Article: A second Gondwanan diplodocid dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic Tendaguru Beds of Tanzania, East Africa
A new genus and species of diplodocid sauropod (Sauropoda, Diplodocoidea), Australodocus bohetii, is described. The type material from the Upper Jurassic (Tithonian) Tendaguru Beds of Tanzania, East Africa, consists of two successive mid-cervical vertebrae. These vertebrae do not show the extreme elongation of the cervical vertebrae that is diagnostic for Tornieria, and, apart from proportional differences, exhibit four autapomorphic characters not seen in other diplodocids: (1) pleurocoel weakly developed; (2) ridge posterolateral to the anterior condyle strongly posteroventrally orientated; (3) triangular pneumatic cavity ventral to the prezygapophysis, enclosed by the lateral ramus of the centroprezygapophyseal lamina and an anteriorly extended prezygodiapophyseal lamina; and (4) prominent prezygapophyseal process pointed, laterally keeled and surpassing the prezygapophysis anteriorly. Australodocus bohetii is the second diplodocid known from Tendaguru, and thereby the second diplodocid known from Gondwana. This impedes the customary reference of isolated East African diplodocid material to Tornieria, which can now only be assigned to Diplodocidae indet. The find supports previously proposed vicariance models of diplodocid palaeobiogeography.