New anatomical information on Rhoetosaurus Brownei Longman, 1926, a Gravisaurian Sauropodomorph Dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Queensland, Australia

Nair, Jay P. and Salisbury, Steven W. (2012) New anatomical information on Rhoetosaurus Brownei Longman, 1926, a Gravisaurian Sauropodomorph Dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Queensland, Australia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32 2: 369-394. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.622324


Author Nair, Jay P.
Salisbury, Steven W.
Title New anatomical information on Rhoetosaurus Brownei Longman, 1926, a Gravisaurian Sauropodomorph Dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Queensland, Australia
Journal name Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0272-4634
1937-2809
Publication date 2012-03
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1080/02724634.2012.622324
Volume 32
Issue 2
Start page 369
End page 394
Total pages 26
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Rhoetosaurus brownei is the only known named pre-Cretaceous sauropod from Australia. It is therefore a potentially important taxon for understanding global paleobiogeographic and phylogenetic patterns among early sauropods. Despite its obvious significance, Rhoetosaurus has been too poorly understood to be included in most recent analyses of early sauropod evolution. With this in mind, we evaluated the osteology and phylogeny of undescribed materials of Rhoetosaurus, in order to attempt to close the gap in this understanding. The lower hind limb of Rhoetosaurus highlights a plethora of differences from other sauropods, supporting the distinctiveness of Rhoetosaurus even in the absence of other materials. Some unique traits include prominent crests and sulci on the tibia medially, a narrow metatarsal articular bridge, and pedal claws with an accessory groove or fossa. The pes plesiomorphically retains four claws where most sauropods have three, and bears superficial similarity to that of Shunosaurus. Preliminary cladistic analysis confirms that Rhoetosaurus is a non-neosauropod gravisaurian, although weak support for the most parsimonious topology suggests further findings are required to improve upon incompleteness in the character data. Examination of alternative phylogenetic hypotheses rules out a close relationship between Rhoetosaurus and East Asian Jurassic sauropods, and indicates a closer examination of the potential relationships between Rhoetosaurus and other contemporaneous Middle Jurassic Gondwanan sauropods is necessary.
Keyword Suuwassea-Emilieae Sauropoda
Phylogenetic-Relationships
Argentina
Evolution
Titanosaur
Locomotion
Trackways
Osteology
China
India
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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