Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Articles

New sauropod dinosaur material from Jones Ranch: a large Comanchean nonmammalian tetrapod from Texas

D. A. Winklera1, M. J. Polcyna1 and L. L. Jacobsa1

a1 Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275, USA Email: dwinkler@smu.edu; mpolcyn@smu.edu; jacobs@smu.edu

ABSTRACT

New sauropod dinosaur material is described from Jones Ranch, Early Cretaceous of Texas (USA). Originally described as Paluxysaurus jonesi, the material from Jones Ranch has recently been referred to Sauroposeidon proteles. Elements newly prepared from dense concretionary matrix include the sacrum, ilium and proximal portion of the tail. Reconstructions of the skull and sacrum plus pelvic girdles are presented. ‘Paluxysaurus jonesi’ (=S. proteles) is a blunt-faced sauropod that was originally regarded as closely related to Brachiosaurus. Portions of the sacrum are now exposed and show that it is nearly complete, missing only parts of the first sacral (S1). The anterior sacrals are firmly fused, however, a newly discovered opisthocoelous last sacral (S6) remains unfused. A complete sequence of proximal caudal vertebrae shows a rapid transition from anteroposteriorly short and mediolaterally broad centra anteriorly, to more elongate cylindrical centra posteriorly. All proximal caudals have slightly amphicoelous centra. Some middle anterior caudals have a shallow longitudinal groove on the ventral surface of the centrum. Specimens from Jones Ranch exhibit characters of the sacrum and tail that clearly corroborate placement of ‘P. jonesi(Sauroposeidon proteles) as a somphospondylan titanosauriform.

(Received January 20 2012)

(Accepted March 18 2013)

KEY WORDS

  • anatomy;
  • Cretaceous;
  • relationships;
  • Sauropoda;
  • USA