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Futalognkosaurus recon Mk. VIII



The long awaited 8th version! Multiview hi-fi skeletal, which is a first for any titanosaur. :XD: This will be the last posted version before a final "Forgotten Giants" version.

This multi-view skeletal has already inspired several other restorations, including this superb one by Vladimir Nikolov:… . Earlier versions were the basis for the Royal Ontario Museum's exhibit… of Futalognkosaurus - though their final skeleton cast ended up being an uncalled-for frankenstein job that is actually more Alamosaurus than Futalognkosaurus.

Corrections since the last version: the entire skeleton overhauled! New photos and data available since last time required a whole new skeletal, with nearly none of the original reconstruction carried over. A number of elements were redone based on Scott Hartman's new skeletal… , but with additional detail. Whereas Hartman filled in the gaps with basal Malawisaurus material (including the skull), I went straight for the hi-fi jugular and filled the gaps with material from the closest known relatives of Futalognkosaurus - Mendozasaurus, Traukutitan, and Drusilasaura. The skull is a midde-of-the-road speculative morph between Malawisaurus and Antarctosaurus considering the transitional position of Futalognkosaurus. I doubt the skull was a clone of either Malawisaurus or Rapetosaurus (as reconstructed in the new ROM mount). Also included is material from the two referred juvenile specimens of Futalognkosaurus found at the same site at Barreales Lake. The hands and feet are speculative at this point, including the size and shape of the thumb claws.

The majority of the tail has not been found, and was restored after Mendozasaurus and Traukutitan. Since there aren't any good top-view photo sets for lognkosaurian caudals, the dorsal view of the tail is based on two more distant relatives known from far more complete tails - the basal saltasauroids Trigonosaurus and Baurutitan.

Futalognkosaurus dukei (Calvo, et. al. 2007)

Taxonomy: Saurischia; Sauropodomorpha; Sauropoda; Macronaria; Titanosauria; Lognkosauria
Meaning of name: "Great Chief Lizard of Duke Energy Company"
Time: Late Cretaceous (Turonian-Coniacian epochs, ~ 90-87 million years ago)
Length: ~27.3m (90ft), perhaps more depending on maturity
Probable Mass: ~ 60 tons, perhaps more depending on maturity (yes, the holotype animal was smaller and lighter than we once thought... sorry but it's TRUE).

Hailing from Late Cretaceous Argentina, Futalognkosaurus dukei was one of the most massive dinosaurs ever known, with the deepest neck on record and a colossal pelvis exceeding 2m at its widest point. It's also the most complete giant titanosaur known. My skeletal reconstruction is done based on extensive cross-scaling of the best unpublished photos and the most reliable published measurements. Three specimens of Futalognkosaurus were found at the site, which is on the edge of Barreales Lake. Aside from the "adult" holotype, the other two individuals are juveniles. They include arm and leg material which still has yet to be published, including at least one complete humerus:… . As one might expect, most photos of these are small and from awful angles which made measuring and scaling them a nightmare. The femur of one of the referred juveniles (visible in the background of one photo)… shows a close resemblance to Traukutitan:…

The Barreales Lake site is a rare treasure, since it preserves a whole Cretaceous ecosystem, including the giant allosauroid Megaraptor, the true raptor Unenlagia, a couple of undescribed titanosaur species, and plenty of plants, fish, turtles and crocodiles, in addition to Futalognkosaurus itself.

Futalognkosaurus was a member of the family Lognkosauria, a transitional group of titanosaurs with a plethora of strange and extreme skeletal features, including extremely wide dorsal vertebrae and rib cages. They ranged from the small (Malawisaurus) to the colossal (Puertasaurus). Futalognkosaurus, a Late Cretaceous lognkosaur, was one of the larger members of the family, and had the deepest neck of any sauropod with the possible exception of Isisaurus.

Currently this recon shows Futalognkosaurus at 90 ft. (27.3m), rivaling most of the biggest titanosaurs. Nevertheless in terms of overall dimensions it is outclassed by Argentinosaurus and several other giants. Though wide and massive, it was likely a good bit smaller in overall volume than its wide-bodied cousins Puertasaurus and Ruyangosaurus. The 32-34m estimate originally proposed by Jorge Calvo and colleagues is a bit excessive in my view. All the same, anything approaching 100 ft. long and 50 tons is beyond awesome.
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PigsFly1010's avatar

What are the dinosaurs in your forgotten giants series?