Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 87Ma
|Futalognkosaurus displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada|
Calvo, Porfiri, González-Riga, & Kellner, 2007
F. dukei Calvo et al., 2007 (type)
Futalognkosaurus (//; meaning "giant chief lizard") is a genus of titanosaurian dinosaur. The herbivorous Futalognkosaurus lived approximately 87 million years ago in the Portezuelo Formation of the Coniacian stage of the late Cretaceous Period. The fish and fossilized leaf debris on the site, together with other dinosaur remains, suggest a warm tropical climate in Patagonia during this period.
Its fossils were found in the Neuquén province of Argentina in 2000, and were scientifically described in 2007. The genus name is derived from the local indigenous language Mapudungun and is pronounced foo-ta-long-koh-sohr-us: "futa" means "giant" and "longko" means "chief". It is based on three fossil specimens, yielding an estimated 70% of the skeleton in total. The fossil team described the find as "the most complete giant dinosaur known so far".
The type species, Futalognkosaurus dukei, is estimated to be 26 m (85 ft) in length, rivaling the gigantic Argentinosaurus. Its long neck contained 14 vertebrae, and was over a meter deep in places, due to its extremely tall neural spines which had a distinctive "shark-fin" shape. The hips were also extremely large and bulky, reaching a width of nearly 3 metres (9.8 ft). The alternate early spelling "Futalongkosaurus" may be found in some press reports and on websites.
In their phylogenetic analysis, Calvo and colleagues found Futalognkosaurus to be a member of the Titanosauridae (or Lithostrotia, depending on the definitions being used), and most closely related to Mendozasaurus. They defined a new clade for the group containing both Futalognkosaurus and Mendozasaurus, their common ancestor, and all descendants, which they named the Lognkosauria. The authors found Malawisaurus to be the sister group of this new clade. Another, much later member of Lognkosauria is the colossal Puertasaurus, which may be the biggest dinosaur so far known. Besides Futalognkosaurus, other fauna was discovered in the Futalognko site, including two further undescribed sauropod taxa, specimens of Megaraptor, Unenlagia and some pleurodiran turtles.
- AP Pronunciation Guide D–K
- Pellim, Roberto (2007-10-19). "Nieuwe dinosoort". Metro (in Dutch). p. 7.
- Calvo, J.O., Porfiri, J.D., González-Riga, B.J., and Kellner, A.W. (2007) "A new Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem from Gondwana with the description of a new sauropod dinosaur". Anais Academia Brasileira Ciencia, 79(3): 529-41.
- Calvo, J.O.; Juárez Valieri, R.D. & Porfiri, J.D. 2008. Re-sizing giants: estimation of body length of Futalognkosaurus dukei and implications for giant titanosaurian sauropods. 3° Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontología de Vertebrados. Neuquén, Argentina.
- Calvo, J. O.; Porfiri, J. D.; González Riga, B. J.; Kellner, A. W. A. (2007). "Anatomy of Futalognkosaurus dukei Calvo, Porfiri, González Riga, & Kellner, 2007 (Dinosauria, Titanosauridae) from the Neuquen Group, Late Cretaceous, Patagonia, Argentina". Arquivos do Museu Nacional 65 (4): 511–526.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Futalognkosaurus.|
- Dinosaur Mailing List entry which discusses the genus
- Fósiles hallados en el Centro Paleontológico Lago Barreales - contains images of Futalognkosaurus (in Spanish)
- BBC Report of Monday, 15 October 2007 - includes a photo of some of the dinosaur's bones, attributed to National Museum of Brazil.
- Illustration of Futalognkosaurus by paleoartist Julius T. Csotonyi