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RINCONSAURUS

a plant-eating aeolosaurid sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina.
rinconsaurus
Pronunciation: rin-con-SOR-us
Meaning: Rincón de los Sauces lizard
Author/s: Calvo and Riga (2003)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Neuquén, Argentina
Chart Position: 428

Rinconsaurus caudamirus

Although known from the remains of three individuals, two of them adults and the other a juvenile, Rinconsaurus is riddled with uncertainty. We don't know whether it's from the current Plottier or Portezuelo Formation because they were both once known as the Río Neuquén Formation, we don't know how long it was because nothing even close to a complete neck has thus far been discovered, and we don't know if it really does belong to Aeolosaurini — a Casal-proposed family of titanosaurs — along with Gondwanatitan and Aeolosaurus because, well, just because.

Based on the design of its vertebrae, Rinconsaurus is a shoo-in titanosaur; the sauropod dinosaurs known as "giant lizards", which are reknowned for being robust but not necessarily giant-sized. Ironically, Rinconsaurus isn't robust either and like Muyelensaurus was an unusually slender family member, which is suprising given that titanosaurs aren't particularly fussy eaters and will happily chomp anything from cycads and conifers to the ancestors of rice plants and bamboo, as confirmed by the study of their fossilized dung.
(Rincon lizard with an amazing tail)Etymology
Rinconsaurus is derived from "Rincón de los Sauces" (the area where its fossils were discovered) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, caudamirus, is derived from the Latin "cauda" (tail) and "mirus" (amazing, wonderful, marvellous), in reference to the unusual shape of its tail vertebrae.
Discovery
The remains of Rinconsaurus were discovered in what was originally listed as the "Río Neuquén Formation" at Cañadón Río Seco , 2km north of Rincon de los Sauces, Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina, by Gabriel Benítez in 1997. They were extracted by J. Calvo and his team from the Paleontology Museum of the National University of Comahue. Unfortunately, the "Río Neuquén Formation" is now known as the "Río Neuquén subgroup" and contains both the Plottier and Portezuelo formations, but no-one is sure which one Rinconsaurus was actually discovered in. The holotype (MRS-Pv 26) is a series of 13 tail vertebrae and two ilia (hip bones).
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Coniacian
Age range: 89-86 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 15 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 14 tons
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Jorge O. Calvo and B.J.G. Riga (2003) "Rinconsaurus caudamirus gen. et sp nov., a new titanosaurid (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina". Revista Geológica de Chile, Vol. 30, No. 2, p. 333-353.
• Vandana Prasad, Caroline A.E. Strömberg, Habib Alimohammadian and Ashok Sahni (2005) "Dinosaur Coprolites and the Early Evolution of Grasses and Grazers". Science 18 Nov 2005: Vol. 310, Issue 5751, pp. 1177-1180.
• Fernando E. Novas (2009) "The Age of Dinosaurs in South America".
• Casal, G.; Martínez, R.D.; Luna, M.; Sciutto, J.C; and Lamanna, M.C. (2007) "Aeolosaurus colhuehuapensis sp. nov. (Sauropoda, Titanosauria) de la Formación Bajo Barreal, Cretácico Superior de Argentina [Aeolosaurus colhuehuapensis sp. nov. (Sauropoda, Titanosauria) from the Bajo Barreal Formation, Upper Cretaceous of Argentina]".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "RINCONSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 17th Nov 2017.
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