Tendaguru: Wikis

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The Tendaguru beds are a fossil rich formation in Tanzania. It has been considered the richest of Late Jurassic strata in Africa. Continental reconstructions show Tendaguru to have been in the southern hemisphere during the Late Jurassic. Tendaguru is similar to the Morrison Formation except in its Marine Interbeds. The dinosaur life is also similar to that of the Morrison, with the presence of Dryosaurus in both formations, and other dinosaurs with similar counterparts, e.g., Brachiosaurus and Stegosaurus in the Morrison, and Giraffatitan and Kentrosaurus in the Tengdaguru.[1].

Contents

Location and extent

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Excavations in the Tendaguru Beds

The Tendaguru Beds as a fossil deposit were first discovered in 1906, when German pharmacist, chemical analyst and mining engineer Bernhard Wilhelm Sattler, on his way to a mine south of the Mbemkure River in German East Africa (today Tanzania) noticed an enormous bone weathering out of the path near the base of a hill. [2] Because of its morphology, the hill was locally known as "steep hill": "tendaguru" in the language of the local Wamwera people. Sattler sent a report of his discoverer that found its way to German palaeontologist Eberhard Fraas, then on a round trip through Africa, who visited the site in 1907 and with the aid of Sattler recovered two partial skeletons of enormous size.[3] The material was transported to Fraas' institution, the Royal Natural History Collection in Stuttgart, Germany. Fraas described two species in the badly known genus Gigantosaurus, G. robustus and G. africanus (today Janenschia robusta and Barosaurus africanus, respectively).[3]

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German Tendaguru Expedition

The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin excavated at Tendaguru hill and in the surroundings for four years. From 1909 through 1911, Werner Janensch as expedition leader and Edwind Hennig as assistant directed excavations, while Hans and Ina Reck lead the 1912 field season. Other European participants include Hans von Staff. In the rainy seasons the scientists explored the geology of the colonay German East Africa on long safaris.

British Museum Tendaguru Expedition

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Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

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Vertebrate paleofauna

Possible dinosaur eggs have been recovered from the formation.[4]

Ornithischians

Ornithischians of the Tendaguru Formation
Genus Species Presence Description Images

Dryosaurus[4]

D. lettowvorbecki[4]

  1. Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Kentrosaurus[4]

K. aethiopicus[4]

  1. Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Sauropods

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Discredited taxon Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative data are in small text; crossed out data are discredited.
Dinosaurs of the Tendaguru Formation
Genus Species Presence Notes Images

Barosaurus[4]

B. gracilis[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Brachiosaurus[4]

B. brancai[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

B. brancai was distinct enough from the non-Tendeguru Brachiosaurus type species B. altithorax that it was moved to its own genus, Giraffatitan.[5]

B. fraasi[4]

Remains attributed to B. fraasi were later referred to B. brancai, and thus now Giraffatitan.[5]

Dicraeosaurus[4]

D. hansemanni[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

D. sattleri[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Giraffatitan[4]

G. brancai[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

The new genus Giraffatitan was erected to hold the former Brachiosaurus species, B. brancai after scientists concluded that it was distinct enough from the Brachiosaurus type species, B. altithorax, to warrant such a reclassification.[5]

Janenschia[4]

J. robusta[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Tendaguria[4]

T. tanzaniensis[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Tornieria[4]

T. africanus[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Theropods

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Discredited taxon Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative data are in small text; crossed out data are discredited.
Theropods of the Tendaguru Formation
Genus Species Presence Description Images

?Allosaurus[4]

?A. tendagurensis[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Allosaurus tendagurensis bones, Naturkunde Museum Berlin

Ceratosaurus[4]

C. roechlingi[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Remains now considered indeterminate.[4]

Indeterminate[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Elaphrosaurus[4]

E. bambergi[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Labrosaurus[4]

L. stechowi[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Remains later determined to be an indeterminate species of Ceratosaurus.[4]

Megalosaurus[4]

M. ingens[4]

Geographically present in Mkoawa Mtwara, Tanzania.[4]

Later determined to be an indeterminate theropod.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Octávio Mateus (2006). "Late Jurassic dinosaurs from the Morrison Formation (USA), the Lourinhā and Alcobaça formations (Portugal), and the Tendaguru Beds (Tanzania): a comparison". in Foster, J.R., and Lucas, S.G. (eds.). Paleontology and Geology of the Upper Morrison Formation. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (bulletin 36). pp. 223–232. ISSN 1524-4156.  
  2. ^ Maier, G. (2003). African Dinosaurs Uearthed: The Tendaguru Expeditions (Indiana University Press, Bloomington)
  3. ^ a b Fraas, E. (1908). "Ostafrikanische Dinosaurier". Palaeontolographica 55:105-144 [German]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay Weishampel, David B; et al. (2004). "Dinosaur distribution (Late Jurassic, Africa)." In: Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 552. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
  5. ^ a b c Taylor, M.P. (2009). "A Re-evaluation of Brachiosaurus altithorax Riggs 1903 (Dinosauria, Sauropod) and its generic separation from Giraffatitan brancai (Janensh 1914)." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 29(3): 787-806.

Coordinates: 10°03′S 39°07′E / 10.05°S 39.117°E / -10.05; 39.117


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