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Apatosaurus sp.Fossil, Sauropod Dinosaur
Dr. Amy Balanoff - Columbia University
Gabe S. Bever and Takehito Ikejiri
Apatosaurus sp.
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Brigham Young University (BYU 17096)

Image processing: Dr. Amy Balanoff
Publication Date: 22 Mar 2010


The imagery on this page was the basis for a paper entitled The braincase of Apatosaurus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) based on computed tomography of a new specimen with comments on variation and evolution in sauropod neuroanatomy, by A.M. Balanoff, G.S. Bever, and T. Ikejiri (American Museum Novitates 3677:1-32, 2010). The abstract is as follows:

       We describe a previously unreported braincase of the sauropod dinosaur Apatosaurus from the Cactus        Park Quarry, Morrison Formation of western Colorado using high-resolution X-ray computed        tomography. The digital nature of these data allowed us to prepare and describe the first three-       dimensional rendering of the endocranial space in this historically important dinosaur species. Results        are compared with a range of taxa drawn from across the sauropod tree revealing previously        underappreciated variation in the sauropod neurocranium. Examples of variable characters include        the nature of cerebral and pontine flexure, morphology of the parietal body and superior sagittal        sinus, division of the metotic fenestra, and the morphology of several cranial nerve foramina. We        provide preliminary evolutionary hypotheses and discussion for many of these features. Hopefully, the        recognition that phylogenetically informative variation is present will encourage more detailed        descriptions of this anatomically complex region, as well as facilitating a synthetic review of the        sauropodomorph braincase as these descriptions become available.

About the Species

This specimen was collected from the Jurassic Morrison Formation of the Cactus Park BYU Quarry in western Colorado. It was made available to the University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility for scanning by Dr. Gabe Bever of the American Museum of Natural History. Funding for scanning was provided by Dr. Bever.

About this Specimen

This specimen was scanned by Richard Ketcham on 14 May 2004 along the coronal axis for a total of 127 slices. Each 1024 x 1024 pixel slice is 1.0 mm thick, with an interslice spacing of 0.8 mm (for a slice overlap of 0.2 mm) and a field of reconstruction of 265 mm.

About the


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& Links
endocast pitch

Click on the thumbnail to the left for a pitch rotation animation (3.1 mb) of the Apatosaurus endocast.

endocast and skull pitch

Click on the thumbnail to the left for a pitch rotation animation (1.4 mb) of the Apatosaurus endocast rendered inside the semi-transparent braincase.

endocast yaw

Click on the thumbnail to the left for a yaw rotation animation (3.8 mb) of the Apatosaurus endocast.

endocast and skull yaw

Click on the thumbnail to the left for a yaw rotation animation (2.4 mb) of the Apatosaurus endocast rendered inside the semi-transparent braincase.

endocast roll

Click on the thumbnail to the left for a roll rotation animation (3.5 mb) of the Apatosaurus endocast.


To cite this page: Dr. Amy Balanoff, Gabe S. Bever and Takehito Ikejiri, 2010, "Apatosaurus sp." (On-line), Digital Morphology. Accessed October 30, 2014 at http://digimorph.org/specimens/Apatosaurus_sp/.

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