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


    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 views45269
    Documents list1826
    Project overview4764
    Media views29725Media search (4336 views); M339594 (462 views); M339635 (439 views); M339598 (456 views); M339631 (429 views); M339627 (410 views); M339603 (476 views); M339604 (443 views); M339595 (443 views); M339620 (493 views); M339606 (534 views); M339634 (418 views); M339615 (439 views); M339643 (475 views); M339609 (507 views); M339601 (465 views); M339599 (460 views); M339605 (418 views); M339639 (432 views); M339590 (474 views); M339591 (463 views); M339619 (453 views); M339621 (471 views); M339616 (421 views); M339602 (589 views); M339623 (439 views); M339589 (433 views); M339640 (421 views); M339597 (453 views); M339614 (411 views); M339633 (471 views); M339636 (454 views); M339612 (470 views); M339632 (420 views); M339629 (433 views); M339607 (465 views); M339630 (437 views); M339624 (449 views); M339618 (441 views); M339638 (465 views); M339592 (472 views); M339588 (427 views); M339626 (454 views); M339593 (424 views); M339611 (463 views); M339622 (477 views); M339610 (428 views); M339600 (438 views); M339625 (460 views); M339596 (460 views); M339608 (459 views); M339641 (466 views); M339617 (465 views); M339628 (443 views); M339613 (475 views); M339637 (443 views); M339642 (403 views);
    Folio views4857Folio list (853 views); Left Humerus (406 views); Right Pubis (359 views); Right Ulna (383 views); Left Ilium (357 views); Articulated Middle Caudal Vertebrae (379 views); Middle-Posterior Cervical Vertebra (365 views); Left Coracoid (346 views); Anterior Caudal Vertebra (359 views); Middle Caudal Vertebra (357 views); Posterior Cervical and Cervicodorsal Vertebrae (361 views); Left Scapular Blade and Dorsal Rib (332 views);
    Specimen list2014
    Taxon list1296

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project178
    Document downloads34Right Pubis (3 downloads); Nexus file for parsimony (3 downloads); Left Ilium (3 downloads); Anterior Caudal Vertebra (8 downloads); Left Humerus (Proximal Half) (2 downloads); Right Ulna (4 downloads); Left Coracoid (1 download); 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 downloads133