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First diplodocid sauropod from South America found

Date:
May 14, 2014
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
The discovery of a new sauropod dinosaur species, Leinkupal laticauda, found in Argentina may be the first record of a diplodocid from South America and the youngest record of Diplodocidae in the world.

Photographs and half-tone drawings of the anterior caudal vertebrae of Leinkupal laticauda, gen. n. sp. n. (MMCH-Pv 63). Caudal 1-2 in (A) lateral and (B) posterior views. Caudal 7 in (C) lateral and (D) anterior views (reversed). Abbreviations: pf, pneumatic fossa; podl, postzygodiapophyseal lamina; poz, postzygapophysis; prdl, prezygodiapophyseal lamina; prsl, prespinal lamina; prz, prezygapophysis; sprl, spinoprezygapophyseal lamina; spol, spinopostzygapophyseal lamina; tp, transverse process. Scale bar equals 10 cm.
Credit: Pablo A. Gallina et al. A Diplodocid Sauropod Survivor from the Early Cretaceous of South America. PLoS ONE, 2014; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097128

The discovery of a new sauropod dinosaur species, Leinkupal laticauda, found in Argentina may be the first record of a diplodocid from South America and the youngest record of Diplodocidae in the world, according to results published May 14, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Pablo Gallina and colleagues from the Fundación Azara (Universidad Maimónides), and Museo E. Bachmann, in Argentina.

Diplodocids are part of a group of sauropod dinosaurs known for their large bodies, as well as extremely long necks and tails. Scientists have identified a new diplodocid sauropod from the early Cretaceous period in Patagonia, Argentina -- the first diplodocid sauropod discovered in South America.

Though the bones are fragmentary, scientists found differences between this species and other diplodocid species from North American and Africa in the vertebrae where the tail connects to the body.

These differences suggest to the authors that it may warrant a new species name, Leinkupal laticauda.

Additionally, since Leinkupal laticauda apparently lived much later than its North American and African cousins, its existence suggests that the supposed extinction of the Diplodocidae around the end of the Jurassic or beginning of the Cretaceous period didn't occur globally, but that the clade survived in South America at least during part of the Early Cretaceous.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PLOS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pablo A. Gallina, Sebastián Apesteguía, Alejandro Haluza, Juan I. Canale. A Diplodocid Sauropod Survivor from the Early Cretaceous of South America. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (5): e97128 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097128

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "First diplodocid sauropod from South America found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514182709.htm>.
PLOS. (2014, May 14). First diplodocid sauropod from South America found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514182709.htm
PLOS. "First diplodocid sauropod from South America found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514182709.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

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