Tornieria caudals

March 23, 2010

For various arcane reasons, the SV-POW!sketeers are all neck-deep in work, so the blog may actually become somewhat more of the APOD-style picture-n-paragraph thing we originally envisioned, and less of the TetZoo-style monograph-of-the-week thing it’s often leaned toward, at least for a while.

I like it when people decorate their papers with megapixels of vertebral goodness, so here are some caudal vertebrae of the African diplodocine Tornieria, from Remes (2006:fig. 5). Click through to see the figure at its massive native resolution. And check out that pneumaticity! Really, the only question about this image is whether you can settle for just using it as your desktop background, or if you need to print out a wall-sized poster for your bedroom. So the next time you see Kristian Remes, buy him a beer for doing solid work here, on the Humbolt sauropod remount, and on pretty much everything else (including this).


Remes, K. 2006. Revision of the Tendaguru sauropod Tornieria africana (Fraas) and its relevance for sauropod paleobiogeography. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26 (3): 651–669.

12 Responses to “Tornieria caudals”

  1. DDeden Says:

    Nice verts, dude!

    Was just skimming through a kids sci mag at lunch and came across a crayonesque masterpiece by a Kaitlynn, age 8, of a palm-tailed ‘pod, Jamboriesaurus, with a unique “tree for a tail”. So that’s what those spiked club tails were all about, disguises as club ferns & spike palms! No wonder they were pneumatically operated, being held way up in the air to fake out (and whack) the big predators. A future paleo scientist-artist is surely in the works.

  2. Bec Says:

    I went ahead and desktopped this, only to be called serial killer. Twice. So I changed it back.

  3. Jamie Stearns Says:

    I wish there were actually a skeletal or two done of Tornieria. In all discussions about diplodocids, the Morrison taxa seem to get most of the press while Tornieria is rather badly neglected. As I recall, though, there is a decent amount of material referred to Tornieria, so it’s not like it’s THAT poorly-known.

  4. :-D Very nice.. but to make it hyper-cool, they should all move sideways to and fro, with a sort of humming crunching marching sound, slowly advancing down the screen, with occasionally a higher-pitched warbling noise heralding a sauropod skull crossing more rapidly at top of screen.. and a little cannon at foot of screen with which to blast them all to pieces!

  5. William Miller Says:

    >>In all discussions about diplodocids, the Morrison taxa seem to get most of the press while Tornieria is rather badly neglected.

    Definitely. I had never heard of Tornieria before.

  6. Jamie Stearns Says:

    Sadly, I think I have a good idea why Tornieria keeps being ignored: It’s long been referred to Barosaurus and thus they tend to be treated the same (the North American material is more complete and is thus figured all the time, while the rest is unimportant; you’ve seen one Barosaurus, you’ve seen them all)

    It’s just like why Brachiosaurus was rarely figured ever since “B.” brancai was discovered.

  7. William Miller Says:

    >>It’s long been referred to Barosaurus

    Ah, OK. Is this referral still accepted by some workers, or is it pretty much always on its own now?

  8. Jamie Stearns Says:

    I don’t know of anyone who’s proposed returning it to Barosaurus at this point.

  9. Mike Taylor Says:

    Kristian’s referral of “Barosaurusafricanus to its own new(*) genus Tornieria has not been challenged in print; so far as I know, no-one’s even whined about it on the Internet, which is a bit of a first. So, yes, consider it secure.

    (*) Actually the genus name Tornieria is pretty old — it goes back to Sternfeld (1911) — but for complex nomenclatural reasons was abandoned until Remes resurrected it.

  10. Jamie Stearns Says:

    >>so far as I know, no-one’s even whined about it on the Internet, which is a bit of a first.

    Probably because Barosaurus is more obscure than “Brontosaurus”, and that the “iconic” specimens of Barosaurus (AMNH, ROM) weren’t referred to Tornieria as was the case with HMN SII.

  11. I see no cervicals and that makes me really mad!

    Would you possibly have precise measurements of Tornieria’s cervicals? And maybe the rest of the skeleton? Cause I have found the paper but I don’t trust scalebars a lot. Especially since my recent experience in architectural school taught me why digital editing can easily make scalebars wrong.

  12. Mike Taylor Says:

    Sorry, Dimitris, no — we have no unpublished measurements.

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