Macrocollum

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Macrocollum
Temporal range: Late Triassic, 225 Ma
Macrocollum NT.jpg
Restoration
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Family: Unaysauridae
Genus: Macrocollum
Müller et al., 2018
Species:
M. itaquii
Binomial name
Macrocollum itaquii
Müller et al., 2018

Macrocollum is a genus of unaysaurid sauropodomorph dinosaur that lived during the Late Triassic period (early Norian) in what is now Brazil. It is one of the oldest dinosaurs known.[1]

Discovery[edit]

Macrocollum was discovered in southern Brazil, in the Wachholz site, in 2012, and announced in a press conference on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. The generic name combines the Greek word μακρός (long) and the Latin word collum (neck), referring to the animal's elongated neck. The specific epithet honours José Jerundino Machado Itaqui, one of the main actors behind the creation of CAPPA/UFSM.[1]

Description[edit]

Like most early dinosaurs, Macrocollum was relatively small, and walked on two legs. It was only 3.5 meters (11 feet) long, 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) tall, and weighed about 101.6 kilograms (224 lb).[1]

The known remains of Macrocollum are relatively well preserved. The holotype specimen consists of an almost complete and articulated skeleton. The two paratype specimens are both articulated skeletons with one missing a skull and its cervical series.[1]

Macrocollum itaquii differs from all other known sauropodomorphs based on a unique combination of characters such as those found on the skull, which include an antorbital fossa perforated by a promaxillary fenestra, and a medial margin of the supratemporal fossa with a simple smooth curve at the frontal/parietal suture.[1]

Classification[edit]

Macrocollum, alongside Jaklapallisaurus and Unaysaurus, was found to belong to the clade Unaysauridae.[1]

Paleoecology[edit]

Macrocollum lived between about 225.42 to 225 million years ago, in the Norian age of the late Triassic period. It was found in the south of Brazil, which at the time was connected to northwest Africa. At the time, most of the Earth's landmass was united into the supercontinent Pangaea, which was just starting to divide into Laurasia in the north, and Gondwana in the south.[2][3] U-Pb (Uranium decay) dating found that the Caturrita Formation dates to around 225.42 million years ago, making it fewer than 10 million years younger than the Santa Maria and Ischigualasto Formations, from where the earliest dinosaurs are known.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Rodrigo Temp Müller; Max Cardoso Langer; Sérgio Dias-da-Silva (2018). "An exceptionally preserved association of complete dinosaur skeletons reveals the oldest long-necked sauropodomorphs". Biology Letters. 14 (11): 20180633. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2018.0633.
  2. ^ Leal, L.A.; Azevodo, S.A.K.; Kellner, A.A.W.; da Rosa, A.A.S. (2004). "A new early dinosaur (Sauropodomorpha) from the Caturrita Formation (Late Triassic), Paraná Basin, Brazil" (PDF). Zootaxa. 690: 1–24.
  3. ^ Soares, M.B.; Schultz, C.L.; Horn, B.L.D. (2011). "New information on Riograndia guaibensis Bonaparte, Ferigolo & Ribeiro, 2001 (Eucynodontia, Tritheledontidae) from the Late Triassic of southern Brazil: anatomical and biostratigraphic implications". Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. 83 (1): 329–354. doi:10.1590/S0001-37652011000100021. ISSN 0001-3765.
  4. ^ Langer, M.C.; Ramezani, J.; Da Rosa, Á.A.S. (2018). "U-Pb age constraints on dinosaur rise from south Brazil". Gondwana Research. X (18): 133–140. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2018.01.005.