Preparation of an approximately two-thirds complete, well-preserved Camarasaurus skeleton has recently been finished. Its detailed osteological description presented here provides a number of interesting characters, some not previously reported for the genus. This specimen (BYU 9047) was earlier named Cathetosaurus lewisi, n. gen. et sp., based on seven characters cited by Jensen (1988). Of these characters, four appear to be age related (this skeleton represents a very old individual) and not of taxonomic significance. Nevertheless, they are useful in advancing our understanding of the ligamentation associated with the sacral and posterior dorsal regions, not only of Camarasaurus but of the sauropods in general. These characters also contribute to a greater knowledge of the ontogenetic development and fusion of the sacral elements. Camarasaurus lewisi (Jensen, 1988) is a valid species whose diagnostic characters include (1) a deep but narrow cleft in the neural spines of presacral vertebrae, which most significantly persists to the sacrum rather than ending in the mid-dorsal region, as in all other species of Camarasaurus; (2) a forward rotation of the ilium with respect to the long axis of the sacrum, a hitherto unreported major character of the genus Camarasaurus; and (3) a steep angle that the posterior chevron articulating facets make with the horizontal plane.
Additional publication details
The osteology of Camarasaurus lewisi (Jensen, 1988)