Brachiosaurs redux! I – Sonorasaurus

Rejoice! Yesterday marked the release of the redescription of Sonorasaurus thompsoni, the oldest (confirmed) Brachiosaurid known, and the only one known from my current state of residence. This paper can be read here (I already downloaded the paper from Sci-Hub, so you can just download and read).

And as a nice pleasant surprise, Brachiosauridae continues to be recovered as monophyletic, Europasaurus is the most basal, Sonorasaurus & Giraffatitan come out as sister taxon, and VenenosaurusLusotitan show up within Brachiosauridae.


The strict consensus tree, based on the data matrix of D’Emic (2012), with a couple additional characters, as well as (obviously) the addition of Sonorasaurus.  _________________________________________________________________

On the bright side, now I have an even better reason to get around to restoring Sonorasaurus, with pretty much every single known bone photographed now, this’ll be a whole lot easier.

This paper was published by D’Emic, Foreman, & Jud, and as (unfortunately) seems to continue with D’Emic’s papers, they continue to be published under a paywall. Just think about it: a juvenile Barosaurus specimen (published in JVP); the description of a (likely) Camarasaurid from the USA (the oldest one known from the Cretaceous) also was published in JVP; a paper on a baby Rapetosaurus specimen (he isn’t the head author, but he’s still on it) was published in Science Mag. The (controversial) paper on Astrophocaudia, a new specimen of Cedarosaurus, and the (not very convincing in my eyes) referral of Paluxysaurus jonesi to Sauroposeidon proteles (that’s a lot for one paper, eh?) was published in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology (also owned by Taylor & Francis). I’m really starting to wonder if some paleontologists have even been paying attention to what SV-POW! and others in the blogosphere have been saying (Open-access, please!).

References                                                                                                                                                          ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

D’Emic, M.D., Foreman, B.Z., Jud, N.A. (2016), Anatomy, systematics, paleoenvironment, and age of the sauropod dinosaur Sonorasaurus thompsoni from the Cretaceous of Arizona, USA. Journal of Paleontology.

Ratkevich, R (1998). “New Cretaceous brachiosaurid dinosaur, Sonorasaurus thompsoni gen et sp. nov, from Arizona.” Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 31; 71-82.


7 thoughts on “Brachiosaurs redux! I – Sonorasaurus”

  1. I am tried scaling the size of the new titanosaur from Chubut with “Antarctosaurus” giganteus and I got an animal some 36.17 meters and 91.48 metric tons fully grown (The actual specimen size I got was 33.5 meters and 85.5 metric tons). I just wanted share this with you to see if I did it correctly.


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