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Tschopp, E., & Mateus O. (2013).  Clavicles, interclavicles, gastralia, and sternal ribs in sauropod dinosaurs: new reports from Diplodocidae and their morphological, functional and evolutionary implications. Journal of Anatomy. 222, 321-340. Abstracttschopp__mateus_2013_clavicles_interclavicles_gastralia_and_sternal_ribs_in_diplodocid.pdfWebsite

Ossified gastralia, clavicles and sternal ribs are known in a variety of reptilians, including dinosaurs. In sauropods, however, the identity of these bones is controversial. The peculiar shapes of these bones complicate their identification, which led to various differing interpretations in the past. Here we describe different elements from the chest region of diplodocids, found near Shell, Wyoming, USA. Five morphotypes are easily distinguishable: (A) elongated, relatively stout, curved elements with a spatulate and a bifurcate end resemble much the previously reported sauropod clavicles, but might actually represent interclavicles; (B) short, L-shaped elements, mostly preserved as a symmetrical pair, probably are the real clavicles, as indicated by new findings in diplodocids; (C) slender, rod-like bones with rugose ends are highly similar to elements identified as sauropod sternal ribs; (D) curved bones with wide, probably medial ends constitute the fourth morphotype, herein interpreted as gastralia; and (E) irregularly shaped elements, often with extended rugosities, are included into the fifth morphotype, tentatively identified as sternal ribs and/or intercostal elements. To our knowledge, the bones previously interpreted as sauropod clavicles were always found as single bones, which sheds doubt on the validity of their identification. Various lines of evidence presented herein suggest they might actually be interclavicles – which are single elements. This would be the first definitive evidence of interclavicles in dinosauromorphs. Previously supposed interclavicles in the early sauropodomorph Massospondylus or the theropods Oviraptor and Velociraptor were later reinterpreted as clavicles or furculae. Independent from their identification, the existence of the reported bones has both phylogenetic and functional significance. Their presence in non-neosauropod Eusauropoda and Flagellicaudata and probable absence in rebbachisaurs and Titanosauriformes shows a clear character polarity. This implicates that the ossification of these bones can be considered plesiomorphic for Sauropoda. The proposed presence of interclavicles in sauropods may give further support to a recent study, which finds a homology of the avian furcula with the interclavicle to be equally parsimonious to the traditional theory that furcula were formed by the fusion of the clavicles. Functional implications are the stabilizing of the chest region, which coincides with the development of elongated cervical and caudal vertebral columns or the use of the tail as defensive weapon. The loss of ossified chest bones coincides with more widely spaced limbs, and the evolution of a wide-gauge locomotor style.

Tschopp, E., & Mateus O. (2013).  The skull and neck of a new flagellicaudatan sauropod from the Morrison Formation and its implication for the evolution and ontogeny of diplodocid dinosaurs. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 11(7), 853–888. Abstracttschopp__mateus_2013_the_skull_and_neck_of_a_new_flagellicaudatan_sauropod_from_the_morrison.pdfWebsite

A new taxon of diplodocid sauropod, Kaatedocus siberi gen. et sp. nov., is recognized based on well-preserved cervical vertebrae and skull from the Morrison Formation (Kimmeridgian, Late Jurassic) of northern Wyoming, USA. A phylogenetic analysis places it inside Diplodocinae (Sauropoda: Flagellicaudata: Diplodocidae), as a sister taxon to a clade uniting Tornieria africana and the classical diplodocines Barosaurus lentus and Diplodocus. The taxon is diagnosed by a unique combination of plesiomorphic and derived traits, as well as the following unambiguous autapomorphies within Diplodocidae: frontals separated anteriorly by a U-shaped notch; squamosals restricted to the post-orbital region; presence of a postparietal foramen; a narrow, sharp and distinct sagittal nuchal crest; the paired basal tuber with a straight anterior edge in ventral view; anterior end of the prezygapophyses of mid- and posterior cervical vertebrae is often an anterior extension of the pre-epipophysis, which projects considerably anterior to the articular facet; anterodorsal corner of the lateral side of the posterior cervical vertebrae marked by a rugose tuberosity; posterior margin of the prezygapophyseal articular facet of posterior cervical vertebrae bordered posteriorly by conspicuous transverse sulcus; posterior cervical neural spines parallel to converging. The inclusion of K. siberi and several newly described characters into a previously published phylogenetic analysis recovers the new taxon as basal diplodocine, which concurs well with the low stratigraphical position of the holotype specimen. Dinheirosaurus and Supersaurus now represent the sister clade to Apatosaurus and Diplodocinae and therefore the most basal diplodocid genera. The geographical location in the less known northern parts of the Morrison Fm., where K. siberi was found, corroborates previous hypotheses on faunal provinces within the formation. The probable subadult ontogenetic stage of the holotype specimen allows analysis of ontogenetic changes and their influence on diplodocid phylogeny.

Tschopp, E., & Mateus O. (2012).  A sternal plate of a large-sized sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. 10th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists ¡Fundamental! . 20, 263-266.: European Association of Vertebrate Paleontologist tschopp__mateus_2012_sternal_plate_sauropod_portugal.pdf
Tschopp, E., & Mateus O. (2012).  Evidence for presence of clavicles and interclavicles in sauropod dinosaurs and its implications on the furcula-clavicle homology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2012, 184. ISSN 1937-2809 . 184. Abstracttschopp__mateus_2012_interclavicles_clavicles_svp_2012_abstract.pdf

Clavicles and interclavicles are plesiomorphically present in Reptilia. However, several groups show reduction or even loss of these elements. Crocodylimorpha, e.g., lost the clavicles, whereas dinosaurs are generally interpreted to only preserve the clavicles, the theropod furcula representing an unique case of fused clavicles. In sauropods, reports of clavicles are relatively frequent in non-titanosauriforms. These elements are elongated, curved, and rather stout bones with a spatulate and a bifurcate end. However, they were always found as single bones, and differ from the relatively short and unbifurcated clavicles found articulated with the scapulae of basal sauropodomorphs.
Elements from the Howe Quarry (Late Jurassic; Wyoming, USA) shed new light on these interpretations. Besides the elongated, curved bones (herein named morphotype A), also pairs of symmetric, L-shaped bones were recovered (morphotype B), associated with diplodocid dorsal and cervical vertebrae. Elements resembling morphotype B - articulated between the scapulae - have recently been reported from a diplodocid found near Tensleep, Wyoming. Taphonomic evidence, as well as the fact that they were preserved in symmetrical pairs, therefore implies that morphotype B represents the true sauropod clavicles.
Contrary to earlier reports, morphotype A elements from the Howe Quarry, as well as of previously reported specimens show a symmetry plane following the long axis of the elements. It is thus possible that the morphotype A elements were single bones from the body midline. The only such element present in the pectoral girdle of tetrapods are the interclavicle and the furcula. Comparison with crocodilian and lacertiform interclavicles indicates that the bifurcate end of the sauropod elements might represent the reduced transverse processes of the anterior end, and the spatulate end would have covered the coracoids or sternal plates ventrally.
The presence of both clavicles and interclavicles in the pectoral girdle stiffens the anterior trunk, and enhances considerably its stability. Such an enforcement might have been needed in diplodocids due to the strong lateral forces induced to the fore-limbs by the posteriorly placed center of mass (due to shorter fore- than hind-limbs), as well as lateral movements of the enormously elongated necks and tails. The absence of clavicles and interclavicles in titanosauriforms coincides with the development of wide-gauge locomotion style.
The presence of interclavicles in sauropods supports the recently proposed homology of the furcula with the interclavicle, instead of representing fused clavicles. Interclavicles were thus not lost, but may have remained cartilaginous or have yet to be found in basal dinosauriforms.

Mateus, O. (2009).  The sauropod dinosaur Turiasaurus riodevensis in the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29, 144A., Jan Abstractmateus_2009_sauropod_dinosaur_turiasaurus_portugal_svp09abstractspdf.pdfWebsite

A partial sauropod was found in 1996 in Vale Pombas, north of Lourinhã, Central West of Portugal, in the Lourinhã Formation, top of Amoreira Porto Novo member dated as c. 150 M.a. (Early Tithonian, Late Jurassic) and is currently housed at Museum of Lourinhã, in Portugal. The specimen (ML368) comprises a complete tooth with root, anterior chevron and almost complete right forelimb including partial scapula, complete coracoid, humerus, ulna, radius, metacarpals I, III and V, phalanx, and ungual phalanx I. It can be ascribed to Turiasaurus riodevensis, which was previously described from the Villar del Arzobispo
Formation at Riodeva (Teruel, Spain). Characters shared with T. riodevensis holotype include: curvature and asymmetry of tooth crown, expansion of crown, outline of humerus, medial deflection of the proximal end of humerus, shape and prominence of deltopectoral crest, vertical ridge in the distal half of the ulna (considered as diagnostic of Turiasauria), configuration of metacarpals, and bone proportions. It differs from T. riodevensis holotype by the smaller size and the more rectangular ungual phalanx in lateral view. The sediments from which the Riodeva specimen was recovered were previsouly thought to be Tithonian to Berriasian in age. The presence of this species in Portugal, in beds confidently dated as Early
Tithonian, may allow a more precise date for the Riodeva type locality of early Tithonian in age. The humerus of the Portuguese T. riodevensis is 152 cm long. Although shorter than the Spanish specimen (790 mm), it represents a large individual. All adult sauropods recovered in Portugal thus far are very large individuals: Dinheirosaurus (estimated body length is 20-25 m), Lusotitan (humerus length estimated to be 205 cm), Lourinhasaurus (femur length: 174 cm), and Turiasaurus here reported. The lack of of small or medium adult body-size sauropods in the Late Jurassic of Portugal, suggests browsing niches thought to be occupied by smaller forms, could be have been available for other dinosaurs, like the long necked stegosaur Miragaia longicollum.

Mateus, O., & Milan J. (2008).  Ichnological evidence for giant ornithopod dinosaurs in the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. Oryctos. 8, 47-52. Abstractmateus_and_milan_2008_ichnological_evidence_for_giant_ornithopod_big_ornithopod_track_from_u_j_lourinha_fm_portugal.pdfWebsite

The Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation (Lusitanian Basin, Portugal) contains a diverse dinosaur fauna comprising theropods, sauropods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and several genera of ornithopods. The sedimentology in the area favours preservation of tracksways, and tracks from most of the dinosaurs are also represented by skeletal remains. During fieldwork in the summer of 2003 a new, large, tridactyl track was found at the beach of Vale Frades, approximately 6 km north of Lourinhã (central west Portugal). The track was found together with a stegosaur track on a clay bed exposed within the intertidal zone. Due to the immediate danger of erosion, the track was collected and is now on display at Museu da Lourinhã. The track is 70 cm long and 69 cm wide, the toes are short and broad, with indications of short blunt claws, and there is a high angle of divarication between the outer digits. The shape and dimensions of the track identifies it as deriving from an ornithopod dinosaur with an estimated hip height around three metres. Although very large ornithopods are known from the Cretaceous, the largest known Jurassic ornithopod is Camptosaurus from North America, and the largest known from Portugal is the camptosaurid Draconyx loureiroi. Neither of these reached the body size suggested by the new track. So far the track described herein is the only evidence for a Jurassic ornithopod of that size.

Mateus, O., Jacobs L. L., Polcyn M. J., Schulp A. S., Neto A. B., & Antunes M. T. (2008).  Dinosaur and turtles from the Turonian of Iembe, Angola. Livro de Resumos de Tercer Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontologia de Vertebrados. 156., Neuquén, Argentina Abstractmateus_et_al_2008_dinosaur_and_turtles_from_the_turonian_of_iembe_angola.pdf


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.

Mateus, O., & Antunes M. T. (2000).  Late Jurassic dinosaurs of Portugal.. Abstracts of the 1st Symposium of European Dinosaurs, p.18. , Dusseldorf, Germany. Abstractmateus__antunes_2000_late_jurassic_dinosaurs_of_portugal_dusseldorf_2000.pdf


Allain, R., Taquet P., Battail B., Dejax J., Richir P., Veran M., Limon-Duparcmeur F., Vacant R., Mateus O., Sayarath P., Khenthavong B., & Phouyavong S. (1999).  Un nouveau genre de dinosaure sauropode de la formation des Gres superieurs (Aptien-Albien) du Laos. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences - Series IIA - Earth and Planetary Science. 329, 609-616., oct, Number 8 Abstractallain_taquet_battail_dejax_richir_mateus_et_al_1999_un_nouveau_genre_de_dinosaure_sauropode_de_la_formation_des_gres_superieurs_aptien-albien_du_laos.pdfWebsite

The partly-articulated postcranial remains of two sauropod skeletons recently found in Tang Vay (Savannakhet Province, Laos) are assigned to the species Tangvayosaurus hoffeti (nov. gen., nov. sp.). The derived characters present in the new material confirm the presence of titanosaurs in South East Asia at the end of the Early Cretaceous, but are not consistent with its placement within Titanosaurus genus as first done by Hoffet in 1942. All of the material relative to this species is therefore referred to a new genus: Tangvayosaurus. Tangvayosaurus and the Thai genus Phuwiangosaurus have strong affinities and are considered as primitive titanosaurs.