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EUROPATITAN

a plant-eating somphospondyl titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Spain.
Pronunciation: yoo-ROW-pah-TIE-tuhn
Meaning: European Giant
Author/s: Fernández-Baldor et al. (2017)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Burgos Province, Spain
Chart Position: 801

Europatitan eastwoodi

Long known simply as "the sauropod of El Oterillo II", Europasaurus was found way back in 2003 but remained un-named for well over a decade despite being one of the most complete titanosauriform sauropods known from the Early Cretaceous of Europe. It was found in the Iberian Peninsula—the part of Laurasia (the ancient continent that included today's Northern Hemisphere landmasses) closest to Gondwana (the ancient continent that included most of everything else)—which isn't short of sauropods, and because they're mostly titanosauriformes, barring the rebbachisaurid Demandasaurus, its fossils faded into the crowd. However, Europasaurus eastwoodi now stands out among Iberian critters thanks to unusual shoulderblades, and elongated cervical vertebrae that are aero-textured to the extreme, implying a notably long but lightweight neck. It's also the first dinosaur to be named after Clint Eastwood, the legend who legalised the sale and consumption of ice cream on the streets of Carmel... and made a few movies, or something.
(Eastwood's European Giant)Etymology
Europatitan is derived from "Europe" (the continent where it was found) and "titan" (referring to the ancient Greek deities who were known for their gigantic size and great power). The species epithet, eastwoodi, honors actor Clint Eastwood, the protagonist of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" which was partially filmed near Salas de los Infantes.
Discovery
The remains of Europatitan were discovered at "El Oterillo II" in the Castrillo de la Reina Formation (Urbión Group), near the village of Barbadillo, Salas de los Infantes, Burgos Province, Northern Spain, during an exploratory search as part of the Paleontological Inventory of the Sierra de la Demanda (northern Iberian Peninsula) in 2003.
The holotype (MDS-OTII,1 to MDS-OTII-32, housed in the Dinosaur Museum of Salas de los Infantes) is the disarticulated carcass of a single specimen, consisting of one tooth, five neck vertebrae and eleven neck ribs, one back vertebra and five back ribs, nine tail vertebrae and seven chevrons, the left shoulder girdle, the right shoulder blade, a partial hip, and two metacarpals from the left "hand".
Despite the quarry yielding some 350 bone fragments in various states of preservation, there wasn't a single long bone to be found, with shed theropod teeth and bite-marked remnants suggesting predatory dinosaurs may have chewed its limbs off. But that's not so bad, considering all that remains of an iguanodont at the same site is a single hip bone!
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian-Aptian
Age range: 130-112 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: ?
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: ?
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Contreras R, Cruzado-Caballero P, Fernández-Baldor FT, Huerta P, Izquierdo LA, Montero D (2007) "Descripción de un ilion de un dinosaurio “iguanodontido” procedente del Cretácico Inferior de Burgos (España)". Page 53-54 in IV Jornadas Internacionales Sobre Dinosaurios y su Entorno. Libro de Resúmenes: Salas de los Infantes.
• Fernández-Baldor FT, Canudo JI, Huerta P, Izquierdo Montero LA, Montero Huerta D, Contreras Izquierdo R, Pérez Martínez G, Urién Montero V (2009) "Primeros datos sobre las vértebras caudales del saurópodo de El Oterillo II (Formación Castrillo de la Reina, Barremiense superior-Aptiense, Cretácico Inferior, Salas de los Infantes, España)". Page 311-319 in Fernández-Baldor FT and Huerta P (eds) Actas de las IV Jornadas Internacionales sobre Paleontología de Dinosaurios y su Entorno. Salas de los Infantes: Colectivo Arqueológico y Paleontológico de Salas.
• Alonso A, Canudo JI, Fernández-Baldor FT (2016) "Isolated theropod teeth associated with sauropod remains from El Oterillo II (Early Cretaceous) site of Salas de los Infantes (Burgos, Spain)". Page 39-41 in Fernández-Baldor, Canudo, Huerta, Pereda (eds.) Actas de las VII Jornadas Internacionales Sobre Paleontología de Dinosaurios y su Entorno. Salas de los Infantes: Colectivo Arqueológico y Paleontológico de Salas.
• Fernández-Baldor FT​, Canudo​ JI, Huerta​ P, Moreno-Azanza​ M and Montero D (2017) "Europatitan eastwoodi, a new sauropod from the lower Cretaceous of Iberia in the initial radiation of somphospondylans in Laurasia". PeerJ 5:e3409. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3409.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "EUROPATITAN :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 26th Jul 2017.
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