Fossil of oldest long-necked dinosaur found in Brazil

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A group of paleontologists discovered in southern Brazil what has been described as the world’s oldest long-necked dinosaur, university researchers said Wednesday. Their findings are based on analysis of three well-preserved dinosaur skeletons.

Fossil of oldest long-necked dinosaur found in Brazil
A newly-described dinosaur from Brazil is the oldest long-necked dino ever found, dating back 225 million years
[Credit: Marcio L. Castro/UFSM/EFE]

The description of the new dinosaur species made by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) and the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) was published in the latest edition of the scientific journal Biology Letters.




The new species, named “Macrocollum itaquii,” part of a group of dinosaurs known as sauropodomorphs – was identified after three complete dinosaur skeletons were removed in 2013 from Triassic rocks in Agudo, a municipality in the interior of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, which borders Argentina and Uruguay.

Fossil of oldest long-necked dinosaur found in Brazil
Reconstructed skeleton and representative elements of Macrocollum itaquii. (a) Skull in left lateral view (CAPPA/UFSM
0001a). (b) Skull in dorsal view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001a). (c) Skull in ventral view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001b). (d) Fourth cervical
vertebra in left lateral view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001b). (e) Mid-truncal vertebra in left lateral view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001b).
(f) Left ilium in lateral view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001b). (g) Left ischium in lateral view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001b). (h) Right
pectoral girdle in lateral view (reversed – CAPPA/UFSM 0001b). (i) Right manual digit I in medial view (CAPPA/UFSM
0001b). (j) Right astragalus in dorsal view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001c). (k) Right femur in cranial view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001b).
 (l) Left pes in cranial view (CAPPA/UFSM 0001a). I-1, phalanx one of the digit I; I-2, phalanx two of the digit I; a,
angular; ap, ascending process; co, coracoid; crt, crest; ct, cranial trochanter; d, dentary; dp, diapophysis; epi,
epipophysis; f, frontral; fh, femoral head; fob, fossa for the olfactoy bulbus; inf, internarial fenestra; is, ischium shaft;
 j, jugal; mc, medial condyle; mcI, metacarpal I; mtI, metatarsal I; mtIII, metatarsal III; mtV, metatarsal V; mw, medial
wall; mx, maxilla; n, nasal; ns, neural spine; opl, obturador plate; p, parietal; pa, parapophysis; paa,
postacetabular ala; pmfo, promaxillary fenestra; pmx, premaxilla; po, postorbital; poz, postzygapophysis;
prf, prefrontal; prz, prezygapophysis; q, quadrate; qj, quadratojugal; sa, surangular;
sac, supracetabular crest; scp, scapula; sq, squamosal; stf, supratemporal fenestra.
Scale bar = 50 mm [Credit: Rodrigo Temp Müller et al. 2018]

The main characteristic of the newly identified species is its long neck, which stretched for 3.5 metres (almost 12 feet).




That feature places the “Macrocollum itaquii” in the same group of sauropodomorph dinosaurs that also includes Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus.

Source: EFE [November 21, 2018]

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