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palaeozoologist's avatar

Freaky Euhelopus

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So this is Euhelopus with the huge scapula and long forelimb added in (which I omitted previously in my multi-view skeletal). Suffice to say, it looks FREAKY.

This scapula and forelimb are part of 'exemplar c' and were referred to 'exemplar a' by C.C. Young in 1935. I have some qualms about the referral, but it does explain some things, like the retro-verted pelvis and the really long anterior dorsal rib.

If this reconstruction is right, than Euhelopus was the sauropod version of an orangutan. Weird.


Young, C. C. 1935. Dinosaurian remains from Mengyin, Shantung. Bulletin of the Geological Society of China 15: 519–533.
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Algoroth's avatar
I'd like to do a flesh restoration from your skeletal. May I have your permission?

I am doing a re-interpretation of Paleo King's Argentinosaurus muscle restoration. First two stages are in now, if you want to see them. Just browse my gallery. I'd be interested in seeing if you think they're any good thus far. Links back to his original are provided.

Done digitally.
palaeozoologist's avatar
Yes, you can do a flesh restoration off of this. Be warned however, that I am planning a revised version in the future that is hopefully a bit more accurate.

Your Argentinosaurus re-interpretation is good as far as I can tell. I have not yet looked at Argentinosaurus in the necessary detail yet in order to tell whether Nima's original was accurate or not so I can't provide any anatomy-specific comments but it looks good so far.
Algoroth's avatar
I expect to finish it soon, and, with luck and work, your freaky Euhelopus as well. I might draw clouds around his head. Yes, it is possible. Yes, I'll DO it! Cloudy Euhelpous coming SOON!
Algoroth's avatar
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! :evillaugh: :rofl:
Algoroth's avatar
THAt is FREAKY!!!!! Wonder if he gets dizzy that high in the sky? :keiross: :omfg: ::jawdrop:
palaeozoologist's avatar
Well, if he lifted his head too quickly, I'd imagine he'd get a little light-headed, at least for a little while.
Paleo-King's avatar
Nice example of real ONP in a macronarian! Not that I would restore the neck this way, but it does put a big dent in some flawed published notions of ONP in tall-shouldered macronarians. Not sure about how the chest came out, but when I make mine I'll be sure to double check the dimensions. Fortunately, unlike Giraffatitan, the neural arches are pretty complete and ONP can be pretty reliably illustrated.

What I really like about this skeletal is that it shows how steep the dorsal column had to be to accommodate the colossal shoulder blade in the "modern" posture (which is more vertical than how Greg Paul drew the shoulder blade, and hence the back is also steeper than the GSP version - two things I always had a hunch were true in the real animal, though maybe neither one to the extent shown here).

Euhelopus was indeed weird, but it's one of my favorite sauropods. And it's downright cute, sort of like a mini-version of Giraffatitan with a more rounded head. Once sauropods got past the 60-foot mark, they were no longer so cuddly LOL :XD:
palaeozoologist's avatar
Well, I've already double- and triple-checked the dimensions, and I'm pretty sure its as accurate as reasonably possible. It had big shoulders, however the orientation is conjectural.

The fact is, the shoulder blade couldn't be as horizontal as GSP draws it, otherwise the shoulder blade would cross the first 9 dorsal ribs and generally scapulas don't go past the fifth. Somethings off about GSP's Euhelopus, but I haven't quite put my finger on it...
Paleo-King's avatar
Yeah, the GSP version looks nice but the shoulder blade crosses way too many ribs, I have a feeling that this would actually havelimited shoulder movement to an unrealistic degree. Just looking at the Wiman paper and its illustrations, I get the impression that the dorsal column's slope was very steep, even steeper than in brachiosaurs. Maybe even steeper than you've shown it. The problem is, there's also an upcurve to it, which looks to me like an artifact of a death pose (some of the centra appear to be slipping out of their articulations, condyles ventrally too much exposed.) what's your take on that?
palaeozoologist's avatar
Well there is a couple of upcurves going on in the anterior dorsals/posterior cervicals. I removed the dorsiflexion in the posterior cervicals, but the upcurve in the anterior dorsals is still there even when I re-articulate them in GIMP. A similar upcurve appears in Malawisaurus and Diplodocus, actually, so I think part of it is real. I don't think the centra are slipping out of their articulations. Usually a part of the condyle (the posterior) part would be partially visible. In life, this would be covered with articular cartilage. I think the diagrams shown by Wiman appear reasonable amount of condyle shown, similar to what it would look like in life.
Algoroth's avatar
Got a stupid question for you. AHEM!!!!!! Well, does muscle tissue ever attach to cartilage? I don't think it does, but I don't really know...
palaeozoologist's avatar
It's actually not a stupid question, actually a very good question and the answer is: yes, muscle tissue does attach to cartilage. One example is the laryngeal muscles that attach to the thyroid cartilage in humans.
Algoroth's avatar
The reason I was asking is this: can limb muscles attach to the knee cartilage, for example, thus enlarging the attachment zones for muscles? This would have a large bearing on what the muscles could look like. I'm doubting it.

There is some controversy (says Algoroth with a low chuckle) over how much (lower and upper limits) to muscle a sauropod's upper limbs, both arms and legs. I've had the hypothesis shown to me that, since some sauropods had small nerve openings through the bones somewhere or other, they were rather slow and clumsy, so they would not need much muscle, scarcely more than a skin of muscle sheath, and that would do the job.

My kindest thoughts on the theory would get me kicked off of DA if I told the truth without palliative words, so I'll keep quiet for now. When looking at some views of a Mamenchisaurus skeleton, the limbs look very thin for such a monstrously large beast. I can see why some viewers might think sauropods need no big muscles, but bones can lie, just as necks can. Look at a croc skeleton, then look at the living animal. No way I'd think it has the muscles it has from just the bones. The fact that some sauropod species were built very robustly makes the claim they did not need muscle into a lie. Apatosaurus comes to mind, as well as Uberabatitan and Argyrosaurus. Ever see those famous femurs???? Good gravy, they were big!

And when I think of well muscled for a sauropod, I'm think African elephant and the Asian variety too. Not fat, balloon limbs that would chafe the poor things to death. Maybe thinner, but at least, they should be thicker than the bare bones. Some of Greg Paul's restorations have that fault. Species? Centrosaurus. Mamenchisaurus. Triceratops. Corythosaurus. Apatosaurus. And there are others, but those will do for now.
palaeozoologist's avatar
I'm not sure about limb muscles attaching to knee cartilage directly, but I will say that the tendons attach to bone and cartilage and tendons support the muscles so I will tentatively say that cartilage (in some instances) could increase muscle attachment zones, but I can't think of anything to suggest that it would be a significant increase.

As for sauropod limb muscle size, remember that generally in the skeletals you see, the animal is portrayed in lateral (that is, side) view. Sauropod limb bones were thin laterally, but very wide transversely (that is side to side). Therefore, one should expect that if sauropods were as large muscled as you advocate, than this "largeness" could only be accurately seen from a front or back view of the limbs, and would not be very visible in lateral/side view. So comparing to crocs and elephants in this manner is an attractive idea, they have very differently constructed limbs and so I think the comparison is a false one.
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Skull-Island-Master's avatar
It is weird, indeed. butn also cool, i love animals that are weird
palaeozoologist's avatar
yeah, I agree :) Thanks for the comment!
NeuStrasbourg's avatar
a sauropod orangutan sounds as unlikely as it sounds awesome.
Algoroth's avatar
I might draw a sauropod orangutan, just for the hell of it. That would be a fantasy job, fer sher.
palaeozoologist's avatar
Well, they didn't live in trees ;) ...I'm just talking about the disproportionately large arms.
pilsator's avatar
Looking awesome. Just imagining it with its neck raised above ONP...
palaeozoologist's avatar
Thanks! I will actually be doing a version with the neck raised above ONP in the near future, no imagination required :D
cryptidsaurian's avatar
maybe it's chest was puffed out to make itself look bigger than it truly was. :?
palaeozoologist's avatar
It definitely had some large chest muscles. It'd be interesting to know what it was doing with them.
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