Name that Dinosaur! (#1)

Posted by Nima On Wednesday, March 13, 2013 6 comments

While more Forgotten Giants articles are in progress, let's take a look at the odds and ends that often turn up in the more interesting corners of paleontology.

Every once in a while we see something that's mysterious, bizarre, or just unknown, and yet keeps popping up on the internet. And yet it's good enough to warrant a description, or at least a nickname. And many of you, I am in no doubt, fancy yourselves true experts on dinosaurs after having seen just a few episodes of Primeval or the "Walking With" series. But perhaps some of you, seeking earnestly after knowledge, truly are more than just fanboys or fangirls, and can truly call yourselves walking talking museums. Some of you have corrected Wikipedia's dinosaur pages, and been "de-corrected" - and you knew Wikipedia was wrong.

Think you can test your dino-knowledge against the Paleo King, and come out unscathed with not even one intellectual raptor slash to your mental encyclopedia?

Well then this series is for you.

So here's a real stumper (paleo-bucks on the line here): what do you think this is? Does it have a formal scientific name? What family does it belong in? Or is it still an undescribed curiosity - and what name is it known by anyway?... so without further ado... Name that dinosaur!

Full-size image (107 K)


Craig Dylke said...

No clue...

Good to see you're still alive and kicking... I was wondering what had happened to you the other day funny enough.

Hope all is well


Zach Armstrong said...

It is the "La Invernada titanosaur", specimen number MUCPv-1533.

Anonymous said...

It's a brachiosaur

Anonymous said...

its the leg remains of an bruhathkayosaurus the legs of brevipparous or amphicoelias

Nima said...

Zach nailed it! 500 Paleo-bucks, ladies and gentlemen... It is indeed the La Invernada titanosaur. Appears to be related to Epachthosaurus and other basal-to-intermediate lithostrotia.

This animal isn't all that big for a titanosaur, and it's not particularly impressive in any of its features, but it is unique in the sense that this is apparently the only case of a fully intact titanosaur foot found attached to the body. The foot structure of titanosaurs, like the hand structure, may provide many rare clues to deciphering the evolution of the group into its various families and sub-families. Another important thing is that this foot appears to have a calcaneum, which most artists leave out of titanosaur skeletals.

The photos taken by Dr. Bernardo J. Gonzalez-Riga have been reposted and tweeted like wildfire, so this specimen is now arguably the most famous titanosaur without a name.

Zach Armstrong said...

"Another important thing is that this foot appears to have a calcaneum, which most artists leave out of titanosaur skeletals."

Erm...that's not what the paper says. "The calcaneum is present in titanosauriforms such as Brachiosaurus and Gobititan; however it is absent in the specimen herein described and in other known titanosaurids." (González Riga, Calvo, Porfiri (2008); Emphasis mine)


Bernardo Javier González Riga, Jorge Orlando Calvo, Juan Porfiri. "An articulated titanosaur from Patagonia (Argentina): new evidence of neosauropod pedal evolution." Palaeoworld 17 (2008) 33-40. DOI:1000,43,39,20091210004804-ZZ/PAL_E2994.pdf

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