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Article: Sauropod teeth from the Middle Jurassic of Madagascar, and the oldest record of Titanosauriformes

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 7 Issue 1 - Cover
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 7
Part: 1
Publication Date: Febuary 2021
Page(s): 137 161
Author(s): Gabriele Bindellini, and Cristiano Dal Sasso
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1282
Addition Information

How to Cite

BINDELLINI, G., SASSO, C.D. 2021. . Papers in Palaeontology, 7, 1, 137-161. DOI: /doi/10.1002/spp2.1282

Author Information

  • Gabriele Bindellini - Dipatimento di Scienze della Terra ‘A. Desio’ Università degli Studi di Milano Via Mangiagalli 34 20133 Milano Italy
  • Cristiano Dal Sasso - Museo di Storia Naturale di Milano Corso Venezia 55 20121 Milano Italy

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 08 March 2021
  • Manuscript Accepted: 28 April 2019
  • Manuscript Received: 16 February 2019

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Wiley Online Library
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Abstract

Here we describe 31 fossil teeth, deposited in the palaeontological collections of the Museo di Storia Naturale di Milano (MSNM), that come from the inland portion of the Mahajanga Basin, NW Madagascar, namely from the Sakahara Formation (classically known as Isalo IIIb subunit), which is dated to the Bathonian stage of the Middle Jurassic. Based on detailed morphological characters, the eight morphotypes recognized herein are tentatively referred to four sauropod taxa: Archaeodontosaurus descouensi, ‘Bothriospondylus madagascariensis’, Lapparentosaurus madagascariensis and an indeterminate specialized eusauropod, which may represent a new species and provides the first evidence of a Bathonian diplodocoid in Madagascar. The identification of the teeth is corroborated by comparative examination of morphometric data. We provide evidence that Titanosauriformes were present in the Bathonian, on the basis of seven specimens referable to this clade. We also discuss in detail some dental characters that support the existence of a clear niche partitioning between the abovementioned taxa that co‐existed in the Malagasy Middle Jurassic terrestrial ecosystem. We hypothesize, for the first time, a direct correlation between the pattern drawn on the tooth crown by the enamel wrinkles and the feeding ecology of sauropod dinosaurs. The enamel wrinkles probably played a structural function: coarse wrinkles were associated with a diet composed mainly of hard foodstuff, whereas fainter wrinkles, which appeared in more derived morphologies, were associated with a diet composed of softer foodstuff.

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