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Galton, P. M., and D. Kermack. 2010. The anatomy of Pantydraco caducus, a very basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Rhaetian (Upper Triassic) of South Wales, UK. Revue de Paléobiologie, Genève 29 (2) : 341-404.
Abstract - Apart from characters of the dentary (proportional shortness, also Saturnalia tupiniquim) and vertebrae of proximal third of tail (posterior position of antero-posteriorly short neural spine on arch, absence of ventral furrowing on centra ; both also Efraasia minor), the bones of very basal sauropodomorphs from the Rhaetian (Upper Triassic) fissure fill in Clifton near Bristol (including holotypes of Thecodontosaurus antiquus, Asylosaurus yalensis ; taxon with robust humerus) share no diagnostic characters with those of Pantydraco caducus from the Rhaetian of South Wales. This taxon is diagnosed by four autapomorphies : median fusion of the nasals, prominent medial tubercle from posterior part of surangular, epipophyses of cervical vertebrae 3-5 form flat plates that overhang the posterior margins of the postzygapophyseal facets but do not form raised ridges on the dorsal surface of the postzygapophysis, and the fossae, possibly pneumatic, prominent on the neurocentral suture of cervical vertebrae 6-8 and shallow on the lateral part of centrum 9. The dentary is deep and short, with maximum height of more than 20 % of length (also Saturnalia tupiniquim, Thecodontosaurus antiquus), occupying less than 40 % of total mandibular length (also Saturnalia tupiniquim). The ilium is tall with a long anterior process (also Anchisaurus polyzelus) and a short postacetabular process with the plesiomorphic absence of a brevis shelf. Other plesiomorphic characters include the lack of a buccal emargination on the dentary (also Saturnalia tupiniquim); teeth all recurved in lateral view; neck short with mid-cervical centra less than three times as long as wide (also Riojasaurus incertus, “Gyposaurus” sinensis) ; and humerus with a uniquely small tubercle medial to head and an antero-posteriorly low (also Asylosaurus yalensis) asymmetrical deltopectoral crest with the apex at 40 % of humeral length. At least three different sized individuals are preserved and the new skeletal reconstruction, with the posterior region scaled up to match the larger holotype, indicates a more bipedal animal than the more quadrupedal pose based on the incorrect premise that the two main blocks represent one individual. The specimens represent juveniles as indicated by the proportionally large skull with large orbits and short, high snout, slender postorbital bone, separation of most of bones of braincase, large metotic fissure and fenestra ovalis, low maxillary and dentary tooth counts, open neurocentral sutures of cervical vertebrae, and incomplete ossification of distal ends of the femur and metatarsals. The diversity of basal sauropodomorphs from the Rhaetian of Wales and England adjacent to the Severn Estuary is high with five taxa (Pantydraco caducus, three from Clifton, large basal sauropod Camelotia borealis from Somerset).
Friday Fabulous Fern - A botanical resurrection
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