Rebbachisauridae

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Rebbachisaurids
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous to Late Cretaceous, 130–93 Ma
Limaysaurus.jpg
Limaysaurus tessonei skeleton restoration
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Neosauropoda
Superfamily: Diplodocoidea
Family: Rebbachisauridae
Bonaparte, 1997
Genera

Rebbachisauridae is a family of sauropod dinosaurs known from fragmentary fossil remains from the Cretaceous of South America, Africa, and Europe.

Taxonomy[edit]

Sauropod specialist Jack McIntosh in 1990 included the first known genus, the giant North African sauropod Rebbachisaurus in the family Diplodocidae, subfamily Dicraeosaurinae, on the basis of skeletal details. With the discovery in subsequent years of a number of additional forms, it was realised that the rebbachisaurs constitute a distinct group of dinosaurs, and in 1997 the Argentine paleontologist José Bonaparte named the family Rebbachisauridae. Whitlock, 2011 defined two new subfamilies Nigersaurinae and Limaysaurinae within Rebbachisauridae. Cladogram of the Rebbachisauridae after Fanti et al., 2013, which is based on Carballido et al., 2012:[2]

Rebbachisauridae

Amazonsaurus




Histriasaurus



Zapalasaurus




Comahuesaurus



Limaysaurinae

Rayososaurus



Rebbachisaurus




Cathartesaura



Limaysaurus




Nigersaurinae

Nigersaurus




Demandasaurus



Tataouinea








Cladogram after Fanti et al., 2015.[3]

Rebbachisauridae

Amazonsaurus




Zapalasaurus



Histriasaurus



Comahuesaurus


Khebbashia
Limaysaurinae

Cathartesaura



Limaysaurus



Rebbachisaurinae

Katepensaurus




Nigersaurus




Rebbachisaurus



Demandasaurus



Tataouinea








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Evolutionary relationships and characteristics[edit]

Nigersaurus taqueti teeth

Although all authorities agree that the rebbachisaurids are members of the superfamily Diplodocoidea, they lack the bifid (divided) cervical neural spines that characterise the diplodocids and dicraeosaurids, and for this reason are considered more primitive than the latter two groups. It is not yet known whether they share the distinctive whip-tail of the latter two taxa.

Rebbachisaurids are distinguished from other sauropods by their distinctive teeth, which have low angle, internal wear facets and asymmetrical enamel.

Unique among sauropods, at least some rebbachisaurids (such as Nigersaurus) are characterised by the presence of tooth batteries, similar to those of hadrosaur and ceratopsian dinosaurs. Such a feeding adaptation has thus developed independently three times among the dinosaurs.

So far, rebbachisaurids are known only from the middle and early part of the Late Cretaceous. Unless the nemegtosaurids are in fact diplodocoids (rather than titanosaurs), then the rebbachisaurids represent the last known representatives of this clade, and lived alongside the titanosaurs until fairly late in the Cretaceous. So far, no rebbachisaurids are known from the very end of the Cretaceous period.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul C. Sereno, Jeffrey A. Wilson, Lawrence M. Witmer, John A. Whitlock, Abdoulaye Maga, Oumarou Ide, Timothy A. Rowe (2007). Kemp, Tom, ed. "Structural Extremes in a Cretaceous Dinosaur". PLoS ONE. 2 (11): e1230. PMC 2077925Freely accessible. PMID 18030355. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001230. 
  2. ^ Carballido, José Luis; Salgado, Leonardo; Pol, Diego; Canudo, José Ignacio; Garrido, Alberto (2012). "A new basal rebbachisaurid (Sauropoda, Diplodocoidea) from the Early Cretaceous of the Neuquén Basin; evolution and biogeography of the group". Historical Biology. 24 (6): 631–654. doi:10.1080/08912963.2012.672416. 
  3. ^ Fanti, F.; Cau, A.; Cantelli, L.; Hassine, M.; Auditore, M. (2015). "New Information on Tataouinea hannibalis from the Early Cretaceous of Tunisia and Implications for the Tempo and Mode of Rebbachisaurid Sauropod Evolution". PLOS ONE. 10 (4): e123475. PMC 4414570Freely accessible. PMID 25923211. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123475.