Padillasaurus

Padillasaurus is an extinct genus of titanosauriform sauropod known from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian stage) Paja Formation in Colombia. It contains a single species, Padillasaurus leivaensis, known only from a single partial axial skeleton. Initially described as a brachiosaurid, it was considered to be the first South American brachiosaurid ever discovered and named. Before its discovery, the only known brachiosaurid material on the continent was very fragmentary and from the Jurassic period.[1] However, a more recent study finds it to be a basal somphospondylan.[2]

Padillasaurus
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, Barremian
FICHA 4 VERTEBRAS
Vertebrae of holotype JACVM 0001
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Clade: Titanosauriformes
Genus: Padillasaurus
Carballido et al., 2015
Type species
Padillasaurus leivaensis
Carballido et al., 2015

Discovery

The fossil was discovered by local farmers in a limestone nodule during the 1990s in Ricaurte, northeast of Villa de Leyva. The exact site of the find is unknown, however the rock matrix in which the fossil was located contains ammonite fossils bellowing to the species Gerhardtia galeatoides and Lytoceras sp., that allow the establishment of their origin in the middle Paja Formation which has been placed in the late Barremian, around 130 million years old. The fossil consists of vertebrae from the torso, sacrum and tail: all presumed to be from one individual. This specimen is the holotype assigned to the catalogue number JACVM 0001; this includes a rear dorsal vertebra, a series from the last two sacral vertebrae and first eight caudal vertebrae (these caudal vertebrae were found without their chevrons). The sacral vertebrae have been identified as the fourth and fifth. This fossil was donated by the farmers and became part of the collection at the museum of the Junta de Acción Comunal de la Vereda de Monquirá. Padillasaurus was originally described and named by José L. Carballido, Diego Pol, Mary L. Parra Ruge, Santiago Padilla Bernal, María E. Páramo-Fonseca y Fernando Etayo-Serna in 2015. The name of the genus pays homage to Carlos Bernardo Padilla, the founder of the Centro de Investigaciones Paleontológicas in Villa de Leyva, Colombia. The specific name, leivaensis, is named after Villa de Leyva, which is located nearby to where the vertebrae of the holotype specimen were discovered.[1]

Padillasaurus is the first record of a Cretaceous brachiosaurid of South America; previous findings of that time were only known in North America. Although fragmentary remains of possible brachiosaurids are known from the Jurassic of Patagonia in Argentina,[3] Padillasaurus it is the first member officially named from South America. It is also the latest brachiosaurid known from the ancient continent of Gondwana.[1]

Description

Padillasaurus was a medium-sized titanosauriform. Because of the few remains found is difficult to determine what would have been its body size, but may have had between 16 and 18 meters long and weigh about 10 tonnes.[4]

Padillasaurus is distinguished from other titanosauriforms in having its caudal vertebrae weakly expanded to the sides, and displaying divided side projections. The species shows some typical basic features of Titanosauriformes: the vertebra is opisthocoelic, with a convex front section and the back concave. The edges show large pleurocoels, pneumatic processes that connected to the hollow interior of the body of the vertebra, which consisted of several hollow cavities. The spine also had an additional lamina between the diapophysis and the body of the vertebra. The anterior caudal vertebrae are flattened or slightly concave from the front and from behind, or vice versa. His neural arches are positioned relatively forward. These have long ridges that run between the protuberances of the joint face and body of the vertebra. The side projections are oriented obliquely backwards and have a convex lower area. The caudal vertebrae have a height equal to half of its width.[1]

Phylogeny

Padillasaurus was initially classified in the family Brachiosauridae based on its morphology. It had cavities in the sacral vertebrae that had no connection with the hollow interior of the vertebra, therefore lacking a true pleurocoel. This feature links it to the brachiosaurids. A cladistic analysis was unable to determine the exact relationships of Padillasaurus with other genera, finding a polytomy among basal forms including Padillasaurus, Abydosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Giraffatitan, while Cedarosaurus and Venenosaurus were occasionally recovered as sister taxa. Unlike Cretaceous brachiosaurids from North America, in which the spinous process of the caudal vertebrae leaned slightly forward, those of Padillasaurus were angled rearward.

Cladogram from Carballido et al., 2015:[1]

Brachiosauridae

Padillasaurus

Brachiosaurus

Abydosaurus

Giraffatitan

Venenosaurus

Cedarosaurus

In 2017, a study concluded that Padillasaurus was not a brachiosaurid but a basal member of the Somphospondyli.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e José L. Carballido; Diego Pol; Mary L. Parra Ruge; Santiago Padilla Bernal; María E. Páramo-Fonseca; Fernando Etayo-Serna (2015). "A new Early Cretaceous brachiosaurid (Dinosauria, Neosauropoda) from northwestern Gondwana (Villa de Leyva, Colombia)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Online edition (5): e980505. doi:10.1080/02724634.2015.980505.
  2. ^ a b Philip D. Mannion, Ronan Allain & Olivier Moine, 2017, "The earliest known titanosauriform sauropod dinosaur and the evolution of Brachiosauridae", PeerJ 5: e3217
  3. ^ Rauhut, O. W. (2006). A brachiosaurid sauropod from the late Jurassic Cañadón Calcáreo Formation of Chubut, Argentina. Fossil Record, 9(2), 226-237.
  4. ^ Posada-Swafford, Ángela (15 September 2015). "Científicos descubren el primer dinosaurio en suelo colombiano" [Scientists discovers the first dinosaur in Colombian soil]. Scientific American (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 September 2015.
Brachiosauridae

The Brachiosauridae ("arm lizards", from Greek brachion (βραχίων) = "arm" and sauros = "lizard") are a family or clade of herbivorous, quadrupedal sauropod dinosaurs. Brachiosaurids had long necks that enabled them to access the leaves of tall trees that other sauropods would have been unable to reach. In addition, they possessed thick spoon-shaped teeth which helped them to consume tough plants more efficiently than other sauropods. They have also been characterized by a few unique traits or synapomorphies; dorsal vertebrae with 'rod-like' transverse processes and an ischium with an abbreviated pubic peduncle.Brachiosaurus is one of the best-known members of the Brachiosauridae, and was once thought to be the largest land animal to ever live. Brachiosaurids thrived in the regions which are now North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. They first appear in the fossil record in the Late Jurassic Period and disappear in the late Early Cretaceous Period. The broad distribution of Brachiosauridae in both northern and southern continents suggests that the group originated prior to the breakup of Pangaea. In the Early Cretaceous the distribution of the group is dramatically reduced. It is still unclear whether this reduction is due to local extinctions or to the limited nature of the Early Cretaceous fossil record.Brachiosauridae has been defined as all titanosauriforms that are more closely related to Brachiosaurus than to Saltasaurus. It is one of the three main groups of the clade Titanosauriformes, which also includes the Euhelopodidae and the Titanosauria.

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Carbonemys

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Cerrejonemys

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Diplodocinae

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Ferganasaurus

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Fernando Etayo

Fernando Etayo Serna is a Colombian paleontologist and geologist. His contributions on the paleontology in Colombia has been mainly on the descriptions of ammonites and Etayo has helped describing many fossiliferous geologic formations of Colombia. Etayo obtained his MSc. degree in geology and geophysics from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 1963, and his PhD in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975.

Flagellicaudata

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Gravisauria

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Kaijutitan

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María Páramo

María Euridice Páramo Fonseca (Bogotá, Colombia) is a Colombian paleontologist and geologist. She has contributed on the paleontology in Colombia in the fields of describing various Cretaceous reptiles, most notably the mosasaurs Eonatator and Yaguarasaurus, the ichthyosaurs Platypterigius and Stenorhynchosaurus and the plesiosaur Leivanectes.

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Potamosiren

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Ruyangosaurus

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Somphospondyli

Somphospondylans are an extinct clade of titanosauriform sauropods that lived throughout the world from the Late Jurassic through the Cretaceous in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The group can be defined as "the most inclusive clade that includes Saltasaurus loricatus but excludes Brachiosaurus altithorax". Features found as diagnostic of this clade by Mannion et al. (2013) include the possession of at least 15 cervical vertebrae; a bevelled radius bone end; sacral vertebrae with camellate internal texture; convex posterior articular surfaces of middle to posterior caudal vertebrae; biconvex distal caudal vertebrae; humerus anterolateral corner "squared"; among multiple others.

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.

Vulcanodontidae

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