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British Brachiosaurs by Paleo-King British Brachiosaurs by Paleo-King
A combination image of most of the known brachiosaur species found in the British Isles (all from England so far). I made this a couple years ago and refined it a few times, I figure it's time to show it off since it can't really get more accurate than this (since with such incomplete specimens, "accuracy" of skeletal art isn't really quantifiable past a certain point). As you can see, there aren't a whole lot of good remains of these animals, which may be due to the climate affecting the exposed fossil strata. It seems that the Isle of Wight, the homeland of the majority of England's sauropods, was dominated by brachiosaurs in the Early Cretaceous. They are mostly small or midsized animals for their lineage, but this does not rule out the presence of bigger species or individuals. The fragmentary nature of the fossils and the lack of any shoulder material means these specimens (aside from the clearly juvenile Bothriospondylus suffosus and the not-so-gigantic Chondrosteosaurus gigas with their unfused neural sutures) may still be at most only subadult animals.

In terms of quality of preservation (which, for most sauropods found in England, leaves a lot to be desired), the "nicest" of these animals is Eucamerotus, although only two vertebrae are in tip-top shape. They clearly indicate a deep-bodied brachiosaur similar to Giraffatitan but with more robust neural spines which lack the backswept angle found in Giraffatitan. The proportions of the missing parts (i.e. 95% of the skeleton in most of these animals!) were reconstructed after Brachiosaurus, Giraffatitan, Lusotitan, Lapparentosaurus and other brachiosaurs I have restored. All the species shown here are called by the most recent revisions of their names (which themselves have a very long and convoluted history of being recycled, passed around, and brought back from the dead) but I have decided to stick with the old BMNH catalog numbers for the sake of consistency with the older literature. The British Museum's needless and chronic name-changes to the "NHM" and then the "NHMUK", and now to who knows what (hence changing catalog letters and possibly even some specimen numbers), really makes me angry :X .All the confusion with specimen codes and all the money wasted on new labels, databases and stationary. Not that this makes BYU's specimen number-shuffles look any better :XD:

The larger and more complete "Barnes High brachiosaur" could not be accurately illustrated as it is in private hands and the issue of ownership remains complex - there are no good photos to go on. The Isle of Wight giant "Angloposeidon", which is also probably a good deal larger than any of these animals, is now thought to be a basal somphospondylian (probably something similar to Chubutisaurus) rather than a brachiosaur. An undescribed ilium, sacrum, and limb material found on the Isle of Wight appear to have basal somphospondylian features and may also belong to this animal.



References:

Barrett, Paul M., Roger B.J. Benson and Paul Upchurch (2010). "Dinosaurs of Dorset: Part II, the sauropod dinosaurs (Saurischia, Sauropoda) with additional comments on the theropods". Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 131: 113–126.

Blows, William T.  1995.  The Early Cretaceous brachiosaurid dinosaurs Ornithopsis and Eucamerotus from the Isle of Wight, England.  Palaeontology 38 (1): 187-197.

Hulke, J. W. 1879. "Note (3rd) on (Eucamerotus, Hulke) Ornithopsis, H. G. Seeley, = Bothriospondylus magnus, Owen, = Chondrosteosaurus magnus, Owen". Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 35: 752–762.

Hulke, J. W. 1874. "Note on a very Large Saurian Limb-bone adapted for Progression upon Land, from the Kimmeridge Clay of Weymouth, Dorset". Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 30: 16–17.

Melville, A.G., 1849, "Notes on the vertebral column of Iguanodon", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 139: 285–300

Owen, R., 1842, "Report on British Fossil reptiles, Pt. II". Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 11: 60–204

Owen, R., 1875, "A monograph on the Fossil Reptilia of the Mesozoic Formations. Monograph on the Genus Bothriospondylus", Palaeontographical Society, 29: 15-26

Owen, R. (1876). "Monograph on the fossil Reptilia of the Wealden and Purbeck Formations. Supplement 7. Crocodilia (Poikilopleuron) and Dinosauria? (Chondrosteosaurus)." Palaeontographical Society Monographs, 30: 1-7.

Seeley, H.G., 1870, "Ornithopsis, a gigantic animal of the Pterodacyle kind from the Wealden", Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 4th series 4(5): 305-318
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:iconpcawesomeness:
PCAwesomeness Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2016
What are all the exact time ranges for these things?
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:iconraptorwolfss:
raptorwolfss Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016
can you do more on UK dinosaurs as i don't know that much about them and they should have some spotlight plz
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:iconpcawesomeness:
Iguanodon?

Baryonyx?

Megalosaurus (even though it's not really that popular)?

Hypsilophodon?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Unfortunately UK dinosaurs tend to go to pieces as soon as you shine a spotlight on them. Seriously, they are that fragile.

Except for "Pelorosaurus" (now Haestasaurus) becklesii, Angloposeidon, and a number of basal somphospondylian elements (including a pretty good but unnamed sacrum) there's not much from macronarians. The cetiosaur material has already gotten some coverage on SV-POW. And the theropods and ornithischians I really don't care for :P And most of this stuff has been glued together from hundreds of cracked fragments.


The UK has a lot of dinosaurs, problem is most of them are just bits of bones, not entire skeletons. The better material is nearly all ornithischian, which isn't too interesting in my book. I wish the Barnes High brachiosaur could be described.
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:iconthemightybrachiosaur:
I didn't realize there were so many... apparently humans weren't the only ones with Empires in Britain...
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:iconkazuma27:
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, so many brachios in England those days... Buuut, considering we have tiny scraps of most of 'em, well, could it be better if they'd be lumped in just one or two species?
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:iconornithopsis:
Ornithopsis Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The humerus doesn't change much during ontogeny, though, in most sauropods, so it's lucky that we've got four type specimens that include a humerus! Duriatitan and Pelorosaurus are quite clearly distinct, whereas Dinodocus and "Ischyrosaurus" (which isn't actually a valid name) are more poorly preserved and thus less certain, though "Ischyrosaurus" is definitely distinct from Pelorosaurus and appears to be distinct from Duriatitan. So even if all the differences in vertebrae could somehow be explained by ontogeny and serial variation, there are still definitely at least two, and probably more, species depicted here.

Moreover, these species didn't all live at the same time, so it's unsurprising that there's a fair amount of diversity. Pelorosaurus lived in the Early Cretaceous whereas "Ischyrosaurus" and Duriatitan lived in the Late Jurassic. These reconstructions are presumably rather conservative (as is necessary when reconstructing something known from fragments!) so it's likely that these taxa had differences we don't yet know about.

As for whether there were so many brachiosaurids in England, well...that's a bit hard to say Wink/Razz. Depends on how you interpret some fragmentary fossils that belong to a highly debated part of the dinosaur family tree.

Gotta love the only skeletal on the internet of my namesake, though.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Unlikely, as there are still some differences in the vertebrae and humeri that may warrant keeping them apart. A couple of these animals may be lumpable but not all of them. For now though, since there isn't more eomplete material I have decided to keep them separate as-is.

Dinodocus and Ischyrosaurus seem to be more Giraffatitan-like forms, while Chrondrosteosaurus and Ornithopsis are probably more Brachiosaurus-like. The rest are a bit of a toss-up. Eucamerotus looks like something between Giraffatitan and the "Archbishop" in terms of vertebrae structure.
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Edited Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So Angloposeidon is a Chubutisaurus-grade animal...will you be doing a skeletal on either anytime in future?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Only after a redo of Sauroposeidon (with the Cloverly juvenile material) and a skeletal of Paluxysaurus that I'm working on. Those two also seem to fit better in Chubutisauridae than anywhere else. And they're the most complete so it will give a better idea of general proportions for the group.

They probably will end up looking like brachiosaurs, just a bit ... odder I guess is the word?
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Goodness...so Sauroposeidon's status as a proper brachiosaur is being openly challenged, is it? Never foresaw it coming to this, although I suppose a little bit of shortening would be alright...Is Chubutisaurus itself not known from good material itself though?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Chubutisaurus is known from pretty good limb material, and the odd twist in the distal parts of the radius and ulna is only found in Sauroposeidon (juvenile), Paluxysaurus, and perhaps a couple other titanosauriformes. The femur shape is also a bit different from brachiosaurs and is another aspect uniting it with those two other taxa.

And finally, the shape of the vertebrae... the gap between the prezygapophyses is a lot wider, and the centrum generally less deep, than in brachiosaurs. This is evident even though only fragments of the dorsal vertebrae of Chubutisaurus are known. This matches both Paluxysaurus and Sauroposeidon. Angloposeidon shows similar neck morphology to Paluxysaurus and Sauroposeidon.

That said, there's no real "shortening" necessary. Chubutisaurs were, by all indications, just as crazy-long-necked as brachiosaurs, if not even more so. Paluxysaurus has one of the proportionally longest necks in North America, for its size. And Sauroposeidon is of similar proportions, just much larger. I've never even heard of, much less seen, a short-necked chubutisaur.
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Something like this? maniraptora.deviantart.com/art… Looks pretty much like the general basal titanosauriforme
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
No... a lot more precise than that. Something more like this, but with a steeper neck angle: www.deviantart.com/art/Paluxys…
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really! It's gonna be like a somphospondylian ski slope if it gets so steep :D. thank you for all this extra information on these guys by the way.
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:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Edited Jan 11, 2015  Student Artist
When Titans roamed England from 100th million years in early cretaceous.
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