HECHENLEITNER Esteban Martin
Two Late Cretaceous sauropods reveal titanosaurian dispersal across South America
HECHENLEITNER, E. MARTÍN; LEUZINGER, LÉA; MARTINELLI, AGUSTÍN G.; ROCHER, SEBASTIÁN; FIORELLI, LUCAS E.; TABORDA, JEREMÍAS R. A.; SALGADO, LEONARDO
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2020 vol. 3
South American titanosaurians have been central to the study of the evolution of Cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs. Despite their remarkable diversity, the fragmentary condition of several taxa and the scarcity of records outside Patagonia and southwestern Brazil have hindered the study of continental-scale paleobiogeographic relationships. We describe two new Late Cretaceous titanosaurians from Quebrada de Santo Domingo (La Rioja, Argentina), which help to fill a gap between these main areas of the continent. Our phylogenetic analysis recovers both new species, and several Brazilian taxa, within Rinconsauria. The data suggest that, towards the end of the Cretaceous, this clade spread throughout southern South America. At the same locality, we discovered numerous accumulations of titanosaurian eggs, likely related to the new taxa. With eggs distributed in three levels along three kilometres, the new site is one of the largest ever found and provides further evidence of nesting site philopatry among Titanosauria.