Field of Science

Possible New Plateosaurid Sauropodomorph From Brazil

Bittencourt, J.S., Leal, L.A., Langer, M.C. & Azevedo, S.A.K., iFirst article. An additional basal sauropodomorph specimen from the Upper Triassic Caturrita Formation, southern Brazil, with comments on the biogeography of plateosaurids. Alcheringa, 1–10.

Abstract - We describe an additional saurischian specimen from the Caturrita Formation (Norian) of the Parana Basin, southern Brazil. This material was collected in the 1950s and remained unstudied due to its fragmentary condition. Detailed comparisons with other saurischians worldwide reveal that some characters of the ilium, including the low ventral projection of the medial wall of the acetabulum and its concave ventral margin, together with the short triangular shape of the pre-acetabular process and its mound-like dorsocaudal edge, resemble those of sauropodomorphs such as Plateosaurus and Riojasaurus. This set of traits suggests that MN 1326-V has affinities with basal Sauropodomorpha, probably closer to plateosaurians than to Saturnalia-like taxa. Previous records of this clade in the Caturrita Formation include Unaysaurus, which has been related to Plateosaurus within Plateosauridae. Alternative schemes suggest that plateosaurids include Plateosaurus plus the Argentinean ‘prosauropods’ Coloradisaurus and Riojasaurus. Both hypotheses raise biogeographic questions, as a close relationship between faunas from South America and Europe excluding Africa and North America is not supported by geological and biostratigraphical evidence. Additionally, the absence of plateosaurids in other continents suggests that the geographical distribution of this taxon is inconsistent with the geological history of western Pangaea, and this demands further investigations of the phylogeny of sauropodomorphs or improved sampling.

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