[N] 2005 A sauropod with prosauropod teeth
Buffetaut, E. (2005) A sauropod with prosauropod teeth from the Jurassic of Madagascar. Abstracts 1st Meeting of the EAVP Natural History Museum Basel
Sauropod remains have been known from the Middle Jurassic of Madagascar since the late 19th century, but the evidence consisted almost exclusively of postcranial material. An incomplete right dentary bearing several teeth, from the Middle Jurassic of the Majunga Basin in northwestern Madagascar, kindly made available for study by Didier Descouens, reveals an interesting combination of features. The dentary is typically sauropod-like, its height increasing significantly and regularly from back to front, unlike the prosauropod condition in which the dentary is deeper posteriorly than anteriorly.
The teeth, however, are leaf-shaped, with large serrations along the edges, and thus closely resemble those of prosauropods such as Plateosaurus, rather than the spoon-shaped or peg-like teeth seen in most sauropods. No sauropods with such “primitive” teeth had hitherto been reported. This new Madagascan specimen, which very probably belongs to a new taxon, suggests that mosaic evolution was involved in the early history of sauropods, with the dentary evolving faster than the teeth towards the condition seen in Late Jurassic and later forms.