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Submitted on
November 24, 2012
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Futalognkosaurus recon Mk. VIII by Paleo-King Futalognkosaurus recon Mk. VIII by Paleo-King
The long awaited 8th version! Multiview hi-fi skeletal, which is a first for any titanosaur. :XD: This will be the last posted version before a final "Forgotten Giants" treatment.

This multi-view skeletal has already inspired several other restorations, including this superb one by Vladimir Nikolov:… . Earlier versions were the basis for the Royal Ontario Museum's exhibit… of Futalognkosaurus - though their final skeleton cast ended up being an uncalled-for frankenstein job that is actually more Alamosaurus than Futalognkosaurus.

Corrections since the last version: the entire skeleton overhauled! New photos and data available since last time required a whole new skeletal, with nearly none of the original reconstruction carried over. A number of elements were redone based on Scott Hartman's new skeletal… , but with additional detail. Whereas Hartman filled in the gaps with basal Malawisaurus material (including the skull), I went straight for the hi-fi jugular and filled the gaps with material from the closest known relatives of Futalognkosaurus - Mendozasaurus, Traukutitan, and Drusilasaura. The skull is a midde-of-the-road speculative morph between Malawisaurus and Antarctosaurus considering the transitional position of Futalognkosaurus. I doubt the skull was a clone of either Malawisaurus or Rapetosaurus (as reconstructed in the new ROM mount). Also included is material from the two referred juvenile specimens of Futalognkosaurus found at the same site at Barreales Lake. The hands and feet are speculative at this point, including the size and shape of the thumb claws.

The majority of the tail has not been found, and was restored after Mendozasaurus and Traukutitan. Since there aren't any good top-view photo sets for lognkosaurian caudals, the dorsal view of the tail is based on two more distant relatives known from far more complete tails - the basal saltasauroids Trigonosaurus and Baurutitan.

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: ~28m (92ft)
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. My skeletal reconstruction is done based on extensive cross-scaling of the best unpublished photos and the most reliable published measurements. Three specimens of Futalognkosaurus were found at the site, which is on the edge of Barreales Lake. Aside from the "adult" holotype, the other two individuals are juveniles. They include arm and leg material which still has yet to be published, including at least one complete humerus:… . As one might expect, most photos of these are small and from awful angles which made measuring and scaling them a nightmare. The femur of one of the referred juveniles (visible in the background of one photo)… shows a close resemblance to Traukutitan:…

The Barreales Lake site is a rare treasure, since it preserves a whole Cretaceous ecosystem, including the giant allosauroid Megaraptor, the true raptor Unenlagia, a couple of undescribed titanosaur species, and plenty of plants, fish, turtles and crocodiles, in addition to Futalognkosaurus itself.

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 had the deepest neck of any sauropod with the possible exception of Isisaurus.

Currently this recon shows Futalognkosaurus at 94 ft. (28.5m), rivaling Argentinosaurus in length, and likely exceeding both Paralititan and Argyrosaurus. Nevertheless in terms of overall dimensions it is outclassed by Argentinosaurus and several other giant titanosaurs. Though wide and massive, it was likely a good bit smaller in overall volume than its wide-bodied cousins Puertasaurus and Ruyangosaurus. The 32-34m estimate originally proposed by Jorge Calvo and colleagues is a bit excessive in my view. All the same, anything approaching 100 ft. long and 70 tons is beyond awesome.
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May I ask how big is Futalognkosaurus currently regarded? Both the Dreadnoughtus' official weight chart and your size chart in the Dreadnoughtus' blog post have its size pretty much diminutive compare to Argentinosaurus and Puertasaurus.
VigorousNebulaDragon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014
So how about the length? Pretty much the same to Dreadnoughtus too?
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I have to revise the mass estimates because they actually are lower than I anticipated. Futalognkosaurus and Dreadnoughtus both should weigh around 50-55 tons. Volume estimates confirm this. That said, even Argentinosaurus and Puertasaurus may be overmassed relative to the models.
VigorousNebulaDragon Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
So all those 100+ estimates for Puertasaurus is no longer accurate?
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
That's not necessarily true. Based on my own interpretation of Puertasaurus (I just checked a couple of nights ago) assuming similar average density to Giraffatitan, the 110 tons estimate for Puertasaurus should still hold.

The question is, is my own interpretation oversized. It may be by a little bit, but not much. In fact at its current scaling, the mass estimate came out to 125 tons which may be a bit high. Perhaps shortening the tail a bit would help correct for the excess. I've had to do the same with Futalognkosaurus as more data became available.
bLAZZE92 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014
I think you have it oversized, Calvo et al. (2008) conference abstract "Re-sizing giants: estimation of body length of Futalognkosaurus dukei and implications for giant titanosaurian sauropods" says that the neck to sacral length of the type specimen is 13m, yours is over 14m, Benson et al (2014) also has measurements of humerus and femur that are ascribed to the type specimen, they are 151cm and 194.5cm respectively, about 10% smaller than what you depicted them, just like the vertebral column (excellent cross scaling!).

If we reduce your estimates by 10% it's 26m long and ~50 tons, btw do you perform a GDI on your skeletals?
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Not yet. I don't have patience for that much calculus! :X  I've always been more of an art person than a math person, but I try to get percentages and scaling as close as possible given the limited information. I just try to get the amount of flesh right and leave the GDI to the mathematicians. So the estimates of mass are rough ones, and we must remember mass fluctuated seasonally based on fat reserves. Of course even without fat reserves this animal looks "fatter" than even some other titanosaurs. I suspect I did the tail too long because of how small the first caudal is relative to the overall body size. This creature was not very tail-heavy by the looks of things. I will be editing that soon.

However I suspect some parts of the spinal column may look smaller due to erosion of the ends, especially the upper neck vertebrae. Furthermore the cartilage in between the bones could easily have added more length within a 1m margin of error.

The humerus and femur are actually not from the type specimen, they are from a smaller individual, so these were roughly scaled up for the holotype as conservatively as I could justify them (the legs are clearly not as long as in more basal titanosauriforms). The type specimen is only known from axial material. two smaller individuals were found at the site which include limb bones and scapula. Most of the remaining gaps were filled based on scaled-up Mendozasaurus limb material. Unlike Scott Hartman I don't consider Malawisaurus to be the best filler material for this beast, due to its more basal position.
theropod1 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014
GDI is not calculus.
bLAZZE92 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014
Weird that Benson et al (2014) listed them as belonging to the type specimen, their size relative to the axial length claimed by Calvo et al matched perfectly with your skeletal so I took that as "well they might be from the type after all". Mendozasaurus has come up as sister taxón in several (most?) phylogenetic analysis right?

That third paper can't come son enough!

Have you read SVPOW's guide to GDI? it can be easily done in an excel spreadsheet, is not really complicated just time consuming haha.
Paleo-reptiles Featured By Owner May 7, 2013
Remember the (adult) Alamosaurus
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