is distinguished from other genera by particularly high and short vertebral arches. Ulna and radius were robust, the metacarpal bones were long as with representatives of the Macronaria. Humerus shows a rectangular upper end, similar to the titanosaurs Saltasaurus and Opisthocoelicaudia. An important feature that confirms the classification within the Titanosauria is a pronounced bone spike at the upper end of ulna.[2]

Discovery and naming

The type species, Argyrosaurus superbus, was formally described by Richard Lydekker in 1893.[3]

The holotype specimen of Argyrosaurus superbus is a huge left forelimb, MLP 77-V-29-1. found at Chico River, a Turonian/Coniacian horizon in the Lago Colhué Huapi Formation.[4] The material includes the humerus, ulna, radius, and all five metacarpals. When discovered, the forelimb was apparently apart of a complete skeleton, however, during excavation the rest of the remains were completely destroyed. In the same publication, Lydekker assigned a partial left femur from Chubut Province, MLP 21, to Argyrosaurus but he did not explain his reasoning why he thought the femur was referable to the genus. He also assigned two caudal vertebra centra, MLP 22, from the Santa Cruz Province.[5]

Argyrosaurus superbus
Hypothetical restoration

After these specimens, other remains were found, including other limb bones, a clavicle, a pubic bone and some tail vertebrae that were referred to the same genus.[5][6][7]

In 1929 Friedrich von Huene referred several specimens to Argyrosaurus; a caudal centrum (DGM [number unknown]) from Chubut Province, three caudal centra MACN 5205 from Santa Cruz Province, a right femur MLP 27 from Neuquén Province, another right femur FMNH 13018 which measures over 2 meters (6.6 ft) long from Chubut Province, a small right humerus MACN 5017 from Neuquén Province, and the distal end of a humerus, half of a radius, and a rib fragment, MMAB [number unknown], from Uruguay.[5]

A complete right femur FMNH 13019 and left tibia FMNH 13020 from Chubut Province were originally referred to Antarctosaurus by Von Huene in 1929, however, in 2003 Jaime Eduardo Powell tentatively referred them to cf. Argyrosaurus.[8][5]

In 1979 Bonaparte and Gasparini referred a partial skeleton, PLV 4628/MACN-CH 217, which included limb material and several vertebrae from Chubut Province to Argyrosaurus.[5][9]

Although these numerous other remains have been referred, in 2012 Philip Mannion and Alejandro Otero considered the holotype remains the only material which unambiguously pertains to the genus. Many of the referred specimens either have no overlapping material, lack key features in the holotype, or were not illustrated making not possible to assign them without being restudied. Most of the referred specimens were considered indeterminate titanosaurs. They also considered one of the referred specimens, the partial skeleton PLV 4628/MACN-CH 217, to be its own genus which they called Elaltitan.[5]

The genus name means 'silver lizard' from Greek argyros, 'silver', and sauros, 'lizard', because it was discovered in Argentina, which literally means 'silver land'. The specific epithet means "proud" in Latin.[10]

References

  1. ^ Paul, Gregory S. Dinosaurs: A Field Guide. London: A. & C. Black, 2010. Print.
  2. ^ Paul Upchurch, Paul M. Barrett, Peter Dodson: Sauropoda. In: David B. Weishampel, Peter Dodson, Halszka Osmólska (Hrsg.): The Dinosauria. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley CA u. a. 2004, ISBN 0-520-24209-2, S. 259–324.
  3. ^ Lydekker, R. (1893). "Contributions to the study of the fossil vertebrates of Argentina. I. The dinosaurs of Patagonia". Anales del Museo de la Plata, Seccion de Paleontologia. 2: 1–14.
  4. ^ Argyrosaurus in the Paleobiology Database
  5. ^ a b c d e f Mannion, P. D.; Otero, A. (2012). "A reappraisal of the Late Cretaceous Argentinean sauropod dinosaur Argyrosaurus superbus, with a description of a new titanosaur genus". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 32 (3): 614–618. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.660898.
  6. ^ Upchurch, Barrett, Dodson; Sauropoda, in The Dinosauria, 2 vol, Weishampel, Dodson, Osmólska, University of California Press, (2004), pag. 259–322, ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
  7. ^ Jeffrey A. Wilson, Paul Upchurch, (2003), A Revision of Titanosaurus Lydekker (Dinosauria - Sauropoda), the first dinosaur genus with a 'gondwanan' distribution. Journal of Systematic Palaentology. Vol. 1, N. 3, pg. 125–160.
  8. ^ Powell, Jaime Eduardo; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Launceston, Tas.) (2003). Revision of South American titanosaurid dinosaurs: palaeobiological, palaeobiogeographical and phylogenetic aspects. Launceston, Tas., Australia: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. OCLC 52391340.
  9. ^ Bonaparte, J. F.; Gasparini, Z. B. (1979). "Los sauropodos de los grupos Neuquén y Chubut, y sus relaciones cronologicas". Actas del Congreso Geológico Argentino. II: 393–406.
  10. ^ Ben Creisler Dinosauria Translation and Pronunciation Guide A

External links

Argyrosauridae

Argyrosauridae is a family of large titanosaurian dinosaurs known from the late Cretaceous period of Argentina and Egypt. The group has been recovered as monophyletic, including the type genus Argyrosaurus as well as Paralititan.

Cetiosauridae

Cetiosauridae is a family of sauropod dinosaurs. While traditionally a wastebasket taxon containing various unrelated species, some recent studies have found that it may represent a natural clade. Additionally, at least one study has suggested that the mamenchisaurids may represent a sub-group of the cetiosaurids, which would be termed Mamenchisaurinae.

Daxiatitan

Daxiatitan is a genus of titanosaur dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Lanzhou Basin, Gansu Province, northwestern China. It is known from fossils including several neck vertebrae, a shoulder blade, and a thigh bone.It was a very large dinosaur, estimated at 23–30 meters (75–98 feet). Like both Euhelopus and Huanghetitan, it had an enormously long neck.

Elaltitan

Elaltitan is an extinct genus of large lithostrotian titanosaur sauropod known from the Late Cretaceous (mid Cenomanian to Turonian stage) of Chubut Province, southern Argentina. It contains a single species, Elaltitan lilloi.

Epachthosaurus

Epachthosaurus (meaning "heavy lizard") was a genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. It was a titanosaurid sauropod. Its fossils have been found in Central and Northern Patagonia in South America.

Ferganasaurus

Ferganasaurus was a genus of dinosaur first formally described in 2003 by Alifanov and Averianov. The type species is Ferganasaurus verzilini. It was a sauropod similar to Rhoetosaurus. The fossils were discovered in 1966 in Kyrgyzstan from the Balabansai Formation and date to the Callovian stage of the Middle Jurassic.

Flagellicaudata

Flagellicaudata is a clade of Dinosauria. It belongs to Sauropoda and includes two families, the Dicraeosauridae and the Diplodocidae.

Gobititan

Gobititan is a genus of herbivorous sauropod dinosaur from the Barremian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous, approximately 129-125 million years ago. The name of this genus, is derived from the Gobi desert region and the Titans of Greek mythology, which is a reference to its large body size. The specific name shenzhouensis, is derived from "Shenzhou", an ancient name for China.

Gravisauria

Gravisauria is a clade of sauropod dinosaurs consisting of some genera, Vulcanodontidae and Eusauropoda.

Huangshanlong

Huangshanlong is a genus of mamenchisaurid dinosaurs native to the Anhui province of China. It contains a single species, Huangshanlong anhuiensis. H. anhuiensis represents, along with Anhuilong and Wannanosaurus, one of three dinosaurs fround in Anhui province.

Jiutaisaurus

Jiutaisaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Quantou Formation of China. Jiutaisaurus was a sauropod which lived during the Cretaceous. The type species, Jiutaisaurus xidiensis, was described by Wu et al. in 2006, and is based on eighteen vertebrae.

Kaijutitan

Kaijutitan (meaning "Kaiju titan" after the type of Japanese movie monsters) is a genus of basal titanosaur dinosaur from the Sierra Barrosa Formation from Neuquén Province in Argentina. The type and only species is Kaijutitan maui.

Microcoelus

Microcoelus is a dubius genus of small Titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur native to Argentina. It is known from only a single dorsal vertebra. A left humerus was formerly referred to this species, but it is now considered to belong to Neuquensaurus. This species may be a synonym of the contemporary sauropod Neuquensaurus australis.It was described by British paleontologist Richard Lydekker in 1893.

Oceanotitan

Oceanotitan is a genus of titanosauriform sauropod known from the Upper Jurassic Praia da Amoreira-Porto Novo Formation of Portugal. It contains one species, Oceanotitan dantasi.The holotype consists of the scapula, almost all of the pelvis, a complete leg sans the toes, and nine caudals.

Pilmatueia

Pilmatueia is a diplodocoid sauropod belonging to the family Dicraeosauridae that lived in Argentina during the Early Cretaceous.

Tambatitanis

Tambatitanis is an extinct genus of titanosauriform dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (probably early Albian) of Japan. It is known from a single type species, Tambatitanis amicitiae. It was probably around 14 meters long and its mass was estimated at some 4 tonnes. It was a basal titanosauriform and possibly belonged to the Euhelopodidae.

Tengrisaurus

Tengrisaurus (meaning "Tengri lizard") is a genus of lithostrotian sauropod, from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian-Aptian), of the Murtoi Formation, Russia. It was described in 2017 by Averianov & Skutschas. The type species is T. starkovi.

Titanosauria

Titanosaurs (members of the group Titanosauria) were a diverse group of sauropod dinosaurs which included Saltasaurus and Isisaurus of Africa, Asia, South America, Europe and Australia. The titanosaurs were the last surviving group of long-necked sauropods, with taxa still thriving at the time of the extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous. The group includes the largest land animals known to have existed, such as Patagotitan—estimated at 37 m (121 ft) long with a weight of 69 tonnes (76 tons)—and the comparably sized Argentinosaurus and Puertasaurus from the same region. The group's name alludes to the mythological Titans of Ancient Greece, via the type genus (now considered a nomen dubium) Titanosaurus. Together with the brachiosaurids and relatives, titanosaurs make up the larger clade Titanosauriformes.

Vulcanodontidae

The Early Jurassic sauropod dinosaurs Zizhongosaurus, Barapasaurus, Tazoudasaurus, and Vulcanodon may form a natural group of basal sauropods called the Vulcanodontidae. Basal vulcanodonts include some of the earliest known examples of sauropods. The family-level name Vulcanodontidae was erected by M.R. Cooper in 1984. In 1995 Hunt et al. published the opinion that the family is synonymous with the Barapasauridae. One of the key morphological features specific to the family is an unusually narrow sacrum.

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