Super sizing the giants: first cartilage preservation at a sauropod dinosaur limb joint

Daniela Schwarz, Oliver Wings & Christian A. Meyer

This material has been published in the Journal of the Geological Society, London (2007, v.164, pp. 61-65), the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by The Geological Society of London.

Re-examination of the sauropod dinosaur Cetiosauriscus greppini von Huene 1922 (Reuchenette Formation; Kimmeridgian, Late Jurassic) from northwestern Switzerland has revealed a well-preserved cartilage capsule at the distal extremity of the right humerus. The capsule represents hyaline cartilage together with fibrocartilage and can be distinguished by colour, surface structure and histology from the periosteum of the bone. This is the first fossil evidence for articular cartilage in a sauropodomorph dinosaur. It indicates the
presence of a large articular capsule on sauropod forelimbs, which was only hypothesized until now, and shows that the forelimb length of sauropods was larger than previously assumed.


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