The real Bigfoot: A pes from Wyoming, USA is the largest sauropod pes ever reported and the northern-most occurrence of brachiosaurids in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation

Anthony Maltese, Emanuel Tschopp, Femke Holwerda, David Burnham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A set of associated left pedal elements of a sauropod dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation in Weston County, Wyoming, is described here. Several camarasaurids, a nearly complete small brachiosaur, and a small diplodocid have been found at this locality, but none match the exceptionally large size of the pedal elements. Next to the associated pedal elements, an isolated astragalus, phalanx and ungual were found, which match the large metatarsals in size. The elements cannot be ascribed to diplodocids due to the lack of a ventral process of metatarsal I. Moreover, the morphology of metatarsal V has a broad proximal end, with a long and narrow distal shaft, which differs from Camarasaurus. The size of the material and a medially beveled distal articular surface of metatarsal IV imply an identification as a brachiosaurid. This is the largest pes ever reported from a sauropod dinosaur and represents the first confirmed pedal brachiosaur elements from the Late Jurassic of North America. Furthermore, this brachiosaur material (the pes and the small nearly complete specimen) is the northernmost occurrence of brachiosaurids in the Morrison Formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere5250
JournalPeerJ
Volume2018
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Brachiosauridae
  • Jurassic
  • Morrison Formation
  • North America
  • Pes
  • Titanosauriformes

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