[N] 2006 Sauropod from the Lameta Formation
Wilson, J. A., and Mohabey, D. M. (2006) A titanosauriform (Dinosauira: sauropoda) axis from the Lameta Formation (Upper Cretaceous: Maastrichtian) of Nand, Central India: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26(2): 471-479.
A well-preserved sauropod axis (Sauropoda, Titanosauriformes) from the Nand region, central India, in beds that are contiguous with those of Pisdura (Matley, 1921; Huene and Matley, 1933) and Dongargaon, where Isisaurus was discovered (Berman and Jain, 1982; Jain and Bandyopadhyay, 1997). The camellate pneumatization of the Nand axis suggests affinities with Titanosauriformes (Brachiosaurus + Titanosauria), and a second pneumatic feature links it with Saltasaurus from South America. A survey of sauropod axial morphology identifies considerable variation between genera, but few characters that unite major lineages. These results may suggest a high degree of specialization in the atlas-axis complex of sauropods.
Referred Specimen: 196/CRP/GSI/05, an isolated axis vertebra comprising an axial centrum, intercentrum, and neural arch. A cast of the vertebra is housed at the University of Michigan (UMMP 13030).
Locality—Shivapur (Nand Region), 40 km northeast of Pisdura, Maharashtra State, central India (Fig. 1).
Horizon and Age: The axis was collected from overbank red clays in infratrappean horizons of the Lameta Formation. The Lameta Formation is regarded as Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) in age on the basis of microvertebrates and associated microfossils (Sahni and Bajpai, 1991) and its stratigraphic position below the Deccan Trap flood basalts, which have been radiometrically dated as 65.5 million years before present and fall within the 29R paleomagnetic chron (Courtillot et al., 1986, 1996).
Descrription: The axis was encased in hard, cemented silty clay and is very well preserved. There is some minor damage to the right diapophysis and left prezygapophysis, as well as damage to the portion of the neural spine nearest the left postzygapophysis.