ZURRIAGUZ Virginia Laura
Morphological diversity of Neuquensaurus Powell, 1992 (Sauropoda; Titanosauria): insights from geometric morphometrics applied to the vertebral centrum shape
Taylor & Francis
Neuquensaurus is a small-sized titanosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina, for whichtwo species were recognised in the past (Neuquensaurus australis and Neuquensaurus robustus). Giventhat such division was only based on the relative robustness of the limb bones, the validity of the speciesN. robustus has been questioned. In this work, we studied the morphological variation of the vertebraeof this genus through geometric morphometric techniques and the description of relevant anatomicalfeatures in order to assess if there are one or more morphotypes within Neuquensaurus. We found twodistinguishable morphotypes, one belonging to N. australis and other that includes specimens assigned toboth N. australis and N. robustus. The occurrence of a posterior cervical vertebra with a particular anatomicalfeature (i.e. four sprl) could indicate the presence of another taxon than N. australis in the studied sample.Although the validity of the species N. robustus cannot be discussed on the basis of the current data, ourstudy supports the hypothesis of at least two different morphotypes of Neuquensaurus (which could berelated to different taxa).