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Limaysaurus is a herbivorous rebbachisaurid sauropod dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of northwestern Patagonia.

Discovery

File:HNHM7.JPG

Limaysaurus includes a single type species, Limaysaurus tessonei, which was originally referred to the genus Rebbachisaurus as Rebbachisaurus tessonei by Jorge Calvo and Leonardo Salgado in 1995.[1] The genus Limaysaurus was named in 2004 by Salgado, Alberto Garrido, Sergio Cocca and Juan Cocca. The generic name is derived from the Río Limay.[2] The holotype specimen, MUCPv-205, a partial skeleton including the back of the skull, was found in 1988 by Lieto Francisco Tessone, who is honoured in the specific name. It was afterwards collected, together with MUCPv-206, a second fragmentary skeleton, by José Bonaparte. Additional material referred to Limaysaurus was uncovered between 1995 and 2002 from the Puesto Quiroga Member of the Lohan Cura Formation at Cerro Aguada del León in the south-central part of Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina. These beds appear to date from the Aptian-Albian interval.

Description

Limaysaurus was a medium-sized sauropod. Gregory S. Paul in 2010 estimated its length at fifteen metres and its weight at seven tonnes.[3] The neural spines on its back were very tall.

Classification

The describing authors in 2004 assigned Limaysaurus to the Rebbachisauridae. The Rebbachisauridae are a basal clade within the Diplodocimorpha, and their remains have been found in Cretaceous-age rocks in Europe, South America, and Africa. A cladistic analysis of macronarian sauropods (Salgado et al., 2004; Fig. 6) demonstrated close affinities between Limaysaurus, Rebbachisaurus, and Nigersaurus.[2]

References

  1. Calvo, J. O. and Salgado, L. (1995). "Rebbachisaurus tessonei sp. nov. A new sauropod from the Albian-Cenomanian of Argentina; new evidence on the origin of the Diplodocidae." Gaia, 11: 13-33.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Salgado, L., Garrido, A., Cocca, S. E., and Cocca, J. R. (2004). "Lower Cretaceous rebbachisaurid sauropods from Cerro Aguada Del León, Neuquén Province, northwestern Patagonia, Argentina." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 24(4): 903-912, December 2004.
  3. Paul, G.S., 2010, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press p. 186

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