Research paper

Phylogenetic analysis of Gondwanan basal eusauropods from the Early-Middle Jurassic of Patagonia, Argentina

Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns (SNSB), Bayerische Staatssamlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Department for Earth and Environmental Sciences, Richard-Wagner-Strasse 10, 80333 München, Germany

Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Corresponding author

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina.

Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, Avenida Fontana 140, Trelew, Argentina.


Gondwanan Jurassic non-neosauropod eusauropods are key for the understanding of sauropod evolution, although their phylogenetic interrelationships remain poorly understood. However, following the revision of the holotype of a key taxon from the early Middle Jurassic Cañadón Asfalto Formation Patagonia, Argentina, Patagosaurus fariasi, the phylogenetic affinities need to be tested with new osteological information gathered during the redescription of the holotype of Patagosaurus. A new phylogeny presented here shows a close affiliation of Patagosaurus with Cetiosaurus from the Middle Jurassic of the UK. The close relationship of Patagosaurus with Barapasaurus, often found in previous phylogenies, was not recovered here. Instead, Patagosaurus is retrieved as more derived than most Early and Middle Jurassic sauropods, although more basal to Mamenchisaurus, Omeisaurus, turiasaurians, and neosauropods. Another sauropod taxon found together with Patagosaurus, Volkheimeria, is retrieved several nodes more basal than the former, which shows, together with evidence of several other sauropod taxa in the Cañadón Asfalto Formation, that a high evolutionary diversity existed in Southwest Gondwana in the early Middle Jurassic, a pattern which is also seen in fossil groups other than sauropods (e.g., theropods).

Key words: Middle Jurassic, Gondwana, Patagonia, sauropod, phylogeny.

How to cite: Holwerda, F.M. & Pol, D. 2018. Phylogenetic analysis of Gondwanan basal eusauropods from the Early-Middle Jurassic of Patagonia, Argentina. Spanish Journal of Palaeontology, 33 (2), 289-298.

Received 20 December 2017, Accepted 09 July 2018, Published 31 December 2018