Dinheirosaurus dinosaur-revolution
Creature information
Scientific name : Supersaurus lourinhanensis
Time period : Late Jurassic 154-145
Primary diet : Herbivore
In the series
Fatalities caused : 1 Torvosaurus
Appearances : The Watering Hole

Supersaurus, identified as Dinheirosaurus in the program and this article, is a type of sauropod common in prehistoric North America and Portugal. One of these individuals (nicknamed Woodstock because of a musical song by fans) is a secondary antagonist in The Watering Hole, as the creature who broke Broken Jaw's lower jaw.

Physical Characteristics Edit

Dinheirosaurus is an average sized diplodocid, and had an elongated neck and tail. The main features of the genus are based on its vertebral anatomy, and multiple vertebrae from across the spine have been found. In total, Dinheirosaurus would have had an approximate length of 25 m (82 ft).

Dinheirosaurus is not known well from non-vertebral material, currently only consisting of partial ribs and a fragment of a pelvis. One of the ribs attached to the cervicals, and is quite fragmentary. It is elongated, although that might be a feature of distortion. Also undescribed by Bonaparte & Mateus are a set of thoratic ribs. Two ribs are from the left side of the animal. They are T-shaped in cross section, and display plesiomorphic features, although their incomplete state makes their identification uncertain. Multiple right ribs are preserved, including both the shafts and heads. They are similar to the left ribs, which also show that they lack pneumatization.[3] Other appendicular (non-vertebral) material includes a very incomplete and fragmentary shaft of the pubis, and over one hundred gastroliths. The pubis displays practically no anatomical features, and the gastroliths were not described in detail by Mannion et al. in 2012.

Discovery and Naming Edit

ML 414 was first uncovered in 1987 by Mr. Carlos Anunciação. He was associated with the Museu da Lourinhã, and after the excavations which lasted from the time of discovery until 1992, the specimen was then moved in to the museum, and catalogued under the number 414. Dantas et al.preliminarily announced ML 414 as soon as the excavations were complete. To remove the fossils from the surrounding rock, a bulldozer and tilt hammer were needed. The fossils were situated at the top of a costal cliff, and once removed, were shipped to Lourinhã in two blocks with the help of a crane. A year before being described as a new taxon, Dantas et al. assigned ML 414 to Lourinhasaurus alenquerensis, previously grouped under Apatosaurus. José Bonaparte and Octávio Mateus studied the material of Lourinhasaurus, concluding one specimen, under the name ML 414, to be more closely related to diplodocids of the Morrison Formation, and thus warranting a new binomialname. This new species was described as Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis, with a full meaning of "Porto Dinheiro lizard from Lourinhã".

Dinheirosaurus material included vertebrae, ribs, partial pelvis, and gastroliths. The vertebrae were certainly from the cervical and dorsal regions, and are articulated. The two cervicals are not greatly preserved, although the twelve dorsals are articulated and in good condition. Other vertebral material includes seven centra that are fragmentary and a few neural arches, which are unattached. 12 dorsal ribs are preserved, as well as some appendicular elements. David Weishampel et al. did not recognize all the material as belonging to Dinheirosaurus, and only found 9 dorsals in the holotype, while also misinterpreting the pubis as a limb fragment. They also incorrectly stated that it was found in the Camadas de Alcobaça Formation.[4] Another pair of vertebrae, under collection number ML 418, was originally assigned to Dinheirosaurus by Bonaparte and Mateus, but is now considered to be a distinct new unnamed genus of diplodocid.

Paleoecology Edit

Dinheirosaurus was one of many dinosaurs to have lived in the Lourinhã Formation during the Late Jurassic. Many theropods, sauropods, and especially ornithischians are also from the Lourinhã Formation, which contains a similar fauna to the North American Morrison Formation. Many theropods are known including an unnamed genus of an abelisaurid; the allosaurid Allosaurus europaeus; the ceratosaurid Ceratosaurus dentisculatus; the coelurosaurian cf. Richardoestesia; an intermediate theropod; and the megalosaurid Torvosaurus gurneyi. Sauropods are less common, with only an intermediate diplodocid as well as Dinheirosaurus; the camarasaurid Lourinhasaurus alenquerensis; the turiasaur Zby atlanticus; and the brachiosaurid Lusotitan known. Ornithischians are well represented, with identified remains persisting to Trimucrodon cuneatus; Alocodon kuehnei; the stegosaurians  Miragaia longicollum, and Stegosaurus ungulatus; the ankylosaurid Dracopelta zbyszewskii;  the ornithopods Draconyx loureiroi,  Hypsilophodon sp., Phyllodon henkelli, and cf. Dryosaurus sp.

Trivia Edit

  • Dinheirosaurus were relatives to Apatosaurus and Diplodocus due to them all being diplodocid sauropods.
  • Dinheirosaurus is now considered to be a species of Supersaurus.


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