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The Titanosaur! Largest Dinosaur Ever Discovered --"As Big as the Space Shutttle"

 

Patagotitan

 

Move over, Tyrannosaurus rex! The largest dinosaur ever discovered, P. mayorum was discovered by a shepherd in 2012 on the La Flecha Farm in the Chubut Province in the Argentinian desert when he spotted the tip of a huge fossil bone sticking out of a rock. The femur, measuring 7.8 feet in length, was the biggest ever found. As excavation work begin, experts soon realized they had found a huge new species of dinosaur, the biggest of a group of large dinosaurs called titanosaurs. The biggest vertebrate to ever walk the Earth—measured 121 feet in length and 46 feet in height, and at 76 tons (69 metric tons), the plant-eating colossus was as heavy as a space shuttle.

Researchers suggest that it got so big due to do the explosion of flowering plants at the time. Along with a forest, it was like an "all-you-can-eat buffet" and the monsters just got bigger.

Eventually, over 200 bones were uncovered, allowing scientists to reconstruct this giant to get an accurate representation of what it would be like.

"There was one small part of the family that went crazy on size," said Diego Pol of the Egidio Feruglio paleontology museum in Argentina, co-author of the study published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The researchers named the dinosaur Patagotitan mayorum after the Patagonia region where it was found and the Greek word titan, which means large. The second name honors a ranch family that hosted the researchers.
Six fossils of the species were studied and dated to about 100 million years ago, based on ash found around them, Pol said. The dinosaur averaged 122 feet long (37 meters) and was nearly 20 feet high (6 meters) at the shoulder.

A cast of the dinosaur's skeleton is already on display at the American Museum of Natural History. It's so big that the dinosaur's head sticks out into a hallway at the New York museum .

Scientists have known titanosaurs for a while, but this is a new species and even a new genus, which is a larger grouping, Pol said. Another titanosaur called Argentinosaurus was previously thought to be the largest.

"I don't think they were scary at all," Pol said. "They were probably massive big slow-moving animals."
"Getting up. Walking around. Trying to run. It's really challenging for large animals," he said.

Kristi Curry Rodgers, a paleontologist at Macalester College who wasn't part of the study, praised the work as important. She told the AP that the fact that Patagotitan's bones show signs that they haven't completed their growth "means that there are even bigger dinosaurs out there to discover."

More information: A new giant titanosaur sheds light on body mass evolution amongst sauropod dinosaurs, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rspb.2017.1219

The Dailt Galaxy via Newsweek , 2017 The Associated Press, and Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Image credit: Artist impression of Patagotitan.
MUSEUM OF PALAEONTOLOGY EGIDIO FERUGLIO

 

 

Comments

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Lots of burgers.

What about metric length and metric height? Thos is a science blog, right?

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