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Opisthocoelicaudia

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Opisthocoelicaudia is an odd sauropod. It's usually found to be related to Alamsaurus and possibly Saltasaurus, it has very robust limbs, and surprisingly short tail, and (thanks to "Nemegtosaurus") a pleasantly complete skull. One thing it's missing are most of the cervicals - here I've started with sub-adult Alamosaurus as a scaling guide and then went just a little shorter. The back slopes up gently to the shoulders, but seems to flex up strongly in the preserve cervicodorsal juncture.
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anonymous's avatar
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PigsFly1010's avatar

The dinosaur's body seems to be posing weirdly, with the ribs going apposed to the body?

Thalassophoneus's avatar
How possible is it that it had extra cervicals like Dongbeititan and Rapetosaurus?
PedroSalas's avatar
With that back not very inclined and a (I calculate) low center of mass, wouldn't the (normal / natural) position of the neck on the march be closer to the horizontal?

On a separate issue, I want to draw a Lirainosaurus. Do you know of any skeletal of this sauropod I can use for reference? If not, in your opinion, should I depict it Opisthocoelicaudia style or Alamosaurus style?
DrScottHartman's avatar

The most anterior preserved vertebrae seem to arch up, which is why I continued the trend. It IS less raised than in macronarians with more upward tilting backs. Among sauropods, the only ones that definitely have more horizontally oriented necks are dipldocoids, though Saltasaurus is often restored that way (I haven't been able to get enough reference material to check that). Otherwise sauropods seem to have mostly had necks raised above horizontal to one degree or another.

PedroSalas's avatar
Ok, I can see everything much clearer now, thanks Scott.
KaprosuchusDragon's avatar
so you can use this a nemgetsaurus right since they might be the same?
randomdinos's avatar
It's awesome to have an Opisthocoelicaudia with a more rigorous approach to the neck and head, most of the time it... doesn't really look like people care, since they're unpreserved.

I'm curious about the torso, though, the paper's measurements for the centra of dorsals 1 to 11 ''without balls'' combined give about 2.2 meters, with cartilage maybe closer to 2.4. This one (going by the scale bar) is 3 meters in the same measurement. Is it a bigger specimen, or a different vertebra articulation, or something else?
DrScottHartman's avatar
It's the same specimen. "Without the balls" is a useful comparative measurement for other sauropods that do this (or use "rim to rim" measurements, though that would be slightly smaller), but the anterior "ball" doesn't sit all the way into the concave posterior of the centra, so the functional distance even before cartilage is larger than that measurement indicates. In general I try to use the neutral articulation of the zygapophyses as a guide to reconstructing intervertebral cartilage.
randomdinos's avatar
Alright, thanks!
TitanoRex's avatar
so thats what lacking wrist bones looks like also bigger than I expect what with all the old size referencing it being 37-40 feet
Pyroraptor42's avatar
How to forget that name?
Is like they really tried to make it hard to pronunce but unforgettable at the same time.
olofmoleman's avatar
Looks like the dachshund of the sauropods. :D
hugocafasso's avatar
SpinosaurusDinosaur's avatar
Powerful legs it seems ^_^
PeteriDish's avatar
boy those legs were beefy! :D
DrScottHartman's avatar
Presumably Opisthocoelicaudia/Nemegtosaurus won most of the sauropod arm-wrestling contests.
PeteriDish's avatar
Not hard to see why. 😁
Megalotitan's avatar
the soft tissue distribution of the belly looks weird... i assume it's due to the sternum?

also interesting that you added manual phalanges
DrScottHartman's avatar
Yes, it's the level of the sternum vs the shape of the rib cage and depth of the pelvis.
Pterosaur-Freak's avatar
I'd heard that Opisthocoelicaudia was weird, but I hadn't realized just how weird until I saw this. It's so squat and chubby.
Dinosaurlover83's avatar
Looking nice! Will be a great future reference.
rhe416's avatar
To clarify - "Opis-tho-see-li-cod-ia'
anonymous's avatar
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