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Rebbachisaurus garasbae (5) - tooth

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Description

Origin : Morocco. Hamada du Guir (Ifezouane Formation)

Geological era : Early Cretaceous (Albian)

Age : 105 million of years

Size : cm 4.4


real fossil tooth of a long neck sauropod, cm 4.4.

Rebbachisaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur of the superfamily Diplodocoidea, up to 20 meters (68 ft) long, that lived in the Early Cretaceous period about 105 million years ago. This massive four-legged plant-eating animal had a small head, a long, graceful neck and a whiplike tail. Rebbachisaurus is distinguished from other sauropods by its unusually tall, ridged back. The discovery of Rayososaurus, a South American sauropod nearly identical to Rebbachisaurus, supports the theory that there was still a land connection between Africa and South America during the Early Cretaceous, long after it was commonly thought the two continents had separated.

Rebbachisauridae are sauropod dinosaurs and, like all members of this group of erviborous animals, they had bulky bodies supported by columnar limbs, elongated necks and even longer tails. This description, however, must take into account the extreme fragmentary nature of the remains attributed to the species of this family, known mainly for largely incomplete skeletons found in Africa, South America and perhaps in Europe. The classification of Rebbachisauridae, currently, sees them close to diplodocides, which include Apatosaurus (ex Brontosaurus) and Diplodocus, constituting the family of Rebbachisauridae.
Although most authorities in the sector agree that they are diplodocoids, the Rebbachisauridae do not have the forked cervical vertebrae that characterize the diplodocides and the dicreosaurides (the other families that make up the clade) and moreover the characteristic "double" chevron are missing. (hence the name diplodocides). For these reasons, the Rebbachisauridae are considered more primitive than the other two families. It is also not known if the Rebbachisauridae also possessed the particular "whip tails" of the other two taxa.
The Rebbachisauridae are distinguished from the other sauropods by the high vertebrae (very similar to those of the Dicreosauridae, but more primitive) which suggest that they perhaps had a sort of thermo-regulating back sail, and for the very strange teeth, characterized by asymmetrical lamellae. Furthermore, at least some forms (Nigersaurus) possessed batteries of teeth, a unique case among sauropods. This adaptation developed three times, completely independently, among the dinosaurs: in addition to the rebbachisaurs, also in the hadrosaurs and in the ceratopsides.
The rebbachisaurs lived simultaneously with the titanosaur sauropods for a time during the Upper Cretaceous, however they are not known in the last layers of the Cretaceous, unless the well-known jaw attributed to the titanosaurus Antarctosaurus appears to belong to a surviving Rebbachisauridae.



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