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Supersaurus vivianae by Paleo-King Supersaurus vivianae by Paleo-King
Supersaurus vivianae

Etymology: Vivian's Super-lizard (Vivian was Jim Jensen's wife).

Family: Diplodocidae (possibly basal Apatosaurinae)
Time: Late Jurassic, Kimmeridgian-Tithonian epochs, ~153-150 mya
Location: Morrison Formation, Brushy Basin member (Utah, Colorado and Wyoming)
Estimated mass: ~40 tons (Adult holotype scapulacoracoid BYU 9025/ referred scapulacoracoid BYU 12962, and referred BYU specimens of similar size).
                          The WDC specimen "Jimbo" was approximately 32 tons.

Finally, a Paleo-King diplodocid!

Supersaurus, the only one of Jim Jensen's giant sauropods to retain its original name and classification, has been restored several times before, but this is the most detailed and fossil-based restoration to date. It turned out to be a bit shorter in length (both the BYU and WDC material) than typically estimated.

This is also probably my favorite diplodocid species, apart from Apatosaurus ajax. I find macronarians much more interesting, but a few diplodocids like these are less "vanilla" than we've been led to believe.

The BYU material from Dry Mesa Quarry originally consisted of two scapulacoracoids, of which the left (the holotype) is far more heavily eroded, a huge cervical vertebra (which is still the largest dinosaur cervical on record), three dorsals (the anteriormost of which was once labeled "Dystylosaurus edwini" and the next of which was once the erroneously assigned holotype of "Ultrasauros" until Jensen realized this bone was diplodocid and did not match his 9-foot brachiosaur shoulder blade), a very tall and worn anterior caudal, and a few distal caudals. More caudals were later referred from Dry Mesa, as well as a pelvis from Thanksgiving Point in Utah. The referred ulna BYU 13744 is 20% larger than expected for the holotype, and may belong to an unusually large specimen of Supersaurus or to another species entirely (Lovelace, et. al., 2007 supports the latter conclusion). I simply scaled it down to the holotype as a referable Supersaurus part until it can be proven conclusively to be something else.

The more complete specimen WDC DMJ-021 "Jimbo" found near Douglas, Wyoming is slightly smaller than the BYU specimens, and its cervical and rib material helps better restore the animal's proportions. 

*Note: For those of you that are wondering, the diplodocine Seismosaurus was indeed of a similar length to these Supersaurus specimens, though slimmer and lighter, and with a more conservative neck/tail ratio as is typical of most diplodocids. Estimates of 130 ft.+ lengths for any of these animals are simply excessive (until a bigger specimen turns up at least). And no, it was not D. longus. There are significant differences.


DISCLAIMER: My Honor is called Loyalty, and my Art is Honorable – therefore I do not take credit for any other artist's skeletal or schematic references used as reference for this image. Nor do I claim them as my own.

This image refers :iconscotthartman:'s skeletal/schematic: www.deviantart.com/art/Somethi… as a VERY general basis. The majority of the bones are drawn based on the published material in Jensen (1985) and Lovelace, et. al. (2007) with some morph de-crushing applied.

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REFERENCES:

Curtice, B., Stadtman, K., and Curtice, L. (1996) "A re-assessment of Ultrasauros macintoshi (Jensen, 1985)." Pp. 87-95 in M. Morales (ed.), The Continental Jurassic: Transactions of the Continental Jurassic Symposium, Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin number 60.

Curtice, B.; Stadtman, K. (2001). "The demise of Dystylosaurus edwini and a revision of Supersaurus vivianae". In McCord, R.D.; Boaz, D. Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists and Southwest Paleontological Symposium - Proceedings 2001. Mesa Southwest Museum Bulletin. 8. pp. 33–40.

Foster, J. (2007). "Appendix." Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World. Indiana University Press. pp. 327-329.

Jensen, James A. (1985). "Three new sauropod dinosaurs from the Upper Jurassic of Colorado." Great Basin Naturalist, 45: 697-709.

Lovelace, David M.; Hartman, Scott A.; Wahl, William R. (2007). "Morphology of a specimen of Supersaurus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Morrison Formation of Wyoming, and a re-evaluation of diplodocid phylogeny". Arquivos do Museu Nacional. 65 (4): 527–544.
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:iconaakashac:
AakashAC Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
What is the maximum length of Supersaurus Vivianae ?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
The maximum length known is the length of the holotype individual illustrated here (114 ft.) - unless the ulna (which was scaled down from a creature about 20% larger) was truly Supersaurus... in that case the maximum length known from fossils would have been about 136 ft.

I don't expect they would have gotten substantially bigger than that, since the holotype already has mostly fused scapulacoracoids, meaning it's very close to full-grown.
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:iconaakashac:
AakashAC Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for your answer
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:icon105697:
105697 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2016
May I ask, but why exactly do you think the BYU cervical still belongs to Supersaurus and should not be reassigned to Barosarus?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Edited Jan 1, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
It's got an apparently broken neural spine which when complete would have been rather different than those in Barosaurus... also the parapophysis is a different shape than in Barosaurus, and the bone was found in Dry Mesa Quarry with the other initial Jensen Supersaurus material. No verifiable Barosaurus specimens were found there. So it's most likely this was Supersaurus.

Also while this bone does have some features in common with Barosaurus, it has been mangled quite a bit so if you really wanted to, I suppose you could make the case for it being not just Barosaurus, but also an unusually large species of any of several genera of diplodocids: Barosaurus, Diplodocus, Seismosaurus, Galeamopus, the Dana Quarry diplodocid, etc. All of these suffer from either missing neck elements or badly crushed or eroded ones. However none of these has been found in Dry Mesa Quarry and some are not found in the same layers of the Morrison formation. The stratigraphy with Barosaurus may not match Dry Mesa either. If it does then great for the Barosaurus theory... but I don't know of any other "Barosaurus" remains turning up at that locale.

Also lets keep in mind that Supersaurus (including the Jimbo specimen) was initially considered a barosaurine until new research in Lovelace, et. al. (2007) showed it to be an unusual apatosaurine. So Supersaurus overall does converge on Barosaurus in some respects, but that doesn't mean the BYU cervical is Barosaurus, given the general similarities Jimbo's neck also has with Barosaurus.
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:iconstuchlik:
Stuchlik Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017
Do you have some fotos, scans and dimensions "JIMBO" cervicals? Because I can not find anywhere, please send me stuchlik32@onet.eu

Best Regards
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't have anything for Jimbo other than Lovelace et. al., 2007, which should be available online, there is a link in the wikipedia article.
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:iconpaleo-reptiles:
Paleo-reptiles Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016
Beautiful illustration. I am happy Iran have such smart artist :)
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:iconfragillimus335:
Fragillimus335 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful diplodocid! Another awesome species joins the lineup.
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:icongreekrandomness:
GreekRandomness Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2016
Hold on a moment.... Would it not topple over if both legs on one side are lifted at once? Btw can I use this for a sil independent of a project?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
No they would not topple over. The body was capable of balancing. However this stance isn't a 100% "real life" walking stance but the likely upper quartile of flexion range in the lifting limbs. They may have moved the hindlimb forward before lifting the arm like this.

As for using it for your sil, is it commercial or non-commercial in nature?
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:icongreekrandomness:
GreekRandomness Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016
Non-commercial. And I meant from a still position, not a mid-action position. XD
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Ok then that's fine, just use our group's template attribution form like I used to reference Hartman in this image. Include my Avatar and a link to this original image.
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:icongreekrandomness:
GreekRandomness Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016
Erm alright, I'm unsure how to include someone's avatar though, could you help me out?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
highlight, copy and paste.
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:icongreekrandomness:
GreekRandomness Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2016
Oh haha I didn't think it was that simple. XD Thanks.
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:iconornithopsis:
Ornithopsis Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The holotype of Diplodocus hallorum (Or Seismosaurus hallorum, depending on your genericometer) and most referred specimens of Diplodocus longus are very similar, though somewhat ironically seem distinct from the somewhat older holotype of D. longus. I assume you mean that D. hallorum is different from AMNH 223 and other iconic D. longus specimens, though--if so, what's your reasoning?

As always, an aesthetically striking and detailed skeletal! Ultimately this won't change much from Hartman's skeletal of the species, though--it seems we've got a pretty good handle on what most diplodocids looked like, which is refreshing considering how spotty the sauropod fossil record is. Do you intend to do skeletals of the more obscure diplodocids such as Tornieria africana and Kaatedocus siberi?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Tornieria is a possibility, as is A. ajax.

Kaatedocus is begging to be done as a skeletal with all those fine photos but it will have to wait.
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:iconthedinorocker:
thedinorocker Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016
Hi Nima good work as usual!
do you have pictures of D.longus material?
last time I compare them with Seismosaurus material they appear pretty similar (except some pubis features but they could be taphonomy artifacts), but I have not good (Hi-res) pictures of D.longus so something could be lost
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Well the verdict from Tschopp, et. al. is that a lot of what was considered D. longus is actually juvenile Seismosaurus. But was restored and mounted in such a way as to make it look too similar to D. carnagiei (the D. longus holotype is only a few bones but they do have diagnostic differences with Seismosaurus, also some of the referred D. longus material is different from the stuff now considered juvenile Seismosaurus.) Basically the Seimosaurus appearance is with a heavier tail with a kink in it, so the base is directed more upward to compensate, also the rib cage is wider with thicker ribs, and the neck vertebrae lack the extreme retrograde tilt to the neural speins that you see in D. carnegiei and probably was also in D. longus. They look more backswept like a Barosaurus, but of course the neck proportions and other features lake it clear that Seismosaurus is a diplodocine, not a barosaurine.
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:iconelsqiubbonator:
ElSqiubbonator Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016
Wait, so Seismosaurus was valid after all? My childhood is saved!
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
It's got several differences from D. longus, everything from the tail to the hips to the rib cage... Also, GSP has basically re-assigned the "Diplodocus unknown species" skeleton as a juvenile Seismosaurus in his 2nd edition of Princeton Field Guide. It already looked unusual compared to most Diplodocus skeletons anyway, it also has the same odd kink in the tail as the "adult" Seismosaurus.
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:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Correction: the D. longus holotype (& only specimen) is seven caudals & a couple chevrons. The other specens originally referred to D. longus (AMNH 223, DMNS 1494, etc) are referred to Seismosaurus (sensu Tschopp, Mateus, & Benson, 2015). Those specimens definitely are the same as Seismosaurus no doubt about that (these are the D. sp. in the PFG 2010 iirc)
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Edited Dec 24, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Good point there. The true D. longus is a lot less complete than more people think. A lot of what's been thrown into it turned out to be juvenile Seismosaurus.
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:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Indeed. The additions of the juveniles adds some more elements to Seismosaurus that further cements it's distinctness from D. carnegii & longus.
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:iconnorththeicewing:
Norththeicewing Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
YAY
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:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love it, but I do have to mention one thing: yes I know you believe the BYU cervical is Supersaurus & not Barosaurus (another argument for another time), but there is really no reason to refer the Dystylosaurus dorsal to Supersaurus, as it lacks both bifurcation & a pronounced ventral keel, but is an anterior dorsal nonetheless (the "drooping" parapophyses is a dead giveaway). Given that no other diplodocids have unbifurcated anterior dorsal neural spines (to my knowledge), it makes more sense to keep it as a unique genus.

Relevant quote: "Dystylosaurus has also been referred to Supersaurus. Although the holotype and only vertebra is clearly a diplodocid anterior dorsal (it has dual centroprezygapophyseal laminae, a large cotyle and "drooping" parapophyses), its tall, unsplit neural spine and pronounced ventral keel prevent assignment to any known diplodocid. It may be a valid, distinct genus."

References:
Taylor, M. P., Wedel, M. J. (2016). "How big did Barosaurus get?" SVPCA Liverpool 2016 Abstracts. pg. 49.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes this is possible. But I've seen arguments be made both ways about it, and we don't have any anterior dorsals from Jimbo to contradict the "Dystylosaurus" dorsal being in Supersaurus. So there's really nothing to disprove it at this point, until there is, I'm tentatively keeping it in Supersaurus. In profile the shape and size actually work very well for the Dry Mesa holotype. Also the tip of the neural spine is broken so there may be a small bifurcation there, and it's not certain how deep the bifurcation was on the missing last cervical (comparing with Jimbo) and first two dorsals. I won't deny it's a strange bone, but in my book it could still be Supersaurus until we can prove beyond a doubt that it isn't.
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:iconornithopsis:
Ornithopsis Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Doesn't Supersaurus lourinhanensis (sensu Tschopp et al. 2015) also have largely undivided neural spines? It would seem that the lack of prominent bifurcation in a Supersaurus vivianae topotype would support both its assignment to Supersaurus and close phylogenetic relationship between S. lourinhanensis and S. vivianae, in my opinion.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes that is the case. Supersaurus and Dinheirosaurus are very closely related. And so this may support the "Dystylosaurus" vertebra being Supersaurus. Only caveat is, I'm not so crazy about lumping Dinheirosaurus into Supersaurus though... the whole separate continents/regions thing with Lusotitan left a bitter taste.
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:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes Dinheirosaurus lacks bifurcation for the most part (totally missed that yesterday). Granted I certainly don't like the idea of them being the same genus (cross-continent Sauropod genera have never worked, just ask "Brachiosaurus" brancai & "Barosaurus" africanus), so I'm a bit more splitty in this regard. Honestly for myself I'd probably leave all three of them as separate genera but as sister taxa.
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:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
1. The Dry Mesa holotype's a scapulocoracoid, so it makes no sense to compare the Dystylosaurus dorsal to it 😉.

2. I was unaware the tip if the neural spine is broken (now that I check Jensen, 1985 I see that). You may be correct that the bifurcation might be rather shallow, but based on other diplodocids (Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Galeamopus "shellensis", etc), the bifurcation in anterior dorsals should be quite deep (almost through to the base of the neural arch in Diplodocus!). Of course the most important one to compare it to is Jimbo, but of course those anterior dorsals are missing (I also can't find anterior views of the other dorsals, so I can't compare the bifurcation from Jimbo to other Diplodocids to try & guesstimate the depth of an anterior Supersaurus dorsal).
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
It's honestly a mess either way.

And when I speak of the holotype, I mean my reconstruction of the entire animal the scapulacoracoid came from (most of the other Dry Mesa specimens appear to be from the same individual). I drew the skeletal proportions (based on Hartman with some modifications) before fitting the Dystylosaurus dorsal to it. It just happened to be exactly the right size. Only the angle of the anterior dorsals required a bit of adjustment.
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:iconrizkiusmaulanae:
RizkiusMaulanae Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Finally, you do some diplodocids skeletal
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:iconpaleojoe:
PaleoJoe Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
While I do thoroughly enjoy your macronarian skeletals, it is very interesting to see a diplodocid by you. Great work.
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:iconthedinorocker:
thedinorocker Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016
So you do a diplodocid?
super cool!
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool!
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