Biodiversity Of Saurischian Dinosaurs From The Latest Cretaceous Park Of Pakistan

M.Sadiq Malkani

Abstract



From first 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 cardal centra, femora, and tibiae show the numer 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 deserves 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 ilia, 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, Sulaimaniaurus gingerichi and khetranisaurus barkhani of pakisaurids (Titanosaurids); One genus and species Vitakrinda 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.


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