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Extinct Paleogene-Neogene Titanosaurs

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Swift sauropod

Sauropod evolution. Throughout their evolution the sauropods seemed to diminish in size. They reached their largest size in the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous, and then, towards the Late Cretaceous, a number of small forms appeared. This trend continued until there were a number of quite lightweight sauropods in South America in Paleogene and Neogene times. Some were quite fleet of foot and would run gracefully in herds across the Pampas.

Extinct forms of swift-footed titanosaur sauropods once thrived in South America before the Quaternary, from The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution.

Isolated from the influences of migration from other continents, the sauropods of the South American continent evolved in their own way to cope with such changing conditions as the spread of the grasslands in the Oligocene-Miocene epochs. During the Paleogene and Neogene periods many strange grassland-dwelling sauropods developed to live in the newly developed Pampas, including a number of long-legged, running forms. These were very vulnerable to the swift-footed carnivorous non-avian theropods that spread across the continent about four million years ago in the Pliocene epoch, when the present Panama Isthmus land bridge was established to the North American continent to the north, resulting in the Great American Interchange. The long-legged sauropods were fast runners, but they were nowhere near as fast as the meat-eaters and were eventually made extinct.

The sauropods that survived did so because they evolved defensive strategies, such as with the turtosaur and the lumber.

Although a name was never used, the proposed name is Velocibrontus australis.

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