Titanosaurus

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For the fictional character, see Titanosaurus (Godzilla).
Titanosaurus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 70Ma
Titanosaurus.jpg
Titanosaurus indicus holotypic distal caudal vertebra
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Titanosauria
Superfamily: Titanosauroidea
Family: Titanosauridae
Lydekker, 1895
Subfamily: Titanosaurinae
Lydekker, 1895
Genus: Titanosaurus
Lydekker, 1877
Species: † T. indicus
Binomial name
Titanosaurus indicus
Lydekker, 1877

Titanosaurus (meaning 'titanic lizard' - named after the mythological 'Titans', deities of Ancient Greece) is a dubious genus of sauropod dinosaurs, first described by Lydekker in 1877.[1] It is known from the Maastrichtian (Upper Cretaceous) Lameta Formation of India.

Titanosaurus are estimated to have grown up to 9–12 metres (30–40 ft) long and about 13 tons in weight. Titanosaurus has traditionally been treated as a "wastebin taxon" for poorly preserved sauropod remains that demonstrate a distinctive vertebrae anatomy. The original Titanosaurus remains consist only of limb bones and a few vertebrae that have these characteristics. However, discoveries of more and better-preserved titanosaur species have shown that these once distinctive features are in fact widespread across many genera. Therefore, Titanosaurus itself is considered a nomen dubium ("dubious name") by most paleontologists, since the original Titanosaurus specimens cannot be distinguished from those of related animals.[2]

Species[edit]

T. blanfordi holotype distal caudal vertebra

Numerous species have been historically assigned to Titanosaurus, from southern Europe to South America. Only two among these, however, are currently considered species of Titanosaurus: T. indicus and T. blandfordi, both of which are considered nomina dubia.

Other species formerly referred to this genus include:

  • "Titanosaurus" rahioliensis - Described based on teeth, this species is now considered an indeterminate neosauropod.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" colberti - This species was the most well-known species of Titanosaurus, but has been moved into its own genus, Isisaurus.[2][3]
  • "Titanosaurus" australis - Known from relatively complete remains, but has been renamed Neuquensaurus.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" nanus - A small species found to be non diagnostic, and hence a nomen dubium.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" robustus - Now referred to Neuquensaurus.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" madagascariensis - Considered a nomen dubium distinct from T. indicus or T. blandfordi.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" falloti - This large species, native to Laos, has disputed affinities. It has been considered synonymous with Tangvayosaurus and Huabeisaurus, but the remains are to fragmentary to be sure.[2][4][5]
  • "Titanosaurus" valdensis - Referred to a new genus, Iuticosaurus, but still considered a nomen dubium.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" lydekkeri - Also referred to Iuticosaurus, but its relation to I. valdensis is uncertain.[2]
  • "Titanosaurus" dacus - Now moved to the dwarf Titanosaur genus, Magyarosaurus.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The name Titanosaurus was given to an aquatic dinosaur in the 1975 movie Terror of Mechagodzilla.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lydekker, R. (1877). "Notices of new and other Vertebrata from Indian Tertiary and Secondary rocks." Records of the Geological Survey of India, 10(1): 30-43.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wilson, J.A. and Upchurch, P. (2003). "A revision of Titanosaurus Lydekker (Dinosauria – Sauropoda), the first dinosaur genus with a “Gondwanan” distribution." Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 1(3): 125-160.
  3. ^ Jain, Sohan L.; Bandyopadhyay, Saswati (1997). "New Titanosaurid (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of Central India". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma) 17 (1): 114–136. doi:10.1080/02724634.1997.10010958. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ Pang, Qiqing; Cheng, Zhengwu (2000). "A New Family of Sauropod Dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of Tianzhen, Shanxi Province, China". Acta Geologica Sinica 74 (2): 117–125. doi:10.1111/j.1755-6724.2000.tb00438.x. 
  5. ^ Allain, R.; Taquet, P.; Battail, B; Dejax, J.; Richir, P.; Véran, M.; Limon-Duparcmeur, F.; Vacant, R.; Mateus, O.; Sayarath, P.; Khenthavong, B.; and Phouyavong, S. (1999). "Un nouveau genre de dinosaure sauropode de la formation des Grès supérieurs (Aptien-Albien) du Laos". Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences à Paris, Sciences de la Terre et des Planètes (in French) 329 (8): 609–616. Bibcode:1999CRASE.329..609A. doi:10.1016/S1251-8050(00)87218-3. 
  6. ^ "Titanosaurus". Comic Vine. Retrieved December 31, 2012.