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Futalognkosaurus skeletal



Futalognkosaurus was a relatively large Lognkosaurian titanosaur. As reconstructed here, it was about 13 meters from the tip of its skull to the end of its sacrum. Including the tail, the total axial length from the tip of the skull to the distal-most caudal vertebrae was ~26 meters. Here it is restored with a cervical column about 794 cm long, a dorsal column of 298 cm long, and a sacrum of just under 100 cm long for a total precaudal length of 11.92 meters excluding the skull . Mass Update: A GDI (graphic double integration) estimate of its volume based on the above skeletal yielded a surprisingly low volume estimate of 31.07 m^3, with a resulting mass of approximately 23,756-25,653 kg ( 23.7-25.6 tonnes), depending on the assumed density of the tissues. This actually makes sense in hindsight because it was over 2 meters shorter than Giraffatitan along the vertebral column from the atlas vertebrae to the last sacral. And while its torso was proportionately wider than in Giraffatitan, the widest point on its torso was only about 9 cm wider than the widest point in Giraffatitan; actually, in general, the torso in Futalognkosaurus was actually less wide in absolute terms than in Giraffatitan. Since its torso was about 80 cm shorter in total length than Giraffatitan and its neck was about 1 meter shorter than Giraffatitan, it makes intuitive sense that Futalognkosaurus would mass less than Giraffatitan. Also, the D4 of Giraffatitan is over 110 cm wide, compared to a width of 100 cm for the anterior dorsals of Futalognkosaurus. All-in-all, Futalognkosaurus is probably not even close to being one of the biggest titanosaurs.

In the above image, the dark gray elements indicate unknown bones. Known material is indicated in white.

However, I should caution that only some of the material has been adequately figured. Only five of the cervical (neck) vertebrae were figured in the description and the dorsal vertebrae have only been depicted in anterior and dorsal views, hence the shape of the dorsal vertebrae in lateral view in conjectural, as is the majority of the cervical vertebrae (only C1, C2, C6, C10 and C13 have been figured). Also conjectural is the dorsal view of the sacrum and ilia, since only a ventral view of the sacrum and ilia has been published. Also, the dorsal view of the cervical vertebrae is largely conjectural, as only the axis has been figured in dorsal view.

With these caveats in mind, this is probably the skeletal that is most faithful to the published description of the material and to the actual morphology of the described material yet published.

Supposedly, a third paper describing more completely the measurements of the recovered material is forthcoming at some point in the future. When that time comes, this skeletal will likely need to be updated significantly as regards to the detailed morphology of most of the bones, however the general proportions probably will not need to change too much.

The unknown skull reconstructed above is modeled off of Nemegtosaurus and the unknown appendicular material is modeled after Alamosaurus.

Published material used as a reference for this reconstruction:

Novas, Fernando E. 2009. The Age of Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press.

Calvo, Jorge O., Profiri, Juan D., Gonzalez Riga, Bernardo J., Kellner, Alexander W.A. 2007. Anatomy of Futalognkosaurus dukei Calvo, Porfiri,González Riga & Kellner, 2007 (Dinosauria, Titanosauridae) from the Neuquén Group (Late Cretaceous), Patagonia, Argentina. Arquivos do Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, v.65, n.4, p.511-526, out./dez.2007.

Calvo, Jorge O., Profiri, Juan D., Gonzalez Riga, Bernardo J., Kellner, Alexander W.A. 2007. A new Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem from Gondwana with the description of a new sauropod dinosaur. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias (2007) 79(3): 529-541.
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bLAZZE92's avatar
What do you think of the limb bones supposedly coming from a referred subadult? The supplementary material of Benson et al. (2014) listed them as part of the holotype.