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New Information on Tataouinea hannibalis from the Early Cretaceous of Tunisia and Implications for the Tempo and Mode of Rebbachisaurid Sauropod Evolution.

Fanti F, Cau A, Cantelli L, Hassine M, Auditore M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We present detailed analyses on the sedimentology and facies distribution at the main quarry and a revision of the vertebrate fauna associated with the skeleton.Results presented here suggest an exclusively South American Limaysaurinae and a more widely distributed Rebbachisaurinae lineage, the latter including the South American taxon Katepensaurus and a clade including African and European taxa, with Tataouinea as sister taxon of Rebbachisaurus.This scenario would indicate that South America was not affected by the end-Jurassic extinction of diplodocoids, and was most likely the centre of the rapid radiation of rebbachisaurids to Africa and Europe between 135 and 130 Ma.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

ABSTRACT
The rebbachisaurid sauropod Tataouinea hannibalis represents the first articulated dinosaur skeleton from Tunisia and one of the best preserved in northern Africa. The type specimen was collected from the lower Albian, fluvio-estuarine deposits of the Ain el Guettar Formation (southern Tunisia). We present detailed analyses on the sedimentology and facies distribution at the main quarry and a revision of the vertebrate fauna associated with the skeleton. Data provide information on a complex ecosystem dominated by crocodilian and other brackish water taxa. Taphonomic interpretations indicate a multi-event, pre-burial history with a combination of rapid segregation in high sediment supply conditions and partial subaerial exposure of the carcass. After the collection in 2011 of the articulated sacrum and proximalmost caudal vertebrae, all showing a complex pattern of pneumatization, newly discovered material of the type specimen allows a detailed osteological description of Tataouinea. The sacrum, the complete and articulated caudal vertebrae 1-17, both ilia and ischia display asymmetrical pneumatization, with the left side of vertebrae and the left ischium showing a more extensive invasion by pneumatic features than their right counterparts. A pneumatic hiatus is present in caudal centra 7 to 13, whereas caudal centra 14-16 are pneumatised by shallow fossae. Bayesian inference analyses integrating morphological, stratigraphic and paleogeographic data support a flagellicaudatan-rebbachisaurid divergence at about 163 Ma and a South American ancestral range for rebbachisaurids. Results presented here suggest an exclusively South American Limaysaurinae and a more widely distributed Rebbachisaurinae lineage, the latter including the South American taxon Katepensaurus and a clade including African and European taxa, with Tataouinea as sister taxon of Rebbachisaurus. This scenario would indicate that South America was not affected by the end-Jurassic extinction of diplodocoids, and was most likely the centre of the rapid radiation of rebbachisaurids to Africa and Europe between 135 and 130 Ma.

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Partial proximal caudal vertebrae of Tataouinea hannibalis.Partial caudal neural spine 1 in right lateral view (A). Partial caudal centrum 1 in right lateral view (B). Partial neural arch 3 in right lateral (C) and proximal (D) views. Partial caudal neural arch 4 in right lateral view (E). Scale bars: A-D: 10 cm, E: 10 cm. Abbreviations: fo, fossa; ll, lateral lamina; pl, pleurocoel; prsl, prespinal lamina; spdl, spinodiapophyseal lamina; spol, spinopostzygapophyseal lamina; sprl, spinoprezygapophyseal lamina.
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pone.0123475.g007: Partial proximal caudal vertebrae of Tataouinea hannibalis.Partial caudal neural spine 1 in right lateral view (A). Partial caudal centrum 1 in right lateral view (B). Partial neural arch 3 in right lateral (C) and proximal (D) views. Partial caudal neural arch 4 in right lateral view (E). Scale bars: A-D: 10 cm, E: 10 cm. Abbreviations: fo, fossa; ll, lateral lamina; pl, pleurocoel; prsl, prespinal lamina; spdl, spinodiapophyseal lamina; spol, spinopostzygapophyseal lamina; sprl, spinoprezygapophyseal lamina.

Mentions: The holotype of Tataouinea hannibalis includes the articulated series of the first seventeen caudal vertebrae. Fanti et al. [1] described only the first five proximal caudal vertebrae, the more distally placed vertebrae not yet uncovered at the time of submission of that study. Re-examination of the proximal caudal vertebrae preserved and comparison with photographs of the specimen in situ indicate that an additional centrum, although extremely fragmentary and considered part of the sacrum (Fig 3), is placed between caudal vertebrae 1 and 2 (numeration following [1]). We re-interpret that additional vertebra as the second caudal vertebra; and accordingly, caudal vertebrae 2 to 5 of [1] are reinterpreted here as caudal vertebrae 3 to 6. Caudal vertebrae 1 to 6 suffered important damage after collection (Figs 7 and 8), whereas the remaining vertebrae are exquisitely preserved and almost intact (Figs 9–18). All caudal vertebrae were found lying on the left lateral side, with the right side exposed and usually more weathered than the left one.


New Information on Tataouinea hannibalis from the Early Cretaceous of Tunisia and Implications for the Tempo and Mode of Rebbachisaurid Sauropod Evolution.

Fanti F, Cau A, Cantelli L, Hassine M, Auditore M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Partial proximal caudal vertebrae of Tataouinea hannibalis.Partial caudal neural spine 1 in right lateral view (A). Partial caudal centrum 1 in right lateral view (B). Partial neural arch 3 in right lateral (C) and proximal (D) views. Partial caudal neural arch 4 in right lateral view (E). Scale bars: A-D: 10 cm, E: 10 cm. Abbreviations: fo, fossa; ll, lateral lamina; pl, pleurocoel; prsl, prespinal lamina; spdl, spinodiapophyseal lamina; spol, spinopostzygapophyseal lamina; sprl, spinoprezygapophyseal lamina.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4414570&req=5

pone.0123475.g007: Partial proximal caudal vertebrae of Tataouinea hannibalis.Partial caudal neural spine 1 in right lateral view (A). Partial caudal centrum 1 in right lateral view (B). Partial neural arch 3 in right lateral (C) and proximal (D) views. Partial caudal neural arch 4 in right lateral view (E). Scale bars: A-D: 10 cm, E: 10 cm. Abbreviations: fo, fossa; ll, lateral lamina; pl, pleurocoel; prsl, prespinal lamina; spdl, spinodiapophyseal lamina; spol, spinopostzygapophyseal lamina; sprl, spinoprezygapophyseal lamina.
Mentions: The holotype of Tataouinea hannibalis includes the articulated series of the first seventeen caudal vertebrae. Fanti et al. [1] described only the first five proximal caudal vertebrae, the more distally placed vertebrae not yet uncovered at the time of submission of that study. Re-examination of the proximal caudal vertebrae preserved and comparison with photographs of the specimen in situ indicate that an additional centrum, although extremely fragmentary and considered part of the sacrum (Fig 3), is placed between caudal vertebrae 1 and 2 (numeration following [1]). We re-interpret that additional vertebra as the second caudal vertebra; and accordingly, caudal vertebrae 2 to 5 of [1] are reinterpreted here as caudal vertebrae 3 to 6. Caudal vertebrae 1 to 6 suffered important damage after collection (Figs 7 and 8), whereas the remaining vertebrae are exquisitely preserved and almost intact (Figs 9–18). All caudal vertebrae were found lying on the left lateral side, with the right side exposed and usually more weathered than the left one.

Bottom Line: We present detailed analyses on the sedimentology and facies distribution at the main quarry and a revision of the vertebrate fauna associated with the skeleton.Results presented here suggest an exclusively South American Limaysaurinae and a more widely distributed Rebbachisaurinae lineage, the latter including the South American taxon Katepensaurus and a clade including African and European taxa, with Tataouinea as sister taxon of Rebbachisaurus.This scenario would indicate that South America was not affected by the end-Jurassic extinction of diplodocoids, and was most likely the centre of the rapid radiation of rebbachisaurids to Africa and Europe between 135 and 130 Ma.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

ABSTRACT
The rebbachisaurid sauropod Tataouinea hannibalis represents the first articulated dinosaur skeleton from Tunisia and one of the best preserved in northern Africa. The type specimen was collected from the lower Albian, fluvio-estuarine deposits of the Ain el Guettar Formation (southern Tunisia). We present detailed analyses on the sedimentology and facies distribution at the main quarry and a revision of the vertebrate fauna associated with the skeleton. Data provide information on a complex ecosystem dominated by crocodilian and other brackish water taxa. Taphonomic interpretations indicate a multi-event, pre-burial history with a combination of rapid segregation in high sediment supply conditions and partial subaerial exposure of the carcass. After the collection in 2011 of the articulated sacrum and proximalmost caudal vertebrae, all showing a complex pattern of pneumatization, newly discovered material of the type specimen allows a detailed osteological description of Tataouinea. The sacrum, the complete and articulated caudal vertebrae 1-17, both ilia and ischia display asymmetrical pneumatization, with the left side of vertebrae and the left ischium showing a more extensive invasion by pneumatic features than their right counterparts. A pneumatic hiatus is present in caudal centra 7 to 13, whereas caudal centra 14-16 are pneumatised by shallow fossae. Bayesian inference analyses integrating morphological, stratigraphic and paleogeographic data support a flagellicaudatan-rebbachisaurid divergence at about 163 Ma and a South American ancestral range for rebbachisaurids. Results presented here suggest an exclusively South American Limaysaurinae and a more widely distributed Rebbachisaurinae lineage, the latter including the South American taxon Katepensaurus and a clade including African and European taxa, with Tataouinea as sister taxon of Rebbachisaurus. This scenario would indicate that South America was not affected by the end-Jurassic extinction of diplodocoids, and was most likely the centre of the rapid radiation of rebbachisaurids to Africa and Europe between 135 and 130 Ma.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus