Project 1258: Eric Gorscak, Patrick M. O'Connor, Nancy J. Stevens, Eric M. Roberts. 2014. The basal titanosaurian Rukwatitan bisepultus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the middle Cretaceous Galula Formation, Rukwa Rift Basin, southwestern Tanzania. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34 (5):1133-1154.
Specimen: † Rukwatitan bisepultus (RRBP 07409)


Whereas titanosaurians represent the most diverse and cosmopolitan clade of Cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs, they remain rare components of Cretaceous African faunas. Currently recognized continental African titanosaurians include Aegyptosaurus baharijensis and Paralititan stromeri from early Upper Cretaceous deposits near Bahariya Oasis, Egypt, and Malawisaurus dixeyi and Karongasaurus gittelmani from the Lower Cretaceous (¬ĽAptian) Dinosaur Beds of Malawi, in addition to several undesignated and fragmentary forms across the continent. Here, we describe a new titanosaurian taxon, Rukwatitan bisepultus, on the basis of a partial, semiarticulated postcranial skeleton recovered from the middle Cretaceous Galula Formation in southwestern Tanzania. Unique to Rukwatitan are carotid processes on posterior cervical vertebrae, a deep coracobrachialis fossa and subquadrangular cross-section of the humerus, and a slender, curved, teardrop-shaped pubic peduncle on the ilium. Parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of 35 sauropod taxa congruently place Rukwatitan as a non-lithostrotian titanosaurian, a relationship supported by cervical vertebrae with undivided pleurocoels and strongly procoelous anterior caudal vertebrae. Rukwatitan differs from the potentially penecontemporaneous and geographically proximate Malawisaurus by exhibiting weakly developed chevron articulations and posteriorly inclined neural spines on the middle caudal vertebrae, a proximally robust and distally unexpanded humerus, and an anteroventrally elongated coracoid. Similar to biogeographic patterns identified in certain crocodyliform clades (e.g., small-bodied notosuchians), titanosaurians on continental Africa appear to exhibit a regional (e.g., southern versus northern Africa), rather than a continental- or supercontinental-level signal.

Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.845568

Project DOI: 10.7934/P1258,
This project contains
  • 56 Media
  • 12 Documents
  • 11 Folios
  • 1 Taxon
  • 1 Specimen
Total size of project's media files: 283 MB

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 1258

    This research
    supported by

    Authors' Institutions

    • Ohio University


    member name taxa specimens media
    Eric Gorscak
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 10/03/14
    Patrick O'Connor
    Full membership
    Last logged in 09/30/14

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views46875
    Documents list1885
    Project overview5268
    Media views30274Media search (4459 views); M339594 (466 views); M339635 (441 views); M339598 (460 views); M339631 (422 views); M339627 (416 views); M339603 (485 views); M339604 (456 views); M339595 (455 views); M339620 (504 views); M339606 (538 views); M339634 (417 views); M339615 (450 views); M339643 (476 views); M339609 (518 views); M339601 (478 views); M339599 (474 views); M339605 (431 views); M339639 (428 views); M339590 (485 views); M339591 (482 views); M339619 (466 views); M339621 (480 views); M339616 (428 views); M339602 (604 views); M339623 (449 views); M339589 (457 views); M339640 (421 views); M339597 (464 views); M339614 (417 views); M339633 (469 views); M339636 (449 views); M339612 (469 views); M339632 (422 views); M339629 (434 views); M339607 (478 views); M339630 (436 views); M339624 (460 views); M339618 (455 views); M339638 (455 views); M339592 (492 views); M339588 (444 views); M339626 (464 views); M339593 (446 views); M339611 (470 views); M339622 (485 views); M339610 (436 views); M339600 (450 views); M339625 (467 views); M339596 (470 views); M339608 (469 views); M339641 (466 views); M339617 (475 views); M339628 (453 views); M339613 (486 views); M339637 (445 views); M339642 (402 views);
    Folio views4982Folio list (889 views); Left Humerus (411 views); Right Pubis (367 views); Right Ulna (393 views); Left Ilium (365 views); Articulated Middle Caudal Vertebrae (389 views); Middle-Posterior Cervical Vertebra (369 views); Left Coracoid (349 views); Anterior Caudal Vertebra (375 views); Middle Caudal Vertebra (361 views); Posterior Cervical and Cervicodorsal Vertebrae (373 views); Left Scapular Blade and Dorsal Rib (341 views);
    Specimen list2043
    Taxon list1599

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project214
    Document downloads37Right Pubis (3 downloads); Nexus file for parsimony (3 downloads); Left Ilium (3 downloads); Anterior Caudal Vertebra (8 downloads); Left Humerus (Proximal Half) (3 downloads); Right Ulna (4 downloads); Left Coracoid (3 downloads); Middle Caudal Vertebrae (3 downloads); Posterior Cervical Vertebra (2 downloads); Right Posterior Rib (1 download); Scapular Blade (3 downloads); Nexus File for Bayesian Analysis (1 download);
    Media downloads11M339600 (2 downloads); M339589 (1 download); M339588 (1 download); M339641 (1 download); M339632 (1 download); M339630 (1 download); M339622 (1 download); M339619 (1 download); M339607 (1 download); M339594 (1 download);
    Project downloads166