Project 1258: Eric Gorscak, P. M. O'Connor, N. J. Stevens, E.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: 255.92M

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 1258

    This research
    supported by

    Authors' Institutions

    • Ohio University

    • James Cook University


    member name taxa specimens media
    Eric Gorscak
    Project Administrator
    Patrick O'Connor
    Full membership

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views54398
    Documents list2072
    Project overview5865
    Media views35138Media search (5083 views); M339594 (543 views); M339635 (507 views); M339598 (545 views); M339631 (489 views); M339627 (484 views); M339603 (564 views); M339604 (534 views); M339595 (533 views); M339620 (582 views); M339606 (616 views); M339634 (486 views); M339615 (520 views); M339643 (539 views); M339609 (592 views); M339601 (556 views); M339599 (569 views); M339605 (514 views); M339639 (492 views); M339590 (570 views); M339591 (576 views); M339619 (546 views); M339621 (553 views); M339616 (502 views); M339602 (704 views); M339623 (527 views); M339589 (530 views); M339640 (481 views); M339597 (545 views); M339614 (491 views); M339633 (531 views); M339636 (520 views); M339612 (542 views); M339632 (493 views); M339629 (504 views); M339607 (569 views); M339630 (510 views); M339624 (535 views); M339618 (522 views); M339638 (516 views); M339592 (572 views); M339588 (526 views); M339626 (538 views); M339593 (532 views); M339611 (549 views); M339622 (558 views); M339610 (507 views); M339600 (527 views); M339625 (544 views); M339596 (555 views); M339608 (540 views); M339641 (554 views); M339617 (549 views); M339628 (528 views); M339613 (566 views); M339637 (517 views); M339642 (461 views);
    Folio views5851Folio list (1011 views); Left Humerus (509 views); Right Pubis (428 views); Right Ulna (452 views); Left Ilium (430 views); Articulated Middle Caudal Vertebrae (455 views); Middle-Posterior Cervical Vertebra (429 views); Left Coracoid (413 views); Anterior Caudal Vertebra (449 views); Middle Caudal Vertebra (422 views); Posterior Cervical and Cervicodorsal Vertebrae (441 views); Left Scapular Blade and Dorsal Rib (412 views);
    Specimen list2349
    Taxon list1979

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project278
    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 downloads230