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 My skeletal reconstruction is done based on extensive cross-scaling using the best known unpublished photos [link]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
, 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
. 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".