Venenosaurus

Name: Venenosaurus‭(‬Poison lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ven-in-o-sore-us.
Named By: Virginia Tidwell,‭ ‬Kenneth Carpenter‭ & ‬Suzanne Meyer‭ ‬-‭ ‬2001.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Sauropodomorpha,‭ ‬Sauropoda,‭ ‬Titanosauriformes,‭ ‬Brachiosauridae.
Species: V.‭ ‬dicrocei‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Up to‭ ‬10‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Utah,‭ ‬Cedar Mountain Formation,‭ ‬Poison Strip Member.
Time period: Aptian/Albian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Incomplete post cranial skeletons of an adult and juvenile.

       Venenosaurus,‭ ‬meaning‭ ‘‬poison lizard‭’ ‬acquired its name from being discovered in the Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation,‭ ‬while the type species,‭ ‬V.‭ ‬dicrocei,‭ ‬is in honour of Tony DiCroce,‭ ‬the person who first discovered the remains.‭ ‬Other sauropod dinosaurs from the Cedar Mountain Formation,‭ ‬albeit from different Members,‭ ‬include Abydosaurus,‭ ‬Cedarosaurus and Brontomerus.‭ ‬Out of these,‭ ‬Cedarosaurus seems to be the most similar to Venenosaurus.
       Venenosaurus was a typical brachiosaurid sauropod which may have spent most of its time browsing upon high growing vegetation.‭ ‬The authors of the‭ ‬2001‭ ‬description of Venenosaurus however noted that while appearing robust,‭ ‬the radius‭ (‬one of the lower fore arm bones‭) ‬was surprisingly slender for its type of sauropod.‭ ‬Out of the Cedar Mountain Formation,‭ ‬only Cedarosaurus is known to have more gracile lower fore leg bones than Venenosaurus.
       Aside from sauropods,‭ ‬Venenosaurus‭ ‬would have likely shared its environment with ornithopod dinosaurs such as Planicoxa,‭ ‬also known from the Poison Strip Member.‭ ‬It should also be remembered that the Poison Strip member is sandwiched between the Yellow Cat and Ruby Ranch Members of the Cedar Mountain Formation,‭ ‬and these also contain armoured nodosaur dinosaurs like Gastonia.‭ ‬So,‭ ‬it’s probable that they were also around in the time that the Poison Strip Member was laid,‭ ‬but if they were preserved is a different matter.
       Possible predators of Venenosaurus might have been large dromaeosaurid dinosaurs like Utahraptor.‭ ‬Although Utahraptor remains from the Poison Strip Member have been considered to be indeterminate,‭ ‬definite Utahraptor remains are known from the Yellow Cat Member which lies below the Poison Strip Member.‭ ‬Indeterminate remains speculated to belong to the even bigger Acrocanthosaurus‭ (‬a carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaur‭) ‬were recovered from slightly above in the Ruby Ranch Member.‭ ‬Even if these remains are not Acrocanthosaurus,‭ ‬the time and location would still be about right for this genus or a very close relative of.
       Due to similarities in the vertebrae,‭ ‬Venenosaurus is considered to be similar to Aeolosaurus,‭ ‬Cedarosaurus and Gondwanatitan.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A new titanosauriform‭ (‬Sauropoda‭) ‬from the Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation‭ (‬Lower Cretaceous‭)‬,‭ ‬Utah,‭ ‬V.‭ ‬Tidwell,‭ ‬K.‭ ‬Carpenter‭ & ‬S.‭ ‬Meyer‭ ‬-‭ ‬2001.



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