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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Kellner et al., 2005
Kellner et al., 2005
Baurutitan was a genus of Late Cretaceous sauropod dinosaur. It was a lithostrotian Antarctosaurid titanosaur which lived in what is now Brazil. The type species, Baurutitan britoi, was described in 2005 by Kellner, Campos, and Trotta and is based on distinctive caudal vertebrae. This South American dinosaur was found in Uberaba, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
The remains of Baurutitan were found by Llewellyn Ivor Price, famous Brazilian paleontologist, in the region of Peirópolis, Minas Gerais. While the specimen was discovered in 1957, it was not until 2005 that it was officially published and presented to the public as a new taxon. The works of Price in Peirópolis (which is rural district of Uberaba), Minas Gerais, began in 1947 after Jesuíno Felicíssimo Junior, from the Instituto Geográfico e Geológico of São Paulo, told him about the presence of fossils in the region. Price then conducted excavations in an old quarry, known as Quarry Caieira, on the in São Luis farm. Recovered fossils included those of turtles, crocodylomorphs, theropods and sauropods, fish, freshwater invertebrates (gastropods and bivalves), trace fossils, fragments of eggs, and plant debris. Dynamite was occasionally used to remove materials embedded in the matrix. There were expeditions to Caieira in the years of 1949, 1950, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1961 being the last year due to a lack of new relevant findings.
A series of 19 vertebrae (the last sacral and 18 caudals) found at this locality were recognized as belong to those of a titanosaur; they were initially named 'Series "C"', but they were subsequently referred to the new genus Baurutitan. All material found was stored in the collection of Museu de Ciência da Terra (Earth Science Museum - MCT) of the Departamento Nacional de Produção Mineral (National Department of Mineral Production).
The name Baurutitan comes from the junction of the word "bauru", which alludes to the geographical region of the finding, within the Bauru Group, and the word "titan" of Greek myths. "britoi" is given in honor of Ignacio Aureliano Brito Machado (1938-2001), a Brazilian paleontologist who advised the study and description of this dinosaur, whose fossils have remained stored for many years.
Baurutitan was a sauropod which was estimated to have measured 12–16 metres (39–52 ft) long and had a height of around 3.5 metres (11 ft). The holotype specimen was found in the Marilia Formation, dating to the Maastrichtian epoch, some 72-66 million years ago. Baurutitan was the fourth sauropod described in Brazil, after Antarctosaurus, Gondwanatitan and Amazonsaurus.
- Kellner, A.W.A.; Campos, D.d.A.; Trotta, M.N.F. (2005). "Description of a titanosaurid caudal series from the Bauru Group, Late Cretaceous of Brazil". Arquivos do Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro. 63 (3): 529–564.
- José L. Carballido; Diego Pol; Alejandro Otero; Ignacio A. Cerda; Leonardo Salgado ; Alberto C. Garrido ; Jahandar Ramezani ; Néstor R. Cúneo ; Javier M. Krause (2017). "A new giant titanosaur sheds light on body mass evolution among sauropod dinosaurs". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284 (1860): 20171219. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.1219.