Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Cedarosaurus weiskopfae by Paleo-King Cedarosaurus weiskopfae by Paleo-King
Etymology: "Weiskopf's Cedar Mountain lizard" (after the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah and "for the Late Carol Weiskopf for her hard work in the field and lab")

Time horizon: Early Cretaceous, Barremian epoch (~126 mya)

Length: ~16m (~53 ft.)

Probable mass: 17 tons, perhaps more based on maturity


The slender brachiosaur known as Cedarosaurus is a subadult specimen, so how large the adults got is anyone's guess. We do know that it was native to the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, and thus making it a few million years older than the basal somphospondylian Venenosaurus. Its vertebrae and limbs closely resemble those of English brachiosaurs from around the same time, such as Eucamerotus and Pelorosaurus (most of which are also known from mid-sized immature specimens)

Cedarosaurus is known from a type specimen (shown here) and possibly also a referred foot described by d'Emic (2013), although this could belong to any number of cretaceous brachiosaur species. Cedarosaurus overall appears to follow the classic "Abydosaurine" body plan of most Cretaceous brachiosaurs, with a compact torso, slender limbs, "perky" neural spines tilted forward relative to the articulation axis of the centrum, and overall taller neural arches on the dorsals than in most Jurassic brachiosaurs. This tendency towards taller arches, which translates to a more elevated ribcage and a wider back, was also evolved independently in somphospondylians, eventually culminating in the extreme dorsals of the Acrofornica like Phuwiangosaurus, whose vertebrae were nearly 70% neural arch and almost NO neural spine.

Also notable was the discovery of 115 "clasts" or gastroliths in the stomach region, which are worn smooth by internal grinding and acid-etching just like in other sauropods. Unusually, some of these stones actually contained fossils of small plants and invertebrates that were already ancient and long-dead when the Cedarosaurus swallowed them. For a long time gastroliths were only known from diplodocids, and it was unknown whether brachiosaurs swallowed stones to grind food in their stomachs. Their teeth, more massive and numerous than those of diplodocids, seemed to argue against this, but the discovery of these belly-stones with Cedarosaurus shows that the animal still swallowed its food with a minimum of biting or chewing. Even the toothy mouths of brachiosaurs were primarily designed for hacking through branches, not actually chewing the food.

I was unable to locate any good information about the late Carol Weiskopf, the species' namesake, other than that she was probably one of Dr. Bakker's eponymous "museum people" toiling long hours with little recognition in the vaults and specimen labs, who are "always overworked, always underpaid, and they deserve sainthood, each and every one".


REFERENCES:

d’Emic, Michael D. (2013). "Revision of the sauropod dinosaurs of the Lower Cretaceous Trinity Group, southern USA, with the description of a new genus". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 11 (6): 707–726.

Sanders, F.; Manley, K.; Carpenter, K. (2001). "Gastroliths from the Lower Cretaceous sauropod Cedarosaurus weiskopfae". In Tanke, Darren; Carpenter, Ken. Mesozoic Vertebrate Life: New Research Inspired by the Paleontology of Philip J. Currie. Indiana University Press. pp. 166–180.

Tidwell, V., Carpenter, K. and Brooks, W. (1999). "New sauropod from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah, USA". Oryctos 2: 21-37

Tidwell, V., Carpenter, K. & Meyer, S. 2001. New Titanosauriform (Sauropoda) from the Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Utah. In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. D. H. Tanke & K. Carpenter (eds.). Indiana University Press, Eds. D.H. Tanke & K. Carpenter. Indiana University Press. 139-165.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconpaleo-reptiles:
Dear Nima

through Paleontology books, Dr. Michael Benton update his book yet. I advice you speak with Benton for use your Illustrations for his new edition of his book. I think he will be happy replace some wrong skeleton models of Dinosaurs of his book with your correct model. choice is yours!

I think present your illustrations in this book can help to many students that read this book, find a correct imagination about Dinosaurs. it is a begging for work between you and some famous authors!


Vertebrate Palaeontology 4th Edition
Michael Benton

480 pages

Wiley-Blackwell; 4 edition
2014

Reply
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just curious, what are your thoughts on this new Brachiosaurid paper? Seems to be changing everything. (It's the third one on the list): zopteryx.deviantart.com/journa…
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Sounds very interesting, it reaffirms that the French "Bothriospondylus" described by Lapparent and Europasaurus are both brachiosaurs. I am curious to know how this shakes up the brachiosaurid family tree, and whether they also included Fusuisaurus in the study... which in my view is the only realistic candidate for a Chinese brachiosaur so far, but I'd be interested to know if they ended up placing it in some other family, since its ilium shape screams "Brachiosaurus altithorax cousin" and it's been previously described as one of the most basal titanosauriforms out there.

Where can we get the actual paper as a PDF?
Reply
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't know, I've been unable to locate it. I think it actually hasn't been released yet. It was apparently talked about at SVP-CA, so I haven't a clue when it'll be released.
Reply
:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice to see you back in action. And yes I think I'll say what almost everyone has been, that Cedarosaurus is really not as big as we thought. Although...what do you think of that new Chubut titanosaur in the American Museum of Natural History? It just wasn't named, there's no literature on it that I can think of, and it just...got reconstructed and plonked in there. Do you plan on a skeletal or blog post anytime soon?
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
that's a real interesting one.  I actually put up two blog posts on this titanosaur. The "Chubut Monster". Interesting how they got a replica casted and mounted so fast!

Here's my two cents on the AMNH mount so far...

1) the speculative head is just WRONG. It should be a bit more like my Futalognkosaurus or Puertasaurus heads. Instead they gave it a pseudo-nemegtosaur head that's actuall flatter than any real nemegtosaur head! Duck-billed is the only thing you could call this poor squashed head. The real head wasn't found, but it's a safe bet that with everything else on this beast screaming "transitional lognkosaur" instead of "nemegtosaur that got punched in the nose", the head should have a bigger nasal arch and more curved-out profile than they gave it.

2) the shoulders are tilted too low, the tilt should be steeper on a macronarian... or any sauropod in fact... and the arms are splayed way too far apart, there is more distance between the hands than the shoulders, which is totally unrealistic for a sauropod. I get that titanosaurs had wider bodies and thus wider spaced limbs than other sauropods, but the legs were still straight, not semi-sprawling. The center of gravity has to be more or less below the body, not out to the sides, to even be able to walk properly and support itself.

3) the neck should be more vertical (because obviously this is a tall, high-browsing lognkosaur).

4) They might want to double-check those ischia and pubes, they look awfully undersized on a titanosaur this big, especially compared to the ilia (which I haven't seen in the dig site photos, so no telling if they are based on the actual fossil material).

Other than those issues, it looks great! They did a nice job with those fused caudals. BTW, the mounted replica appears to be based on one of the smaller individuals from the side, the one whose femur isn't cracked into several pieces... this individual was similar in size to the Futalognkosaurus holotype, so it makes sense that the full mount is also similar in size the Futa at the ROM (which is needlessly kitbashed with casts of a lot of Alamosaurus material, but I digress). The big specimen with the cracked femur was probably closer to Argentinosaurus or Puertasaurus in size.
Reply
:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm...interesting...I wonder if you would like to add a few more things in due course...see, I work for Earth Archives as a writer, and essentially this is the biggest story in the paleosphere to date, barring the Spinosaurus drama. Anyway, can I get back to you after I speak with my boss? The two of us were talking about the mount and about similarly undescribed, rather unknown or unnamed or informally named mega-sauropods out there like "Xinghesaurus" and also, this one. Yeah, this is great, really  great :) We just need something different on the NYC mount, something from a sauropod guy's POV. Although I think they did the neck horizontally due to...well from what I heard, it was a lack of space in the museum. It would have been awesome though to have it tower over the visitors with its head forty, fifty feet in the air. 
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
By all means talk to your boss, I'm definitely open to an interview and even some of my work being published. And yes I agree about the space limitation, that's the basic reason most museums force macronarian and mamenchisaur skeletons into unnatural horizontal-neck poses. Maybe they should take that into account when renovating the dinosaur halls...
Reply
:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I spoke to him just now :) He's totally on board with it. We have started doing more original articles these days, and right now our slots are pretty full. We will slot the titanosaur article for February 8th, since we post an original article ever Monday, and schedule it for the rest of the week. :) Anyway I think the analysis you gave me on the AMNH mount also counts :D Here's the kind of writing we do: Earth Archives
Reply
:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2016
Another nice Brachiosaur skeletal. Are there some "Forgotten Giants" Titanosaurs coming up as well?
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Believe it or not I am working on it but there are several more pressing projects so it will take time.
Reply
:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016
Ah, cool; that's good to hear, since no one else seems capable of drawing truly accurate titanosaurs. :)
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Well to be fair there are other people who are very capable of it (but even most of them are not even attempting it though, which is unfortunate). And their work is by and large accurate. But they generally don't put in as much detail and aren't working on some of the truly bizarre species. You may notice I am not as prolific or as fast as some other skeletal artists; that's mainly because (a) it's not my sole source of income, though it does play a part and I do want it to play a bigger part, hence my tendency of being fierce to defend my good name as an honest artist, and (b) I tend to go full bore for quality above quantity, which often means slower production times. Sometimes when doing skeletals I will re-line a bone multiple times in my digital editor programs if I feel it came out too rough or distorted the first time, or gives off the erroneous illusion of structures (laminae or fossae for example) that aren't actually there.
Reply
:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016
Yeah, I meant more the fact that you draw obscure species with more detail in a nice, info-graphic format.
BTW, what's your main job? I'm just a student right now.
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Well I prefer to keep that separate from my paleo-related stuff, but I have been a consultant in various economic/financial domains for several years. BTW some of my earlier work does date from my student years, and the reason I don't censor it or take it down (even it isn't as accurate as the newer stuff) is to show progression of improvement and that honestly nobody was born great. You would not believe how many "big egos" are out there who act like every single image they produced is perfect and infallible for all time (ironically some of them make the same claim against me, without actually reading my words). Right now I'm reworking my Giraffatitan skeletal and I have no problem admitting the old version was a LOT worse, the new one will put it to shame. But I will still keep the old one up for comparison, at least for a while.
Reply
:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016
Ah, OK, thanks. Looking forward to the updated skeletal(s) then as well!
Reply
:iconspinodontosaur4:
Spinodontosaur4 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016
Was it really that small? The scale bar on Scott Hartman's version implies it to be something like 29% bigger than restored here, the shapes of all the bones are different too although overall body proportions are virtually the same.
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Edited Jan 10, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
I got some disturbing news for you my friend... if you are talking about this particular Scott Hartman skeletal www.skeletaldrawing.com/saurop… then it's just his Giraffatitan skeletal www.skeletaldrawing.com/saurop… scaled down to one of the smaller Giraffatitan specimens, with the skull of Abydosaurus swapped in. There's not a single detail in there that is based on the actual fossil remains of Cedarosaurus, let alone the proportions... all the postcrania are exactly the same as his Giraffatitan skeletal. It's more of a "Giraffabydotitan" chimera.

While I'm sure there are reasons for this (such as lack of time, deadlines, etc.) it is clear that Cedarosaurus is less like Giraffatitan than like Eucamerotus and other cretaceous brachiosaurs... it would be a mistake to assume that all brachiosaur taxa are basically clones of Giraffatitan. The family did have a lot of variability. In fact even Hartman's Brachiosaurus altithorax looks a bit too much like his Giraffatitan IMO... but that may be because it was a lot more convenient to recycle the Giraffatitan limbs and "possibly not Giraffatitan" HMN-SI upper cervicals, rather than the BYU and UNSM ones referred to Brachiosaurus - but again, this was probably due to time constraints.
Reply
:iconblazze92:
bLAZZE92 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016
In the supplemental of Benson et al. (2014) the humerus of Cedarosaurus is listed at 138cm, Paleo-King's scale matches up with that, while in Hartman's it's almost 180cm long, I guess he got the scalebar wrong.
Reply
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I remember reading somewhere (probably wikipedia) that Cedarosaurus was a Laurasiforme, is that no longer true?
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Wikipedia gets edited by all sorts of users users. So it's not surprising they get one or two (or fifty million) "facts" wrong.

That said, Cedarosaurus, being a brachiosaur, was not all that different from Laurasiformes, as they were the next branch up in the titanosauriform line. Abydosaurus is pretty close to Cedarosaurus morphology-wise, so that's a good indication Cedarosaurus is a brachiosaur. However I am pretty convinced based on looking at the scale photos that Venenosaurus was a true Laurasiform more akin to Tastavinsaurus, not a brachiosaur.
Reply
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the quick reply, saved me on my own Brachiosaur project I'm working on. By any chance, do you have any information on the "Fire Ridge" and "Barnes High" Brachiosaurs (Classification, size, completeness of remains, etc.)?
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Fire ridge is a femur, probably a juvenile. I haven't seen much info on it, I guessed the size based on a very bad photo. The Barnes High brachiosaur is in private hands, I've only seen fragments of it in pictures, and a display at a museum that shows a crude map of the bones as they were found. There's not much to guess the actual shape of the bones from in that map. Rather cartoonish actually.

I'd love to see better photos of both, but here's the kicker.... most of the rare fossils scientists know of have never been photographed. I don't know if it's just lack of knowledge of their existence, laziness, or not having a camera phone.... Including a lot of the material referred to Brachiosaurus itself. I've heard there are over 30 specimens.... never seen more than a few of them photographed.
Reply
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well that sucks. I wish the folks would get around to describing all these undescribed specimens (Dry Mesa Brachiosaur, Xinghesaurus, etc). Plus id would be nice to at least get some decent photographs of these private specimens.
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
You took the words right out of my mouth LOL. Some of these fossils will probably start falling apart before they are published. :(

Many of the larger museums have big endowment funds and wealthy trustees. But most of that money ends up going to an excessive bureaucracy who spend it coming up with new ways to re-label, re-sort, and re-catalog the same old specimens..... rather than to paleontologists who actually do research. Plus there's no point to re-numbering all the specimens. Keep the old specimen numbers, changing them every few years just causes POINTLESS confusion (here's looking at you, British Museum... and BYU... and even Humboldt museum!) Thanks to all this waste (but also for other reasons), paleontology is underfunded and a shrinking profession. I know this firsthand from several insiders at SVP, they make no secret of it.

This is why some people who want to handle dinosaurs for a living will give up working for museums and universities altogether and go the private route, dig up bones for money. Unfortunately that means they can't really publish their research in a peer reviewed journal seeing as they are using privately owned fossils off limits to the field in general, hence the research is not "repeatable", and they are pretty much stigmatized by mainstream paleontology as fossil poachers, even when the fossil's ownership and the land title for the site is legit. But the mainstream establishment is inefficient and can be corrupt in its own ways, especially when it's reliant for funds on non-scientist bureaucrats in academia or museums. Or when the board of directors at SVP privatizes its journal to a paywall publishing company without asking for ANY sort of vote from its "voting" members.

Honestly I would like to see some museums nationalized. The current private trustee system is woefully inadequate for processing all the fossils that get dug up. And it's not creating real living-wage jobs for all those PhDs. You get better work out of people when you don't demand that 90% of the work be done on practically a volunteer basis and then complain about the resulting crappy exhibits as an excuse to further cut funding. This is the real reason why the Smithsonian never responds to suggestions by visitors disappointed with their inaccurate exhibits, why they took over 20 years after I informed them to even PLAN to revise their mounts of Triceratops, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus. 2 out of 3 are still in progress. The Triceratops hardly looks better than before, still sprawling and dislocated, and that's after $15 million of "upgrades".

People go to museums to see more, better, and newer dinosaurs, not to admire the barely noticeable results of a completely (and unnecessarily) re-organized Dewey Decimal system for specimen numbers! About time museum managers start actually responding to feedback, and creating exhibits people want to see, and not trying to decide what people "should" want to see, when they pay for that ticket. That way people would actually go more than once in their life, it's not the same old stuff with new nameplates. Shocking how museums don't even see the long-term profits to be gained.
Reply
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, thanks for the long replies! I agree, we need to fix the current system, because it clearly doesn't work anymore. Would certainly be nice to stop seeing tripod Theropods and horizontal-necked Titanosaurs in our supposedly "up-to-date" museum halls. The Deinocheirus plaque at AMNH still says it might be related to Therizinosaurus, despite the new specimens being described in 2013.
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Whatever biped had huge arms and claws, *must* be a therizinosaur... lol :XD: typical mainstream academia at its finest, even considering that for years the rest of Deinocherus wasn't known!

It would be nice to have any titanosaurs or brachiosaurs at all in most museums, but you're right, vertical necks would be much better (unless we're dealing with saltasaurids or similar). But often the problem in most museums preventing correct mounting of high-browsing sauropods isn't the fault of curators, but simply due to simple space constraints - their ceilings aren't high enough. The Los Angeles museum just doesn't have the vertical clearance to fit the proper neck posture for its Mamenchisaurus youngi cast.

On the other hand, the Fernbank Museum is gigantic and does have a lot of vertical clearance in its rotunda, but they didn't take advantage of it, and still chose to make their Argentinosaurus cast a lazy neck-drooper, just like the far smaller Plaza Huincul museum (basically a very long and low metal shed) was forced to do with the master cast. Oh well...
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconthescipio:
TheScipio Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Good to have more Sauropod skeletals. Especially from such an amazing as yourself! Do you plan on making more skeletals on a semi-regular basis now?
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Pretty much that's what I'm planning.
Reply
:iconthescipio:
TheScipio Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's great news! I look forward to more of your skeletals.
Reply
:iconthelordtaxus:
TheLordTaxus Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016
Awesome. I really like fossils but alas I live in Louisiana and there are few fossils here.
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Lol same here... I'm in California and not many fossils. Lots of sandstone but it's the wrong age for dinosaurs, plus it's mostly ocean sediment so only shells and fish (if you're lucky).
Reply
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's how I felt when I lived in Nevada. Fortunately I live in Arizona now, but I understand the feeling.
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
January 3, 2016
Image Size
880 KB
Resolution
2896×3028
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
2,513 (6 today)
Favourites
60 (who?)
Comments
40
×