Sauropoda

Sander, P. M., Mateus O., Laven T., & Knotschke N. (2006).  Bone histology indicates insular dwarfism in a new Late Jurassic sauropod dinosaur. Nature. 441, 739-741., Jan Abstractsander_mateus_et_al_2006_europasaurus_sauropod_histology_drwarfism_nature.pdf

Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest animals ever to inhabit the land, with truly gigantic forms in at least three lineages1, 2, 3. Small species with an adult body mass less than five tonnes are very rare4, 5, and small sauropod bones generally represent juveniles. Here we describe a new diminutive species of basal macronarian sauropod, Europasaurus holgeri gen. et sp. nov., and on the basis of bone histology we show it to have been a dwarf species. The fossils, including excellent skull material, come from Kimmeridgian marine beds of northern Germany6, 7, and record more than 11 individuals of sauropods 1.7 to 6.2 m in total body length. Morphological overlap between partial skeletons and isolated bones links all material to the same new taxon. Cortical histology of femora and tibiae indicates that size differences within the specimens are due to different ontogenetic stages, from juveniles to fully grown individuals. The little dinosaurs must have lived on one of the large islands around the Lower Saxony basin8. Comparison with the long-bone histology of large-bodied sauropods suggests that the island dwarf species evolved through a decrease in growth rate from its larger ancestor.

Mannion, P. D., Upchurch P., Mateus O., Barnes R. N., & Jones M. E. H. (2012).  New information on the anatomy and systematic position of Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis (Sauropoda: Diplodocoidea) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal, with a review of European diplodocoids. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 10(3), 521–551., Jan Abstractmannion_et_al_2012_new_information_on_the_anatomy_and_systematic_position_of_dinheirosaurus_lourinhanensis_sauropoda_-_diplodocoidea_from_the_late_jurassic_of_portugal_with_a_review_of_european_diplodocoids.pdf

Although diplodocoid sauropods from Africa and the Americas are well known, their European record remains largely neglected. Here we redescribe Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. The holotype comprises two posterior cervical vertebrae, the dorsal series and a caudal centrum. Redescription demonstrates its validity on the basis of three autapomorphies: (1) posteriorly restricted ventral keel on posterior cervical vertebrae; (2) three small subcircular fossae posterior to the lateral coel on posterior cervical neural spines; (3) accessory lamina linking the hyposphene with base of the posterior centrodiapophyseal lamina in middle-posterior dorsal vertebrae. Phylogenetic analysis places Dinheirosaurus as the sister taxon to Supersaurus, and this clade forms the sister taxon to other diplodocines. However, this position should be treated with caution as Dinheirosaurus displays several plesiomorphic features absent in other diplodocids (including unbifurcated presacral neural spines, and dorsolaterally projecting diapophyses on dorsal vertebrae) and only four additional steps are required to place Dinheirosaurus outside of Flagellicaudata. We identify Amazonsaurus as the basal-most rebbachisaurid and recover Zapalasaurus outside of the South American Limaysaurinae, suggesting the biogeographic history of rebbachisaurids is more complex than previously proposed. Review of the European diplodocoid record reveals evidence for the earliest known diplodocid, as well as additional diplodocid remains from the Late Jurassic of Spain. A Portuguese specimen, previously referred to Dinheirosaurus, displays strong similarities to Apatosaurus from the contemporaneous Morrison Formation of North America, indicating the presence of a second Late Jurassic Portuguese diplodocid taxon. Along with Dinheirosaurus, these Portuguese remains provide further evidence for a Late Jurassic palaeobiogeographic connection between Europe and North America. No dicraeosaurids are currently known from Europe, but rebbachisaurids are present in the Early Cretaceous, with weak evidence for the earliest known representative from the Late Jurassic of Spain; however, more complete material is required to recognize early members of this clade.

Mateus, O. (2010).  Paleontological collections of the Museum of Lourinhã (Portugal). (Brandao, JM, Callapez, PM, O. Mateus, Castro, P, Ed.).Colecções e museus de Geologia: missão e gestão. 121-126., Jan: Ed. Universidade de Coimbra e Centro de Estudos e Filosofia da História da Ciência Coimbra Abstractmateus_2010_paleontological_collections_of_the_museum_of_lourinha__geocoleccoes_omateus.pdf

Abstract: The paleontological collections of the Museum of Lourinhã, in Portugal, has a rich paleontological collection, particularly of Late Jurassic dinosaurs of the Lourinhã Formation (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian). Most salient highlights comprehend the following dinosaur holotype specimens: stegosaur Miragaia longicollum, theropod Lourinhanosaurus antunesi, sauropod Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis, ornithopod Draconyx loureiroi, theropod Allosaurus europaeus, and, a mammal, Kuehneodon hahni. Other dinosaur specimens are referred including the nest and eggs and embryos of Lourinhanosaurus. Portugal is very productive in Late Jurassic vertebrates, being the seventh country bearing more dinosaur taxa.