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GEOL 240 The Dinosaurs: Sauropods

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skulls were long and slender with elongate muzzles ... A Camarasaurus-like skull was made up and put on the Apatosaurus skeleton, which ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: GEOL 240 The Dinosaurs: Sauropods


1
GEOL 240 The Dinosaurs Sauropods
2
Sauropodomorphs
3
Saurischia ("lizard-hipped" or "reptile-hipped")
Ornithischia
("bird-hipped")
4
Sauropodomorphs
  • Name means "sauropod form" Sauropoda means
    "lizard feet", even though their feet do not look
    much like lizard feet!
  • Characterized by
  • Enlarged nares
  • An elongated neck
  • Leaf-shaped teeth
  • Herbivores
  • Primitive forms are facultative bipeds
    later forms were so large they were obligate
    quadrupeds
  • Were the largest herbivores ever to live on
    land by the end of the Upper Triassic fossil
    forms had surpassed all previous land living
    animals in size, and kept on going…

5
Sauropodomorphs
  • Unique Characteristics
  • heads that were very small compared to body
  • spatulate teeth
  • at least 10 elongated vertebrae in the neck
  • short feet
  • very large claws on the I digit of the forefoot

6
Sauropodomorphs
7
Composed of two groups Sauropods Prosauropods
8
Probably not the sharpest knives in the drawer
9
Prosauropods
  • one of the first classes of plant-eating
    dinosaurs
  • Range from Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic
  • Evolutionary speculation on whether they form a
    paraphyletic grade leading to the Sauropoda form
    their own monophyletic group Prosauropoda or a
    combination of both.
  • Generally thought of as closest relatives but not
    direct ancestors of sauropods
  • Why the question? There is nothing primitive
    about them to suggest they were an ancestral
    grade.

10
Prosauropods
  • Unique characteristics
  • First fossils small size (1.5-2 m long), but
    eventually reaching 10 m or more
  • First fossil forms appear to have been obligate
    bipeds, (how could we tell that?) but as size
    increases they appear to become facultative
    bipeds
  • A big thumb claw and grasping hands
  • Some prosauropods may have had a beak, although
    this is uncertain

11
Prosauropods
  • Unique characteristics cont.
  • Simple leaf-shaped teeth with no occlusion
  • Only two or three sacrals lower than almost all
    other dinosaur groups (9-11 in Edmontosarurus and
    Triceratops resp.)
  • Prosauropods were the most common herbivorous
    dinosaurs from the Upper Triassic to the Lower
    Jurassic no prosauropod fossils above the Middle
    Jurassic i.e. none on the Ranch

12
Prosauropods
  • Prosauropods were the first large-bodied dinosaur
    fossil group. Their long necks would allow them
    to browse higher in trees than any
    contemporaneous herbivores. Also, larger size
    would give them bigger guts to digest more plants
    and defense against predators.

13
Prosauropods
Plateosaurus, based on Galton (1990).
fairly large (about 6-8 m long)
Long neck, long tail, saurischian pelvis
14
Prosauropods
15
Prosauropods
Jaw joint below the tooth row
16
Prosauropods
Claw from digit I
17
Prosauropods
  • have a body plan like a biped, but the trackways
    suggest that they usually walked quadrupedally
  • forelimbs were at least two-thirds the length of
    the hind limbs
  • digit I of the hand was much larger than the
    others and bore a large claw
  • could conceivably have reared up on hind limbs to
    reach vegetation higher in trees

18
Prosauropods
  • Herbivores
  • long necks to extend vertical feeding range
  • had cheeks - allows food to be retained while
    chewed (How could you know that?)
  • jaw hinge below tooth line
  • tooth rows almost parallel
  • spatulate teeth - resemble teeth of modern Iguana
    - a plant eating lizard
  • discovery of gastroliths - gastric stones for
    grinding

19
Mussaurus
  • mouse-lizard
  • 20 cm long probably a baby
  • suggests Prosauropods laid eggs

20
Sauropods
  • Include the largest land animals of all time
  • The oldest known sauropod is from the end of the
    Late Triassic, but sauropods do not become common
    until the Middle Jurassic.

21
Sauropods
  • Important Features
  • Extremely large size all sauropods were at least
    elephant-sized as adults, and many much, much
    larger
  • Obligate quadrupedality
  • Reduced skull size
  • Nares placed at least as high dorsally as the
    orbits
  • Tooth-to-tooth occlusion for precise bites
  • Extra cervical vertebrae
  • Four or more sacrals
  • Reduced number of phalanges on manus
  • Long necks and tails

22
Sauropods
23
Sauropods
Lateral temporal opening partially below orbit
24
Sauropods
25
Sauropods
26
Diplodocidae
  • skulls were long and slender with elongate
    muzzles
  • the jaws bore peg-like teeth confined to the
    front of the mouth
  • nostrils were on top of the skull in front and
    above the orbits

Diplodocus
Apatosaurus
Dicraeosaurus
27
Diplodocus
  • Bodies were long and relatively lightly built
    (including the longest, but not heaviest)
  • necks were extremely long with an increased
    number of vertebrae
  • fewer vertebrae in the back

28
Diplodocoids
  • Pencil-shaped teeth only at very end of snout
  • Nares are placed together above the orbits
  • Tails ended in very narrow and long caudals
  • Forelimbs much shorter than hindlimbs

29
Apatosaurus
  • Its more familiar name is Brontosaurus, although
    that name was given after the name Apatosaurus
    was applied.
  • Apatosaurus was shorter but stockier than
    Diplodocus. For a long time the wrong head was
    associated with Apatosaurus. A Camarasaurus-like
    skull was made up and put on the Apatosaurus
    skeleton, which otherwise lacked a head. It turns
    out that a good candidate skull was found in the
    same quarry as Apatosaurus and fits the skeleton
    much better. It is a rather typical diplodocid
    skull, although distinctly different to
    Diplodocus itself.

30
Apatosaurus
Apatosaurus
31
Apatosaurus
His two skulls
32
Apatosaurus
33
Camarasauridae
  • Short heavy skull with a blunt snout
  • large, spoon-shaped (spatulate) teeth along the
    entire length of the mouth
  • large nostrils located on the sides of the skull
    just in front of the eyes
  • solidly built body, neither overly long nor
    overly heavy
  • only 12 neck vertebrae

34
Camarasauridae
Camarasaurid limbs were stout with humerus to
femur ratios of around 0.7 or more - relatively
longer than in Diplodocids The wrist and ankle
each had two bones
35
Brachiosaurids
  • Probably the heaviest land animals to ever live
  • Skull and teeth resemble those of Camarasaurus
  • forelimb was long with humerus to femur ratios of
    greater than 1.0
  • Shoulders were higher than hips

36
Brachiosaurids
37
Brachiosaurids
  • 13 neck vertebrae - very elongated
  • 11 - 12 dorsal vertebrate
  • 50 vertebrate in tail - individually short so the
    tail is not that long

38
Cetiosaurids
  • relatively small sauropods - 12 meters long
  • skull similar to camarasaurids with longer muzzle
  • numerous, slender teeth - small spoon-shaped
    crowns
  • 12 cervical vertebrae
  • 13 dorsal vertebrae
  • humerus-to-femur ratio about 0.66

39
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40
Titanosauridae
  • large number of vertebrae in sacrum (6)
  • one titanosaurid had body armor
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