UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Taxonomic affinities of the putative titanosaurs from the Late Jurassic Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania: phylogenetic and biogeographic implications for eusauropod dinosaur evolution

Mannion, P; Upchurch, P; Schwarz, D; Wings, O; (2019) Taxonomic affinities of the putative titanosaurs from the Late Jurassic Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania: phylogenetic and biogeographic implications for eusauropod dinosaur evolution. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society , 185 (3) pp. 784-909. 10.1093/zoolinnean/zly068. Green open access

[thumbnail of Mannion_Tendaguru titanosaurs MS.pdf]
Preview
Text
Mannion_Tendaguru titanosaurs MS.pdf - Accepted version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

The Late Jurassic Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania, southeastern Africa, records a rich sauropod fauna, including the diplodocoids Dicraeosaurus and Tornieria, and the brachiosaurid titanosauriform Giraffatitan. However, the taxonomic affinities of other sympatric sauropod taxa are poorly understood. Here, we critically reassess and redescribe these problematic taxa, and present the largest phylogenetic analysis for sauropods (117 taxa scored for 542 characters) to explore their placement in Eusauropoda. Janenschia robusta has played a prominent role in discussions of titanosaur origins, with various authors referring at least some remains to Titanosauria, a clade otherwise known only from the Cretaceous. Redescription of the holotype of Janenschia, and all referable remains, supports its validity and placement as a non-neosauropod eusauropod. It forms a clade with Haestasaurus from the earliest Cretaceous of the UK, and the Middle/Late Jurassic Chinese sauropod Bellusaurus. Phylogenetic analysis and CT scans of the internal pneumatic tissue structure of Australodocus bohetii tentatively support a non-titanosaurian somphospondylan identification, making it the only known pre-Cretaceous representative of that clade. New information on the internal pneumatic tissue structure of the dorsal vertebrae of the enigmatic Tendaguria tanzaniensis, coupled with a full redescription, results in its novel placement as a turiasaur. Tendaguria is the sister taxon of Moabosaurus, from the Early Cretaceous of North America, and is the first turiasaur recognized from Gondwana. A previously referred caudal sequence cannot be assigned to Janenschia and displays several features that indicate a close relationship with Middle–Late Jurassic East Asian mamenchisaurids. It can be diagnosed by six autapomorphies, so we erect the new taxon Wamweracaudia keranjei gen. et sp. nov. The presence of a mamenchisaurid in the Late Jurassic of southern Gondwana indicates an earlier and more widespread diversification of this clade than previously realized, prior to the geographic isolation of East Asia. Our revised phylogenetic dataset sheds light on the evolutionary history of Eusauropoda, including supporting a basal diplodocoid placement for Haplocanthosaurus, and elucidating the interrelationships of rebbachisaurids. The Tendaguru Formation shares representatives of nearly all sauropod lineages with Middle Jurassic–earliest Cretaceous global faunas, but displays a greater range of diversity than any of those faunas considered individually. Biogeographic analysis indicates that the Tendaguru sauropod fauna was assembled as a result of three main phenomena during the late Early and/or Middle Jurassic: (1) invasions from Euramerica (brachiosaurids, turiasaurs); (2) endemism in west Gondwana (dicraeosaurids, diplodocids); and (3) regional extinctions that restricted the ranges of once widespread groups (mamenchisaurids, the Janenschia lineage). Multiple dispersals across the Central Gondwanan Desert are required to explain the distributions of Jurassic sauropods, suggesting that this geographic feature was at most a filter barrier that became easier to cross during the late Middle Jurassic.

Type: Article
Title: Taxonomic affinities of the putative titanosaurs from the Late Jurassic Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania: phylogenetic and biogeographic implications for eusauropod dinosaur evolution
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zly068
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zly068
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: BioGeoBEARS, biogeography, Central Gondwanan Desert, dispersal, extended implied weights, Gondwana, Mesozoic, Rebbachisauridae, regional extinction, Titanosauria
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068573
Downloads since deposit
182Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item