Publications in the Year: 2013

Journal Article

Ribeiro, V, Holwerda F, Mateus O.  2013.  Theropod egg sites from the Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2013. :198.ribeiro_et_al_2013_theropod_egg_sites_lourinha_svp_meeting_abstracts_213.pdf
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.

Araújo, R, Castanhinha R, Martins RMS, Mateus O, Hendrickx C, Beckmann F, Schell N, Alves LC.  2013.  Filling the gaps of dinosaur eggshell phylogeny: Late Jurassic Theropod clutch with embryos from Portugal, 2013/05/30/onlin. Scientific Reports. 3(1924): Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved Abstractaraujo_et_al_2013_filling_the_gaps_of_dinosaur_eggshell_phylogeny_late_jurassic_theropod_clutch_with_embryos_from_portugal.pdf

The non-avian saurischians that have associated eggshells and embryos are represented only by the sauropodomorph Massospondylus and Coelurosauria (derived theropods), thus missing the basal theropod representatives. We report a dinosaur clutch containing several crushed eggs and embryonic material ascribed to the megalosaurid theropod Torvosaurus. It represents the first associated eggshells and embryos of megalosauroids, thus filling an important phylogenetic gap between two distantly related groups of saurischians. These fossils represent the only unequivocal basal theropod embryos found to date. The assemblage was found in early Tithonian fluvial overbank deposits of the Lourinhã Formation in West Portugal. The morphological, microstructural and chemical characterization results of the eggshell fragments indicate very mild diagenesis. Furthermore, these fossils allow unambiguous association of basal theropod osteology with a specific and unique new eggshell morphology.

Mannion, PD, Upchurch P, Barnes RN, Mateus O.  2013.  Osteology of the Late Jurassic Portuguese sauropod dinosaur Lusotitan atalaiensis (Macronaria) and the evolutionary history of basal titanosauriforms. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 168:98-206. Abstractmannion_et_al_2013_sauropod_lusotitan_portugal.pdfWebsite

Titanosauriforms represent a diverse and globally distributed clade of neosauropod dinosaurs, but their inter-relationships remain poorly understood. Here we redescribe Lusotitan atalaiensis from the Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation of Portugal, a taxon previously referred to Brachiosaurus. The lectotype includes cervical, dorsal, and caudal vertebrae, and elements from the forelimb, hindlimb, and pelvic girdle. Lusotitan is a valid taxon and can be diagnosed by six autapomorphies, including the presence of elongate postzygapophyses that project well beyond the posterior margin of the neural arch in anterior-to-middle caudal vertebrae. A new phylogenetic analysis, focused on elucidating the evolutionary relationships of basal titanosauriforms, is presented, comprising 63 taxa scored for 279 characters. Many of these characters are heavily revised or novel to our study, and a number of ingroup taxa have never previously been incorporated into a phylogenetic analysis. We treated quantitative characters as discrete and continuous data in two parallel analyses, and explored the effect of implied weighting. Although we recovered monophyletic brachiosaurid and somphospondylan sister clades within Titanosauriformes, their compositions were affected by alternative treatments of quantitative data and, especially, by the weighting of such data. This suggests that the treatment of quantitative data is important and the wrong decisions might lead to incorrect tree topologies. In particular, the diversity of Titanosauria was greatly increased by the use of implied weights. Our results support the generic separation of the contemporaneous taxa Brachiosaurus, Giraffatitan, and Lusotitan, with the latter recovered as either a brachiosaurid or the sister taxon to Titanosauriformes. Although Janenschia was recovered as a basal macronarian, outside Titanosauria, the sympatric Australodocus provides body fossil evidence for the pre-Cretaceous origin of titanosaurs. We recovered evidence for a sauropod with close affinities to the Chinese taxon Mamenchisaurus in the Late Jurassic Tendaguru beds of Africa, and present new information demonstrating the wider distribution of caudal pneumaticity within Titanosauria. The earliest known titanosauriform body fossils are from the late Oxfordian (Late Jurassic), although trackway evidence indicates a Middle Jurassic origin. Diversity increased throughout the Late Jurassic, and titanosauriforms did not undergo a severe extinction across the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, in contrast to diplodocids and non-neosauropods. Titanosauriform diversity increased in the Barremian and Aptian–Albian as a result of radiations of derived somphospondylans and lithostrotians, respectively, but there was a severe drop (up to 40%) in species numbers at, or near, the Albian/Cenomanian boundary, representing a faunal turnover whereby basal titanosauriforms were replaced by derived titanosaurs, although this transition occurred in a spatiotemporally staggered fashion.


Mateus, O.  2013.  Decapod crustacean body and ichnofossils from the Mesozoic of Portugal, 1. NA Abstract

Book of abstracts of the 5th Symposium on Mesozoic and Decapod Crustaceans

Mateus, O.  2013.  Cabinda revisited: age and environment of new Cenozoic vertebrate fossils from northern Angola, 1. 45 Abstract

In the early 20thcentury, Belgian naturalists reported Paleocene and Eocene sharks, the bothremydid pleurodiran turtleTaphosphrys(formerlyBantuchelys), and a neosuchian and the dyrosaurid crocodyliformCongosaurusfrom coastal outcrops near Landana in the northern province of Cabinda, Angola. In 1935, rare and fragmentary mammals were reported from strata at Malembo Point, south of Landana, and originally considered to be Miocene in age. Subsequent re-identification of the mammal fossils suggested that the Malembo deposits are Lower Oligocene based on the presence of an arsinoithere and hyracoids. An anthropoid canine, originally identified as a carnivore incisor, was also recognized. In four recent expeditions to Cabinda, Projecto PaleoAngola has traced and measured the stratigraphy between Landana and Malembo Point and sampled these deposits for pollen, stable isotopes, detrital zircons, paleomagnetic stratigraphy, and for U/Pb dating of bones, teeth, and coprolites. Although the faunas from all Cabinda localities are dominated by sharks and rays, new discoveries from Landana include a complete cheloniid cryptodire turtle skull, a small snake vertebra, and a bird bone. Discoveries from the Malembo level include a narrow-snouted crocodyliform similar toCongosaurusandEuthecodon, an arsinoithere anterior tooth, an upper molar similar to that of the ptolemaiidanKelba, an unidentified mammalian incisor, and a large primate-like premolar. Recent biostratigraphic advances in East Africa and the new fossil discoveries in Cabinda suggest similarity to late Oligocene faunas in Ethiopia and Kenya, although the large primate-like premolar is unique. To this day, the fossil localities of Malembo provide the only coastal, low latitude, low elevation record of West African Cenozoic terrestrial mammals.