Australodocus

Name: Australodocus ‭(‬Southern beam‭)‬.
Phonetic: Oss-trah-lo-doe-kus.
Named By: Kristian Remes‭ ‬-‭ ‬2007.‭
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Sauropoda,‭ ‬Macronaria,‭ ‬Camarasauromorpha,‭ ‬Titanosauriformes.
Species: A.‭ ‬bohetii‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: About‭ ‬15‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Tanzania‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tendaguru Beds.
Time period: Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial remains.‭ ‬Many of the original fossils have been destroyed.

       Fossils of Australodocus were first recovered in‭ ‬1909‭ ‬by the famous German palaeontologist Werner Janensch,‭ ‬however they were not described until‭ ‬2007.‭ ‬Further to this,‭ ‬not all of the original specimens could be studied since many of them were destroyed in World War‭ ‬2.‭ ‬Out of the surviving bones,‭ ‬some of the vertebrae had bifurcate‭ (‬two as opposed to one‭) ‬neural spines,‭ ‬a feature similar to that of the famous North American genus Diplodocus,‭ ‬and hence the reason for Australodocus being treated as a diplodocid.‭ ‬Later study has now re-interpreted the remains as those of macronarian sauropod,‭ ‬those that are similar to Camarasaurus and Brachiosaurus.‭
       This is further supported by study of the paleoflora of the Tendaguru beds which reveal the abundant presence of conifer trees.‭ ‬It would have been somewhat awkward for a diplodocid to feed from these kinds of plants,‭ ‬since they are better adapted for browsing lower down.‭ ‬A macronarian sauropod carries its head higher than a diplodocid,‭ ‬and would therefore have an easier time feeding upon the taller braches of trees.

       The Tendaguru Beds have yielded many sauropod genera,‭ ‬including Tornieria, Janenschia,‭‭ ‬Dicraeosaurus and Giraffatitan.‭ ‬Other kinds of dinosaurs such as theropods were also active,‭ ‬although many of these are poorly represented and are dubious entries for validity.‭ ‬One genus however was the six meter long Elaphrosaurus,‭ ‬and although singly not capable of taking on a fully grown adult Australodocus,‭ ‬this theropod genus might have been a serious threat to smaller juveniles.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A second Gondwanan diplodocid dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic Tendaguru Beds of Tanzania,‭ ‬East Africa,‭ ‬Kristian Remes‭ ‬-‭ ‬2007.

-‭ ‬Re-evaluation of Australodocus bohetii,‭ ‬a putative diplodocoid sauropod from the Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania,‭ ‬with comment on Late Jurassic sauropod faunal diversity and palaeoecology,‭ ‬John Whitlock‭ ‬-‭ ‬2011.

-‭ ‬A phylogenetic analysis of Diplodocoidea‭ (‬Saurischia:‭ ‬Sauropoda‭)‬,‭ ‬John Whitlock‭ ‬-‭ ‬2011.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random favourites