Conference PaperPDF Available

Saurischian dinosaurs from Late Cretaceous of Pakistan

Authors:
  • Geological Survey of Pakistan
Malkani, M. S., 2004, Saurischian dinosaurs from Late Cretaceous of Pakistan. In
Abstract volume of Fifth Pakistan Geological Congress (Hussain, S.S., and Akbar, H.D.,
eds.), National Geological Society of Pakistan, Pakistan Museum of Natural History
(Pakistan Science Foundation), April14-15, 2004, Islamabad, Pakistan, 71-73.
... Its pronunciation is G.S.P.saurus. Description: Gspsaurus pakistani skull was described and figured in the conference extended abstract 2014 [19], later on described and figured in 2015 [20], and the remaining associated materials cannot be included due to size limit of [22] appears later than the paper on partial cranial materials [23]. Here a few corrections are mention that the abbreviation T is mistyped as P in the second abbreviation of central column (upper), and T is mistyped as Ph the first abbreviation in the central column (lower) in Figure 1 of [11] regarding Gspsaurus skull. ...
... Description: Pakisaurus balochistani was first reported and described in conference 2004 [22] and later on described and figured in 2006 [21]. The recent updated description and comparisons of cranial and postcranial fossils was presented in pages 420-431 of [13]. ...
... [13]. The species name gingerichi was mistyped as gingrechi in [22]. The correct is gingerichi. ...
... Its pronunciation is G.S.P.saurus. Description: Gspsaurus pakistani skull was described and figured in the conference extended abstract 2014 [19], later on described and figured in 2015 [20], and the remaining associated materials cannot be included due to size limit of [22] appears later than the paper on partial cranial materials [23]. Here a few corrections are mention that the abbreviation T is mistyped as P in the second abbreviation of central column (upper), and T is mistyped as Ph the first abbreviation in the central column (lower) in Figure 1 of [11] regarding Gspsaurus skull. ...
... Description: Pakisaurus balochistani was first reported and described in conference 2004 [22] and later on described and figured in 2006 [21]. The recent updated description and comparisons of cranial and postcranial fossils was presented in pages 420-431 of [13]. ...
... [13]. The species name gingerichi was mistyped as gingrechi in [22]. The correct is gingerichi. ...
... However Wilson and Upchurch (2003) and Wilson et al. (2011) recognised two titanosaur taxa. Malkani (2004vide Malkani 2006a collected and diagnosed five type of vertebrae especially caudal vertebrae. First type, tall mid caudals with ratio of mid transverse width above and below of centrum is about 1 belongs o Pakisaurus; slightly tall mid caudals with ratio of mid transverse width above and below of centrum is about 1.3 to 1.5, belong to Marisaurus or Gspsaurus; squarish to broad mid caudals with ratio of mid transverse width above and below of centrum is about 1.5 to 2, belong to Balochisaurus or Saraikimasoom; squarish mid caudal with ratio of mid transverse width above and below of centrum is about 1, belong to Isisaurus or Sulaimanisaurus; squarish mid caudal with ratio of mid transverse width above and below of centrum is slightly less than 1, belong to Khetranisaurus (Malkani 2006a). ...
... 2 medium to large bodied theropod were reported from Pakistan are Vitakridrinda sulaimani Malkani 2004vide Malkani 2006a, and Vitakrisaurus saraiki Malkani 2010a Madagascar represented by large and small bodied Late Cretaceous theropods as Majungasaurus crenatissimus Abelisauridae, Masiakasaurus knopfleri Noasauridae and Rahonavis ostromi Dromaeosauridae ( Krause et al. 2019). Madagascar represented by large theropods as Majungasaurus (Abelisauridae), the first-published nonavian theropod from Gondwana (Deperet 1896. ...
... Vitakridrinda sulaimani was first described by Malkani (2004) and formally published by Malkani (2006a). Here description of holotypic, lectotypic and referred fossils are being provided. ...
... Vitakri dome and Dhaola Range, Barkhan district, Balochistan Province, Pakistan so far, while only one type of armor bone was reported from India. The first type is simple and thin (less than 1 cm thick) osteoderm (Malkani 2003(Malkani , 2010 in about 5-6cm diameter (this osteoderm fossil is with ) found from mid Sangiali 1 (Figures 1-2) may belong to Balochisaurus malkani Malkani 2004vide Malkani 2021b. This simple and thin osteoderm GSP/MSM-8-1 of titanosaur found from Sangiali 1 locality along with three articulated vertebrae GSP/MSM-9-3 and a distal femur/humerus GSP/MSM-10-3 of crocodile found from Shalghara 3 locality received by Dr David Krauss of Bostan College, USA from GSP for preparation since 2001 (Malkani 2020d, pages 532, 534). ...
... The second type of osteoderms (1-1.5cm thick) ( Figure 13) are mosaic type subrectangle shaped preserved plates (Malkani, 2020a, pages 483-484, fig Figures 1-2) may belong to Pakisaurus balochistani Malkani 2004vide Malkani 2021a. It is necessary to mention that large ellipsoidal armor bones were also reported from Malawi (Gomani, 2005) and Argentina (Powell, 2003 ...
... So brief summary is added here. Besides tracks and footprints of dinosaurs and pterosaurs, a glimpse of paleontology of Pakistan like Plants (flora), and animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) (Malkani 2003a,b,c;2004;2006a,b,c,d;2007a,b,c,d;2008a,b,c,d,e,f;2009a,b,c,d,e,f;2010a,b,c,d,e,f,g;2011a,b,c;2012a,b,c,d;2013a,b,c,d,e,f,g;2013a,b,c,d,e;2015a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j;2016a,b,c;2017a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i;2018a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j;Malkani et al. 2001;Wilson et al. 2001Wilson et al. ,2005Malkani and Sun Ge 2016) is being presented here for understanding of biota and their ecosystems. ...
Research
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Since long India was the only source of Mesozoic vertebrates while Pakistan presented first time Mesozoic vertebrates and first ever dinosaurs from Balochistan since 2000. From India only a single pes footprint of titanosaurian sauropod was reported in 1986 and two isolated footprints of theropod in 2015, while from Pakistan diverse footprints and trackways of titanosaurian sauropods and small and large bodied theropods were reported from Jurassic strata since 2007 and Cretaceous strata since 2014. So far Pakistan produced footprints and trackways of titanosauriforms or early titanosaurs, derived titanosaurs (sauropod dinosaurs) and pterosaurs-the flying reptiles and some micro biota (vertebrate and invertebrate traces, fungi and algae). The footprints and trackways from the Mesozoic strata of Pakistan revealed herd movements, and unique shape of manus and pes of Middle Jurassic titanosauriforms or early titanosaurian sauropod, and Latest Cretaceous (Latest Maastrichtian) derived and most advanced titanosaurs (sauropod dinosaurs). The footprints and tracks of Latest Cretaceous titanosaurs from Pakistan reveal new shape of asymmetric triangle-D-oval shape of manus (50-55cm*70-75cm) and associated giant circular pes (1.27m*1.28m) with three broad toes on digit II,III and IV, while digit 1 st and 5 th are reduced without toe and w shape heel. There are three types of titanosaurian sauropods in Indo-Pakistan subcontinent based on ichnites and foot bone fossils. First type includes the pes with broad three toes and w-shape heel, Second type includes the pes with broad three toes and rounded heel, and Third type includes the narrow (may be four) toes and rounded heel. This hypothesis is also confirmed from Middle Jurassic titanosauriforms/ early titanosaur trackways from Pakistan and Late Cretaceous sauropod track from India. Further trackway of Middle Jurassic large theropod show large theropod confronted and moved as solitary while the small theropod moved as herd or at least a couple. In this way middle Jurassic Malakhel site revealed the confrontation scenario of a solitary large theropod with the herd of large titanosauriforms or early titanosaurian sauropods. The latest Cretaceous Sor Muzghai ichnosite yielded the unique shape of tritoed pes with w shape heel, and associated asymmetric sub triangle-D-oval shape manus of titanosaurian sauropods and also provide the experience of gliding / slipping of trackmaker on slippery muds. Some proof about footprints and tracks are discussed regarding the biological, man-made or abiotic or sedimentary structures. A hypothesis regarding the 2 assignment of large oval ellipsoid plate (previous osteoderms) to pes unguals/toes and new shape of manus associated pes are discussed. As conclusions there are three types of titanosaurian sauropods in Indo-Pakistan subcontinent based on ichnites and foot bone fossils. First type includes the pes with broad three toes and w-shape heel, Second type includes the pes with broad three toes and rounded heel, and Third type includes the narrow (may be four) toes and rounded heel. Strata of Sor Muzghai-Sar Katai-Tang Haiderzai trend toward northeast upto northwest of Murgha Kibzai and then turned toward north upto Kapip (just south of Zhob-D.I.Khan road) show vast potential for further paleontological exploration of footprints and trackways, egg clutches and also bones of Late Cretaceous vertebrates. Sor Muzghai ichnite is located on the eastern bank of Zhob-Quetta blacktop/metal led road, just 1 kilometer south of Musafar Pur Thana, Qila Saifullah District, Zhob Division, Balochistan Province. Due to its finding on road bank, this geo-asset will be destroyed under CPEC road expansion, because this is located in the road area, so these paleobiogeoheritage strongly needs to be protected and conserved for scientists and tourists.
... The Mesozoic vertebrates are described and reported by Malkani (2003a,b,c;2004;2006a,b,c;2007a,b,c;2008a,b,c,d;2009;2010a,b,c;2012a,b,c,d;2013a,b,c;2014a,b,c,d,e;2015a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i;2016a,b,c;2017a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i), Malkani and Anwar (2001), Malkani et al. (2001), Wilson et al. (2001Wilson et al. ( ,2005, and Malkani and Sun (2016 Alexander's (1976) formula H=4L, the acetabulum height of the trackmaker is 1.27*4=5.08m, Thulborn (1990) formula H = 5.9L, the acetabulum height is 1.27*5.9=7.493m, ...
Research
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Armoured titanosaurian sauropods (Saurischia) matches closely on the basis of armor and tritoed pes morphology with the armoured ornithischia. The titanosaurs have diverse armors and tritoed pes with large oval unguals which is surronded by fatty sole cushion and then anteriorly by broad U shaped hoof based on overlapping of ichnological and also skeletal records. Titanosaurs have manus without claw but ornithischian have manus with claw/claws. The circular pes is tritoed with large oval shaped unguals or toes (on digit II, III and IV) anteriorly encased by broad U shape arced hoof, and associated asymmetric triangle-D shaped manus without claw which is the autapomorphy of titanosaurs. Other pes digits (I and V) are reduced and without toes. Manus footprints of titanosaur are commonly asymmetric triangle-D shaped but rarely asymmetric oval shaped but all manus are without claw. A manus footprint also revealed marks of 5 digits like metacarpal I, II, III, IV and V. This is confirmed by ichnological records from Indo-Pakistan subcontinent like the Late Cretaceous pes footprint and track of titanosaur from Gujarat of India, Latest Cretaceous pes and associated manus footprints and tracks of most derived or most advanced titanosaurs from Zhob ichnite of Pakistan and middle Jurassic footprints and tracks of early or basal titanosaurs from Malakhel ichnite of Pakistan. This is also confirmed by skeletal records from Indo-Pakistan subcontinent like large oval shaped unguals, many metatarsals and many metacarpals of titanosaurs are found from India and Pakistan. The distal metacarpals with no any rugosities show loss of phalanges and claws showing titanosaurian affinity. The special type of large oval unguals (toes) of titanosaurs are found from Pakistan, India, Malawi, Argentina, etc. The ichnological records from Pakistan reveal the shape and size of circular giant tritoed pes and associated asymmetric triangle-D shaped manus, large oval unguals of pes surrounded by sole cushion which is anteriorly encased by horny hoof, five metacarpals marks on manus print, wide gauge movements, herd behaviour, heteropody ratio about 5, along many other features and evolution of early or basal titanosaurs to most derived or most advanced titanosaurian sauropods.
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Based on recent Malkani hypothesis and theory presented by Malkani (2018c) and lator on some features about this hypothesis reported by Malkani (2018a,b), a comparison of manus, pes and unguals of titanosaurs and stegosaurs is being reported here. This theory is also supported by titanosaur ichnites from India and Skye, Scotland, UK. Some diffentiated characters of manus, pes and unguals of titanosaurs from Stegosaurus favour titanosaurian assignment. Titanosaurs have five digits in manus without ungual/claw, while Stegosaurus have five digits with two ungual in manus (communication with Prof.
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From first fossil to about three thousand fossilized bones/ pieces of bones of dinosaurs have been collected by me from the Latest Cretaceous (70-65 million years before) Vitakri member/Dinosaur beds of upper part of Pab Formation, Barkhan, Dera Bugti, Kohlu and Dera Ghazi Khan districts, Balochistan and Punjab provinces, Pakistan. The studies of collected caudal centra, femora, and tibiae show the number of taxa of dinosaurs, although most of the bones were fragmented but are well preserved. Most of the bones are found on or just near the in situ deposition in the overbank red muds. The down ward transportation after the exposure is very small and a few metre only. At many localities most of the bones are found together representing their association. Many localities deserve excavation for exploration of articulated bodies of these exceptional large animals.Titanosaurian synopomorphies are observed as procoelous caudals, forward insertion of neural arches on caudals; a prominent olecranon process on ulna; pneumatic/spongy texture of illia, cervical and dorsal vertebrae; and external nares retracted backward. Two families of sauropod Titanosauria as Pakisaurids (Titanosaurids) and Balochisaurids (Saltasaurids) are identified on the basis of morphology of caudals, femora and tibiae. Late Jurassic limb fossils represent one genus and species Brohisaurus kirthari of Pakisaurids (Titanosaurids). Latest Cretaceous caudal vertebrae represent three genus and species Pakisaurus balochistani, Sulaimanisaurus gingerichi and Khetranisaurus barkhani of Pakisaurids (Titanosaurids); and two genus and species Marisaurus jeffi and Balochisaurus, of Balochisaurids (Saltasaurids). One genus and species Vitakridrinda sulaimani of Latest Cretaceous Abelisaurids theropod dinosaur is established on the basis of partial skull, some vertebrae and a pair of proximal femora.So far the Late Cretaceous Lameta Formation of India has served as the sole source of information on Cretaceous vertebrates of Indo-Pakistan sub-continent and their remains are inadequate for assessing generic-level affinities but the new discoveries from Pakistan have produced a large number of well preserved fossils and are useful for paleobiogeographic reconstruction and phylogeny.