Malawisaurus

Malawisaurus (meaning "Malawi lizard") was a genus of sauropod dinosaur (specifically a titanosaurian). It lived in what is now Africa, specifically Malawi, during the Aptian age of the Early Cretaceous Period. It is one of the few titanosaurs for which skull material has been found.

Malawisaurus
Temporal range: Aptian
August 1, 2012 - Malawisaurus on Display at the Royal Ontario Museum
Display at the Royal Ontario Museum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Clade: Titanosauria
Clade: Eutitanosauria
Clade: Lithostrotia
Genus: Malawisaurus
Jacobs et al., 1993
Species:
M. dixeyi
Binomial name
Malawisaurus dixeyi
(Haughton, 1928) [originally Gigantosaurus, preoccupied]
Synonyms

Description

Malawisaurus-head
A reconstruction of the head

Relatively small by sauropod standards, Malawisaurus reached lengths of about 16 metres (52 ft), and weighed about 10 tonnes (11 short tons).[1] Like some other titanosaurs, ossicles have been found which are believed to represent dermal scutes that covered the skin.

The vertebrae from the middle part of its tail had elongated centra.[2] Malawisaurus had vertebral lateral fossae that resembled shallow depressions.[3] Fossae that similarly resemble shallow depressions are known from Saltasaurus, Alamosaurus, Aeolosaurus, and Gondwanatitan.[3]

Discovery

Malawisaurus Scale
Size comparison

It was named by Louis L. Jacobs and colleagues, Maeve Mercredi Fourie and was originally described in 1928 by Sidney H. Haughton as a species of Gigantosaurus (an invalid name for the diplodocid currently known as Tornieria). Haughton considered it closely related to the species G.robustus (later the type species of Janenschia).

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Paul, G.S., 2010, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press p. 207
  2. ^ "Caudal Vertebrae," Tidwell, Carpenter, and Meyer (2001). Page 145.
  3. ^ a b "Caudal Vertebrae," Tidwell, Carpenter, and Meyer (2001). Page 147.

References

  • S. H. Haughton. 1928. On some reptilian remains from the Dinosaur Beds of Nyasaland. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 16:67-75
  • Paul, Gregory S. (2010) The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs.
  • Tidwell, V., Carpenter, K. & Meyer, S. 2001. New Titanosauriform (Sauropoda) from the Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Utah. In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. D. H. Tanke & K. Carpenter (eds.). Indiana University Press, Eds. D.H. Tanke & K. Carpenter. Indiana University Press. 139-165.

External links

Adamantisaurus

Adamantisaurus ( AD-ə-man-ti-SAWR-əs) is a poorly-known genus of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now South America. It is only known from six tail vertebrae but, as a sauropod, it can be assumed that this dinosaur was a very large animal with a long neck and tail.

Like many titanosaurians, Adamantisaurus is incompletely known, making its exact relationships difficult to establish. However, similarities have been noted with Aeolosaurus and the Bauru Group titanosaurian formerly known as the "Peiropolis titanosaur", now called Trigonosaurus.

Aeolosaurini

Aeolosaurini is an extinct clade of titanosaurian dinosaurs known from the late Cretaceous period of Argentina and Brazil. Thomas Holtz (2011) assigned Adamantisaurus, Aeolosaurus, Gondwanatitan, Muyelensaurus, Panamericansaurus, Pitekunsaurus and Rinconsaurus to Aeolosauridae. Rodrigo M. Santucci and Antonio C. de Arruda-Campos (2011) in their cladistic analysis found Aeolosaurus, Gondwanatitan, Maxakalisaurus, Panamericansaurus and Rinconsaurus to be aeolosaurids.

Austroposeidon

Austroposeidon is an extinct genus of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Presidente Prudente Formation of Brazil. It contains one species, Austroposeidon magnificus.

Diamantinasaurus

Diamantinasaurus is an extinct genus of non-lithostrotian titanosaurian sauropod from Australia that lived during the early Late Cretaceous, about 94 million years ago. The type species of the genus is D. matildae, first described and named in 2009 by Scott Hocknull and colleagues. Meaning "Diamantina lizard", the name is derived from the location of the nearby Diamantina River and the Greek word sauros, "lizard". The specific epithet is from the Australian song Waltzing Matilda, also the locality of the holotype and paratype. The known skeleton includes most of the forelimb, shoulder girdle, pelvis, hindlimb and ribs of the holotype, and one shoulder bone, a radius and some vertebrae of the paratype.

Futalognkosaurus

Futalognkosaurus ( FOO-tə-long-ko-SAW-rəs; meaning "giant chief lizard") is a genus of titanosaurian dinosaur. The herbivorous Futalognkosaurus lived approximately 87 million years ago in the Portezuelo Formation, in what is now Argentina, of the Coniacian stage of the late Cretaceous Period. The fish and fossilized leaf debris on the site, together with other dinosaur remains, suggest a warm tropical climate in Patagonia during this period.

Gondwanatitan

Gondwanatitan (meaning "giant from Gondwana") was a titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur. Gondwanatitan was found in Brazil, at the time part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, in the late Cretaceous Period (70 mya). Like some other sauropods, Gondwanatitan was tall and ate tough shoots and leaves off of the tops of trees. G. faustoi's closest relative was Aeolosaurus.

The type species is Gondwanatitan faustoi, formally described by Kellner and de Azevedo in 1999.

Lithostrotia

Lithostrotia is a clade of derived titanosaur sauropods that lived during the Early Cretaceous and Late Cretaceous. The group was defined by Unchurch et al. in 2004 as the most recent common ancestor of Malawisaurus and Saltasaurus and all the descendants of that ancestor. Lithostrotia is derived from the Ancient Greek lithostros, meaning "inlaid with stones", referring to the fact that many known lithostrotians are preserved with osteoderms. However, osteoderms are not a distinguishing feature of the group, as the two noted by Unchurch et al. include caudal vertebrae with strongly concave front faces (procoely), although the farthest vertebrae are not procoelous.

Lognkosauria

Lognkosauria is a group of giant long-necked sauropod dinosaurs within the clade Titanosauria. It includes some of the largest and heaviest dinosaurs known.

Lohuecotitan

Lohuecotitan is an extinct genus of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur which lived during the Late Cretaceous in Spain. The only species known in the genus is Lohuecotitan pandafilandi, described and named in 2016.

Louis L. Jacobs

Louis Leo Jacobs (born August 27, 1948) is an American vertebrate paleontologist who discovered Malawisaurus while on an expedition in Malawi. Much of his research concerns the interrelationships of biotic and abiotic events through time. In recent years he has focused on the middle portion of the Cretaceous and the Cenozoic, especially with respect to terrestrial ecosystems.He used to be the president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and is currently a professor of geological sciences at Dedman's College and the President of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man (ISEM) at Southern Methodist University (SMU). At one point in time, he was the director of the Museum of Natural History in Dallas, Texas.Louis Jacobs is a vertebrate paleontologist who utilizes the fossil record to answer significant questions about Earth and life history. His fieldwork is currently focused in Angola, Antarctica, Alaska, and Mongolia.

The oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaur Corythoraptor jacobsi was named after him by students he mentored at SMU.

Nemegtosauridae

Nemegtosauridae is a family of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs based originally on two late Cretaceous Mongolian species known only from their diplodocid-like skulls: Nemegtosaurus and Quaesitosaurus.

Rinconsaurus

Rinconsaurus is a genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. It was a titanosaurid sauropod which lived in what is now Argentina. The type species, Rinconsaurus caudamirus, was described by Calvo and Riga in 2003, and is based on three partial skeletons.

Rukwatitan

Rukwatitan bisepultus is a species of titanosaur from the Galula Formation in Tanzania. It lived around 100 million years ago, during the middle Cretaceous. The species, which shared features with another southern African species, Malawisaurus dixeyi, measured 30 feet (9.1 m) from the head to the tip of the tail, and had forelimbs that were estimated around 6.5 feet (2.0 m) long. Fossils were found embedded in a cliff face near Lake Rukwa in the Rukwa Valley.

Saltasaurinae

Saltasaurinae is a subfamily of titanosaurian sauropods known from the late Cretaceous period of South America, India and Madagascar. They are considered to be the most derived of all sauropods.

Tangvayosaurus

Tangvayosaurus (meaning "Tang Vay lizard") is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Aptian-Albian age Lower Cretaceous Grès Supérior Formation of Savannakhet, Laos. It was a basal somphospondylan, about 15 m long, and is known from the remains of two or three individuals.

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.

Tornieria

Tornieria ("for Tornier") is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur from Late Jurassic of Tanzania. It has a convoluted taxonomic history.

Venenosaurus

Venenosaurus ( ven-EN-o-SOR-əs) was a sauropod dinosaur. The name literally means "poison lizard", and it was named so after the Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah, United States, where the fossils were discovered by a Denver Museum of Natural History volunteer Tony DiCroce in 1998. Venenosaurus dicrocei was first described as a new species in 2001 by Virginia Tidwell, Kenneth Carpenter, and Suzanne Meyer. Venenosaurus is a relatively small (probably around 10 m (33 ft) long) titanosauriform sauropod, known from an incomplete skeleton of an adult and a juvenile. The holotype is DMNH 40932 Denver Museum of Natural History. The specimen consisted of tail vertebrae, the left scapula, right radius, left ulna, metacarpals, forefoot phalanges, right pubis, left and right ischia, metatarsals, chevrons, and ribs.

Xianshanosaurus

Xianshanosaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) of the Ruyang Basin in Henan Province, China. It was described in 2009 by a team of Chinese paleontologists. The type species is X. shijiagouensis.

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