Miragaia longicollum

Период: Юра


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Miragaia (по имени Miragaia, округа в Португалии и геологического района, где были найдены его остатки) - род растительноядных динозавров-стегозаврид. Его останки были найдены в верхнеюрских пород в Португалии. Miragaia имеет самую длинную шею среди всех известных стегозавров, которая включает в себя по меньшей мере семнадцать позвонков.

Miragaia is based on holotype ML 433, a nearly complete anterior half of a skeleton with partial skull (the first cranial material for a European stegosaurid). The remains were found after the construction of a road between the villages of Miragaia and Sobral. The rear half of the skeleton was probably destroyed by the roadcut. The fossils were dug up in August 1999 and August 2001.[2] Among the recovered bones were most of the snout, a right postorbital, both angulars of the lower jaws, fifteen neck vertebrae (the first two, which articulated with the skull, were absent), two anterior dorsal vertebrae, twelve ribs, a chevron, the shoulder bones, most of the forelimbs including a possible os carpi intermedium, a right first metacarpal and three first phalanges; and thirteen bony plates plus a spike.[1] The bones were not articulated but dispersed over a surface of about five to seven metres, though there was a partial concentration of fossils that could be salvaged within a single block.[2] ML 433 was found in the Miragaia Unit of the Sobral Unit, Lourinhã Formation, which dates to the late Kimmeridgian-early Tithonian (Late Jurassic, approximately 150 million years ago).[1]

Octávio Mateus, Susannah Maidment and Nicolai Christiansen named and shortly described Miragaia in 2009. The type species is Miragaia longicollum. The generic name refers to the village of Miragaia but also is an allusion to mira, "wonderful" in Latin, and Gaia, the Earth Goddess. The specific name means "long neck" from the Latin longus, "long" and collum, "neck". A partial pelvis (ilium and pubic bone) and two partial dorsal vertebrae from a juvenile individual (specimen ML 433-A) were found at the same location, intermingled with the bones of the holotype, and were also assigned, as a paratype, to M. longicollum.[1]

Casts were made of the holotype bones and partially based on these a life-size skeletal model was constructed from polyurethane and polyester resin parts.[2]

Alberto Cobos et alii in 2010 noted that all the diagnostic characters of Miragaia longicollum are based on skeletal elements that are absent in the Dacentrurus holotype found in England in layers of about the same age, while all traits that can be compared are shared by both genera. Cobos et alii therefore proposed that Miragaia is a junior synonym of Dacentrurus, meaning that it is the same dinosaur, because it is not possible to differentiate the two taxa through their holotypes.

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