The titanosaur sauropod record of Patagonia, mainly recovered from Upper Cretaceous strata, is probably the richest worldwide. Here we present a new sauropod dinosaur, Ninjatitan zapatai gen. et sp. nov., from the Lower Cretaceous Bajada Colorada Formation (Berriasian–Valanginian) of north Patagonia (Neuquén Province, Argentina), from which postcranial remains are preserved. The anatomical analysis and comparisons performed in this specimen evidence strong affinity with titanosaur sauropods. This assumption is corroborated with the inclusion of the new taxon in an updated phylogenetic data matrix. The cladistic analyses indicate that Ninjatitan could be considered the earliest known titanosaur sauropod. The combination of features such as the presence of procoelous anterior caudal centra, the pneumatized neural arch of anterior caudal vertebrae, and the posterodorsal border of the scapular acromion near the glenoid level supports its titanosaur affinities. The presence of a basal titanosaurian sauropod in the lowermost Cretaceous of Patagonia supports the hypothesis that the group was established in the Southern Hemisphere and reinforces the idea of a Gondwanan origin for Titanosauria. The Bajada Colorada sauropod fauna represents one of the most diverse and unique associations from the lowermost Cretaceous worldwide recorded.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 58 • No. 1