Rearing titanosaurs of the Egidio Feruglio museum

March 26, 2014

A simple picture post, courtesy of John Hutchinson’s tweets [first, second, third]:

John R. Hutchinson ‏@JohnRHutchinson  7m @MikeTaylor Abundant in the Egidio Feruglio museum in Trelew, Argentina-- almost all their sauropods are rearing

John R. Hutchinson ‏@JohnRHutchinson
@MikeTaylor Abundant in the Egidio Feruglio museum in Trelew, Argentina– almost all their sauropods are rearing

I’ve never seen a rearing titanosaur skeleton before. Here it is again, from in front:

 Follow   John R. Hutchinson ‏@JohnRHutchinson FYI: If you get stomped by a rearing titanosaurid dinosaur, this is the last sight you will see.

John R. Hutchinson ‏@JohnRHutchinson
FYI: If you get stomped by a rearing titanosaurid dinosaur, this is the last sight you will see.

And here’s the whole exhibit:

John R. Hutchinson ‏@JohnRHutchinson @MikeTaylor Here's the wide view of that exhibit, with about-to-be-squished abelisaur and sulking Amargasaurus:

John R. Hutchinson ‏@JohnRHutchinson
@MikeTaylor Here’s the wide view of that exhibit, with about-to-be-squished abelisaur and sulking Amargasaurus.

I don’t know what taxon the big rearing guy is — perhaps John can chip in? — but it certainly smells like a titanosaur. It looks very uncomfortable rearing, but I don’t know to what extent that’s because the body shape is wrong, and to what degree that actual pose is off: the hindfeet should be shifted forward to get them under the centre of gravity, as in the rather more convincing rearing Barosaurus at the AMNH.

17 Responses to “Rearing titanosaurs of the Egidio Feruglio museum”

  1. messed-up ribcage, that’s the main reason for the painful-looking posture. And yes, the knees need bending.

  2. Ray H Says:

    Thanks for sharing! As you say the rearing is unconvincing, how sure are we that these sauropods could stand on high legs? It’s the current theory right, but just wondering if there are other views…

  3. Ray H Says:

    Also, maybe the center of gravity is off because they are supposed to be in motion? Like as it is falling down? Doesn’t seem the right way to set up a museum exhibition but I’m no expert

  4. Mike Taylor Says:

    Well, Ray, I meant specifically that titanosaur rearing is new on me and doesn’t look particularly convincing based on this skeleton. But for some other sauropods, it seems almost inevitable. Diplodocus is built like a habitual rearer, with a big butt, a hefty tail, a short torso and a relatively short, thin neck for a sauropod. Its centre of mass wouldn’t have been far forward of its hips at all, and it would have been easy for it to shift it backwards and rise up. For Giraffatitan, not so much.

    If you don’t trust my hand-wavy arguments (and I wouldn’t blame you), see Heinrich’s book-chapter that establishes just that based on computer models rather than eyeballing.

  5. Mark Hallett Says:

    Mark’s 2 cents: What makes this mount unnatural to me is the amount of ventral stretching due to dorsal extension, as well as the extreme posterior positioning of the hindlimbs, as pointed out by
    one of the POWsketeers. It would be hard for this titano, or any sauropod, to rear w/out first getting its COG over the hindfeet–afterwards overreaching like this would be possible for only a few seconds (w/out conferring any defensive benefit), and would severely strain the dorsal muscles/ligaments.

  6. seems some people are in dire need of a PDF of my paper….. leave me your email addresses.

  7. Mike Taylor Says:

    Or you could just post it (and all your others) on your web-site, like a good citizen!

  8. jay Says:

    What genus is depicted here?

  9. Mark Robinson Says:

    Thanks for sharing the pics John + Mike. I know it’s only a stinkin’ theropod but does anyone know what the small grey-feathered dino in the first pic is supposed to be?

    Also, I could be wrong but I don’t think that the specimen in the second pic is the same one that is in the first. From the colour and pose, it looks like the smaller titanosaur in the foreground of the third pic.

  10. Mike Taylor Says:

    You could be right, Mark: I don’t trust colour at all (it comes out astonishingly different in different photos of the same bones), but I think the cervical ribs in the first picture don’t seem to be in the second.

  11. Mike, copyright violation is a no-go for me. I can send people I know the PDF, that’s covered by German law (and yes, it may not be by US laws).

  12. Why are the sterna backwards?

  13. Nima Says:

    Yes, that is weird. They’re either backwards or incorrectly articulated at midline. That pic with the sternals is the smaller rearing titanosaur, the cream-colored one. The larger darker one in the diorama trio doesn’t include sternals for some reason.

    The bigger rearing skeleton, based on the other casts I’ve seen, looks like Epachthosaurus. With the scapulacoracoids sculpted based on Neuquensaurus. The smaller one may be a Neuquensaurus with a very wrong Giraffatitan-based skull model.

  14. Bryan Riolo Says:

    Ummmmm….not saying the rearing mount is correct, but WHY would the feet need to be under the center of gravity and not behind it?

  15. Mike Taylor Says:

    A biped is only stable if its centre of mass is over its feet. Otherwise, it will topple over.

  16. ijreid Says:

    I would’ve commented earlier, but I hadn’t come across this post. The rearing skeleton is of Epachthosaurus.

  17. Bryan Riolo Says:

    Been a while…but stability is not needed if the titanosaur is stomping something, as the pose suggests. Lateral stability, yes..vertical?-.if it wants to grind a stinkin’ theropod into the ground, no. The pose is fine.

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