Rebbachisaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur of the superfamily Diplodocoidea, estimated at 14 metres (46 ft) to 20 metres (66 ft) in length, and 7 metric tons (7.7 short tons) in weight, that lived during the Early–Late Cretaceous period in Africa about 99 million years ago. This massive four-legged herbivore lived in Morocco, Niger and Tunisia. It possessed a small head, a long, graceful neck and a whiplike tail. Rebbachisaurus is distinguished from other sauropods by its unusually tall, ridged back. The discovery of Rayososaurus, a South American sauropod nearly identical to Rebbachisaurus, supports the theory that there was still a land connection between Africa and South America during the Early Cretaceous, long after it was commonly thought the two continents had separated.
A second species was named by Lapparent in 1960, Rebbachisaurus tamesnensis. However, the material of this taxon was collected from multiple localities across the Sahara, and is not referrable to Rebbachisaurus.
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, Cenomanian
|Holotype dorsal vertebra|
Paleontology or palaeontology is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 1954.Albert-Félix de Lapparent
Albert-Félix de Lapparent (1905–1975) was a French palaeontologist. He was also a Sulpician priest. He undertook a number of fossil-hunting explorations in the Sahara desert. He contributed greatly to our knowledge of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. In 1986, José Bonaparte named the dinosaur Lapparentosaurus in his honour.
Dinosaurs named by Lapparent were Inosaurus tedreftensis (Lapparent, 1960) and Lusitanosaurus liassicus (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957).
New species of known genera are also credited to him. In alphabetical order, they are: Apatosaurus alenquerensis (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957), Astrodon pusillus (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957), Brachiosaurus atalaiensis (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957), Brachiosaurus nougaredi (Lapparent, 1960), Cetiosaurus mogrebiensis (Lapparent, 1955), Elaphrosaurus gautieri (Lapparent, 1960), Elaphrosaurus iguidiensis (Lapparent, 1960), Megalosaurus pombali (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957) and Rebbachisaurus tamesnensis (Lapparent, 1960).
The giant crocodile Sarcosuchus was also discovered by him, in 1964.Dicraeosaurus
Dicraeosaurus (Gr. δικραιος, dikraios "bifurcated, double-headed" + Gr. σαυρος, sauros "lizard") is a genus of small diplodocoid sauropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Tanzania during the late Jurassic. It was named for the spines on the back of the neck. The first fossil was described by paleontologist Werner Janensch in 1914.Diplodocimorpha
Diplodocimorpha is a clade of extinct sauropod dinosaurs, existing from the Early Jurassic until the Late Cretaceous. The group includes three main families and some other genera, Rebbachisauridae, Dicraeosauridae and Diplodocidae, the latter two forming Flagellicaudata. The name was first used by Calvo & Salgado (1995), who defined it as "Rebbachisaurus tessonei sp. nov., Diplodocidae, and all descendants of their common ancestor." The group was not used often, and was synonymized with Diplodocoidea as the groups were often found to have the same content. In 2005, Mike P. Taylor and Darren Naish reviewed diplodocoid phylogeny and taxonomy, and realized that Diplodocimorpha could not be synonymized with Diplodocoidea. Whereas the former was defined node-based, the latter was branch-based. In 2015, Emanuel Tschopp, Octavio Mateus and Roger Benson published a specimen-based phylogeny on diplodocid interrelationships, and supported the separation of Diplodocimorpha. Haplocanthosaurus was found to be more basal than rebbachisaurids, and therefore outside Diplodocimorpha, but closer to Diplodocus than Saltasaurus, and therefore within Diplodocoidea. The below cladogram follows the findings of Tschopp et al.Diplodocoidea
Diplodocoidea is a superfamily of sauropod dinosaurs, which included some of the longest animals of all time, including slender giants like Supersaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Amphicoelias. Most had very long necks and long, whip-like tails; however, one family (the dicraeosaurids) are the only known sauropods to have re-evolved a short neck, presumably an adaptation for feeding low to the ground. This adaptation was taken to the extreme in the highly specialized sauropod Brachytrachelopan. A study of snout shape and dental microwear in diplodocoids showed that the square snouts, large proportion of pits, and fine subparallel scratches in Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Nigersaurus, and Rebbachisaurus suggest ground-height nonselective browsing; the narrow snouts of Dicraeosaurus, Suuwassea, and Tornieria and the coarse scratches and gouges on the teeth of Dicraeosaurus suggest mid-height selective browsing in those taxa. This taxon is also noteworthy because diplodocoid sauropods had the highest tooth replacement rates of any vertebrates, as exemplified by Nigersaurus, which had new teeth erupting every 30 days.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.Gravisauria
Gravisauria is a clade of sauropod dinosaurs consisting of some genera, Vulcanodontidae and Eusauropoda.Histriasaurus
Histriasaurus (HIS-tree-ah-SAWR-us) (meaning "Istria lizard") was a genus of dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (Hauterivian to Barremian stages, around 130 million years ago). Its fossils, holotype WN V-6, were found near the town of Bale on the Istrian peninsula in Croatia, and described in 1998 by Dalla Vecchia. It was a diplodocoid sauropod, related to, but more primitive than, Rebbachisaurus. Phylogenetic analyses published in 2007 and 2011 placed Histriasaurus as the most basal member of Rebbachisauridae.The type species, H. boscarollii, was described by Dalla Vecchia in 1998. The specific name honours the discoverer of the site, Darío Boscarolli. Although some authors consider Histriasaurus a dubious taxon, more recent papers support the original classification.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.Itapeuasaurus
Itapeuasaurus (meaning "Itapeua lizard") is a genus of rebbachisaurid sauropod dinosaur from the Alcântara Formation from Maranhão in Brazil. The type and only species is Itapeuasaurus cajapioensis. It would have been around 10 metres (33 ft) to 15 metres (49 ft) when fully grown.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.Limaysaurus
Limaysaurus (“Limay lizard”) is a genus represented by a single species of rebbachisaurid sauropod dinosaurs, which lived during the mid-Cretaceous period, about 99.6 and 97 million years ago, in the Cenomanian, in what is now South America (northwestern Patagonia).List of African dinosaurs
This is a list of dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Africa. Africa has a rich fossil record, but it is patchy and incomplete. It is rich in Triassic and Early Jurassic dinosaurs. African dinosaurs from these time periods include Coelophysis, Dracovenator, Melanorosaurus, Massospondylus, Euskelosaurus, Heterodontosaurus, Abrictosaurus, and Lesothosaurus. In the Middle Jurassic, the sauropods Atlasaurus, Chebsaurus, Jobaria, and Spinophorosaurus, flourished, as well as the theropod Afrovenator. The Late Jurassic is well represented in Africa, mainly thanks to the spectacular Tendaguru Formation. Veterupristisaurus, Ostafrikasaurus, Elaphrosaurus, Giraffatitan, Dicraeosaurus, Janenschia, Tornieria, Tendaguria, Kentrosaurus, and Dysalotosaurus are among the dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Tendaguru. This fauna seems to show strong similarities to that of the Morrison Formation in the United States and the Lourinha Formation in Portugal. For example, similar theropods, ornithopods and sauropods have been found in both the Tendaguru and the Morrison. This has important biogeographical implications.
The Early Cretaceous in Africa is known primarily from the northern part of the continent, particularly Niger. Suchomimus, Elrhazosaurus, Rebbachisaurus, Nigersaurus, Kryptops, Nqwebasaurus, and Paranthodon are some of the Early Cretaceous dinosaurs known from Africa. The Early Cretaceous was an important time for the dinosaurs of Africa because it was when Africa finally separated from South America, forming the South Atlantic Ocean. This was an important event because now the dinosaurs of Africa started developing endemism because of isolation.
The Late Cretaceous of Africa is known mainly from North Africa. During the early part of the Late Cretaceous, North Africa was home to a rich dinosaur fauna. It includes Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Rugops, Bahariasaurus, Deltadromeus, Paralititan, Aegyptosaurus, and Ouranosaurus.Rayososaurus
Rayososaurus is a genus of plant-eating sauropod dinosaur of the superfamily Diplodocoidea. It was found in the Candeleros Formation, but was named Rayososaurus after the Rayoso Member, which later has been elevated to the older Rayoso Formation. The formations are located in the Neuquén Basin of northern Patagonia, Argentina. Rayososaurus lived during the Cenomanian epoch of the Late Cretaceous, about 99 to 96 million years ago. The type species is R. agrioensis, named by Argentinian paleontologist José Bonaparte in 1996. The species epithet agrioensis refers to the Agrio del Medio locality.Rebbachisauridae
Rebbachisauridae is a family of sauropod dinosaurs known from fragmentary fossil remains from the Cretaceous of South America, Africa, North America, and Europe.Rebbachisaurinae
Rebbachisaurinae is a subfamily within the family Rebbachisauridae, defined to include Rebbachisaurus garasbae and exclude Limaysaurus tessonei. It was first proposed as a rank by Jose Bonaparte in 1995, to include Rebbachisaurus. Some phylogenies however, include Rebbachisaurus in a clade with Limaysaurus, and thus the subfamily was not used. In 2015, a phylogenetic analysis was conducted, and it found Rebbachisaurus instead to be closer to Nigersaurus and related genera than Limaysaurus, and thus was used to replace Nigersaurinae as Rebbachisaurinae is the older term and is named after the genus used for the formation of the family Rebbachisauridae. The 2015 cladogram of Fanti et al. is shown below.René Lavocat
René Lavocat was a French paleontologist who described several genera of African dinosaurs including the sauropod Rebbachisaurus, as well as several extinct mammals such as the family Kenyamyidae. The mammal Lavocatia, the Notosuchian Lavocatchampsa and phorusrhacid Lavocatavis are named after him.Tataouinea
Tataouinea is a genus of sauropod dinosaur (with a single species, Tataouinea hannibalis) in the subfamily Rebbachisaurinae of Rebbachisauridae which lived in the Early Cretaceous Tunisia. Its bones were extensively pneumatic, providing strong support for the theory that sauropods had birdlike respiratory systems. Key characteristics of its vertebral morphology show that Tatouinea was a rebbachisaurid, closely related to the nigersaurines of Europe. In 2015, more material of the holotype specimen uncovered after the initial description were analysed. These included additional tail vertebrae. A phylogenetic analysis was published alongside the paper, finding a clade of nigersaurines to include Rebbachisaurus, thus forcing the subfamily to be renamed Rebbachisaurinae.It bears the name of the region where it was discovered, Tataouine, and a punic military commander Hannibal.