1 Faculty of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China; 2 Natural History Museum of Guangxi, Nanning 530012, China; 3 Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing 100044, China; 4 CNRS, UMR 8538, Laboratoire de Geologie de l'Ecole Normale Superieure, 24?rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China to Mo Jinyou (40862001) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences to Xu Xing.
A new sauropod dinosaur, Liubangosaurus hei gen. et sp. nov., is erected based on a specimen represented by five articulated middle-caudal dorsal vertebrae, which was discovered in the Lower Cretaceous Napai Formation of Guangxi Province, southern China. This new taxon is diagnosed by a unique combination of derived features: prezygapophysis closely contacts with parapophysis, with the prdl and prpl absent; presence of cavity on the dorsal surface of the diapophysis; neural spine very low, with its distal end level with that of diapophysis; distal end of the neural spine strongly expanded laterally to form a platform; marked fossa formed between the infradiapophyseal lamina and the parapophysis; broad, flat area of featureless bone on lateral surface of neural arch; vertically directed infradiapophyseal lamina expands or bifurcates ventrally to form a inverted “Y”; highly positioned parapophyses large and tear-drop in shape. The discovery of this new taxon increases the diversity of sauropods in China during the Early Cretaceous.