CARBALLIDO Jose Luis
Rebbachisaurid sauropods in Asia? A re-evaluation of the phylogenetic position of Dzharatitanis kingi from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan
LERZO, L.; CARBALLIDO J. L.; GALLINA, P.
Publicación electrónica de la Asociación Paleontológica Argentina
Asociación Paleontológica Argentina
Lugar: Buenos Aires; Año: 2021
An isolated vertebra from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan (Asia), previously interpreted as a titanosaur anterior caudal, was recently assigned as the holotype and unique specimen of a new rebbachisaurid taxon, Dzaharatitanis kingi. This record would drastically impact in both biogeographical and chronological aspects of the group. As some of the characters identified for such systematic assignment seems to have been incorrectly scored and/or have a more widespread distribution amongst Neosauropoda, we revised and discussed them in depth in order to verify the putative rebbachisaurid affinities of this taxon. The phylogenetic analyses carried out recovered Dzaharatitanis as a titanosaur sauropod, most probably related to Lognkosauria. The extra steps needed to force Dzaharatitanis within Rebbachisauridae confirms that its titanosaur affinity is not solely the most parsimonious hypothesis but also is well supported when the incompleteness of the material is taken into account. Given this new phylogenetic position, a new modified diagnosis is provided here. Although more complete evidence is needed, the reinterpretation of Dzaharatitanis as a titanosaur with lognkosaurian affinities suggest a wider biogeographic distribution of this group of colossosaurs during the Cretaceous. At present, there is no reliable evidence to assume that rebbachisaurid sauropods have inhabited Asia.