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Futalognkosaurus recon Mk. VI by Paleo-King Futalognkosaurus recon Mk. VI by Paleo-King
The long-awaited sixth (and possibly final) version of my Futalognkosaurus dukei skeletal. This version builds upon all the progress of the previous one [link] , with the addition of more accurate posterior dorsals and rib heads, corrections in the upper surface contours of the neck vertebrae (as seen from above), a thicker, deeper nuchal region, and shorter limbs to give it more reasonable titanosaur proportions. I also rounded off the speculative snout in the top view, to give it the shape of a high-browser's mouth rather than a square ground-feeder mouth as you see in saltasaurs and other diplodocid-mimics.

Also critically different in this version is the reduction of the dorsal column to just 10 vertebrae, which is the number repeatedly given in the published literature and correlates with the dorsal count in Malawisaurus and other relatives, rather than the most likely erroneous count of 11 dorsal vertebrae in Calvo et al.'s original (and heavily flawed) skeletal. As usual, the rib cage is entirely redone.

Futalognkosaurus dukei (Calvo et. al. 2007)

Taxonomy: Saurischia; Sauropodomorpha; Sauropoda; Macronaria; Titanosauria; Lognkosauria

Meaning of name: "Great Chief Lizard of Duke Energy Company"

Time: Late Cretaceous (Turonian-Coniacian epochs, ~ 90-87 million years ago)

Length: ~30m (100ft)
Probable Mass: ~ 65-70 tons

Hailing from Late Cretaceous Argentina, Futalognkosaurus dukei was one of the most massive dinosaurs ever known, with the deepest neck on record and a colossal pelvis exceeding 2m at its widest point. It's also the most complete giant titanosaur known, though due to the current lack of reliable measurements it's hard to tell just how "giant" the entire animal was. My skeletal reconstruction is done based on extensive cross-scaling using the best known unpublished photos [link] and verifying the most reliable of the published measurements with the sizes of the people said photos.

Futalognkosaurus was a member of the family Lognkosauria, a transitional group of titanosaurs with a plethora of strange and extreme skeletal features, including extremely wide dorsal vertebrae and rib cages. They ranged from the small (Malawisaurus) to the colossal (Puertasaurus). Futalognkosaurus, a Late Cretaceous lognkosaur, was one of the larger members of the family, and so far the one with the tallest neck bones - indeed it may have proportionally the deepest neck of any sauropod with the exception of Isisaurus.

Currently this recon shows Futalognkosaurus at 100 ft. (30m), rivaling Argentinosaurus in length, and likely exceeding both Paralititan and Argyrosaurus. Nevertheless the width of the vertebrae, though impressive, indicates it is still significantly smaller than both Puertasaurus and the new adult Alamosaurus remains, and it may also be outclassed by Ruyangosaurus giganteus and Huanghetitan ruyangensis. Never heard of these creatures? Sometimes I'm shocked at the sheer number of these record-breakers myself. We've truly come a long way since "Ultrasauros".
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Teratophoneus Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012
how big was ruyangosaurus? I could not find much infos about it. One source said, it was an estimated 30 metres long. Do you know which other sauropods it resembles most?
Also I wanted to know, how huanghetitan looked. Its a titanosauriform,so it probably dont looked exactly like other,more advanced titanosaurs,so does it maybe resemble euhelopus?.
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Huanghetitan (either species) probably looked like a cross between Brachiosaurus altithorax and Euhelopus (it was in that "no-man's land" of titanosauriformes more advanced than brachiosaurs but more primitive than euhelopodids). A good dinosaur to use as a template for Huanghetitan is its smaller cousin Dongyangosaurus, though that's only known from the torso and hips. Huanghetitan also has a very deep rib cage, the cross section is probably barrel-shaped like Argentinosaurus, maybe a bit less wide since it's more basal.

Ruyangosaurus appears to be a derived lognkosaur, most closely related to Puertasaurus. Indeed the 2nd dorsal on both animals looks practically identical in its bizarre proportions (very short from front to back, but very wide sideways, with the front of the centrum extremely convex). The unusually straight and elongated femur and oddly angled cervical rib resemble the far smaller Pitekunsaurus, which judging by the shoulder blade and anterior dorsal material, was also a longkosaur (it compares very closely with Drusilasaura and Puertasaurus). Ruyangosaurus was probably around 34-36m long (approaching Puertasaurus in length, but squatter, with very short tibia.) Also the neck may have been proportionally longer than in Puertasaurus, based on the size and shape of the Ruyangosaurus cervical rib.

So basically I'd say Ruyangosaurus looked like a Puertasaurus with shorter legs (or at least shorter lower leg segments), and even squatter body, and a slightly longer neck.
Teratophoneus Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
thanks a lot for the info. Now I have a clearer look how these animals probably looked like :)
SameerPrehistorica Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012  Hobbyist
Awesome.. :)
maniraptora Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
As always, fantastic restoration. I had some pictures of the skeleton, taken some years before it was published, but I'm not sure were are they now.
A minor comment. Check the name of the fossil bearing unit, it is "Portezuelo", not "Portozuelo"

Waiting for equally detailed and accurate restorations of non-avian theropods (I would love to see an accurate restoration of, for example, Giganotosaurus and Mapusaurus... I believe most of the published restorations of these animals are somewhat strange...)
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Correction made. 8-) Although I just realized that the front of the hips is completely off and needs to be revised... AGAIN.

While Mapusaurus is still a long way off, I have already done a Giganotosaurus, it's in my Puertasaurus schematic for scale: [link]
vasix Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Another Futalognkosaurus, then? We'll run out of funding if this continues! :XD:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
If you know any dino-loving billionaires, I'll be more than happy to mention their names in the credits of the next skeletal :)
vasix Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011
I have an armchair hypothesis, that the upward kink at the base of the tail might be matched by a deposit of fat on the underside... any ideas on how valid this might be?
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
There might have been some fat there but probably not enough to alter the overall shape or curvature of the tail's underside. To quote Greg Paul, "being animals that used their tails as weapons, it's possible that the tail was never so burdened". I'm not a huge fan of sticking big fat deposits on necks and tails, since today that sort of thing is found pretty much only in cold-blooded tail-draggers that don't need to carry long tails aloft (the few times you see it in mammals is in the case of very short, downward-directed tails like those of some sheep).

I'm not sure why Futalognkosaurus had the kink (titanosaurs in general have pretty bizarre tails and no complete tails are known from true lognkosaurians - Malawisaurus doesn't count), but a lot of sauropods have an upward kink at the base of the tail, most notably brachiosaurs - except that their dorsal column is tilted up so much that you don't see an upward kink at the tail base so much as a horizontal one, which is apparently to help their tails clear the ground. Maybe the tail in Futa functioned as an intraspecific weapon as well as an anti-predator one...
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Submitted on
October 16, 2011
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