Plateosaurus enters the LRT

Perhaps the best known, least controversial dinosaur, 
Plateosaurus engelhardti (von Meyer 1837; Moser 2003; Late Triassic, 210mya; 5-10m in length) is a prosauropod, basal sauropodomorph phytodinosaur. Over 100 skeletons are known. In the LRT Plateosaurus nests in a clade apart from the sauropods and their ancestors. Saturnalia is smaller and older. Aardonyx is larger and later.

Figure 1. Skull of Plateosaurus in several views, colorized here. Note the replacement of the postorbital (amber) with the postfrontal (orange). All sister taxa fuse these bones, so this early illustration may be in error.

Figure 1. Skull of Plateosaurus in several views, colorized here. Note the replacement of the postorbital (amber) with the postfrontal (orange). All sister taxa fuse these bones, and not at that point, so this early illustration may be in error.

In figure 1
note the replacement of the postorbital (amber) with the postfrontal (orange) which uniquely articulates with the squamosal. All sister taxa fuse the postfrontal and postorbital, and not at the stem, so this early illustration may be in error. This character was scored as ‘fused’ based on phylogenetic bracketing. Was I wrong?

Figure 2. Plateosaurus skeleton digitized.

Figure 2. Plateosaurus skeleton digitized by Mallison 2010a, b,

Plateosaurus tracks are known from the Moab desert. Stock photos here.


References
Mallison H 2010a. The digital Plateosaurus I: body mass, mass distribution, and posture assessed using CAD and CAE on a digitally mounted com− plete skeleton. Palaeontologia Electronica13 (2, 8A): 26.
Mallison H 2010b. The digital Plateosaurus II: An assessment of the range of motion of the limbs and vertebral column and of previous reconstructions using a digital skeletal mount. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 55 (3): 433–458.
Meyer H von 1837. Mitteilung an Prof. Bronn (Plateosaurus engelhardti [message to Prof. Bronn (Plateosaurus engelhardti)]. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie (in German). 1837: 316.
Moser M 2003. Plateosaurus engelhardti Meyer, 1837 (Dinosauria, Sauropodomorpha) aus dem Feuerletten (Mittelkeuper; Obertrias) von Bayern [Plateosaurus engelhardti Meyer, 1837 (Dinosauria, Sauropodomorpha) from the Feuerletten (Mittelkeuper; Obertrias) of Bavaria]. Zitteliana Reihe B: Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie (in German and English). 24: 1–186.

wiki/Saturnalia
wiki/Aardonyx
wiki/Plateosaurus

 

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