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Main » 2008 » July » 2 » Malarguesaurus florenciae gen. et sp. nov., a new titanosauriform
Malarguesaurus florenciae gen. et sp. nov., a new titanosauriform
Malarguesaurus florenciae gen. et sp. nov. is a new and robust somphospondylian titanosauriform (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Neuquén basin, Mendoza Province, Argentina. The specimen comes from Upper Cretaceous strata assigned to the Portezuelo Formation (upper Turonian-lower Coniacian). It includes proximal, middle and distal caudal vertebrae, chevrons, dorsal ribs, and appendicular bones. Malarguesaurus is characterized by the following association of characters: (1) proximal caudal neural spines vertically directed, with a concave caudal border, and a caudodorsal corner forming a right angle; (2) procoelous-opisthoplatyan proximal and middle caudal vertebrae associated with procoelous distal caudal centra; and (3) distal caudal neural spines having a concave and depressed dorsal border. A preliminar cladistic analysis placed (Ligabuesaurus + (Malarguesaurus + Phuwiangosaurus)) as a sister taxon of Titanosauria. Unique among the titanosauriforms, Malarguesaurus has procoelous distal caudal centra associated with procoelous-opisthoplatyan proximal caudals. This discovery is a new evidence of the morphologic diversity of the South American sauropods.

Proximal caudal vertebrae in lateral view. A, Camarasaurus lewisi (redrawn from
McIntosh et al., 1996).B, Brachiosaurus brancai (redrawn from Janensch, 1950). C,
Cedarosaurus weiskopfae (redrawn from Tidwell et al., 1999). D, Phuwiangosaurus
sirindhornae (redrawn from Martin et al., 1999). E, Malarguesaurus florenciae gen. et sp.
nov. (this paper).F, Mendozasaurus neguyelap (after from González Riga, 2003). G,
Aeolosaurus sp. (redrawn from Salgado and Coria, 1993). H, Pellegrinisaurus powelli
(redrawn from Salgado, 1996). I, Neuquensaurus australis (redrawn from Salgado et al.,
2005). Scale bar: 10 cm.

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