A Giant Argentinian Dinosaur Discovery
A new dinosaur species has been described in Scientific Reports this week and was identified from fossilised remains found in Southern Patagonia, Argentina.
The newly discovered species, named Dreadnoughtus schrani, has been classified by the research group as belonging to a group of dinosaurs known as the titanosaurs.
Titanosaurs are described as being a diverse group of sauropod dinosaurs.
Sauropods are conventionally known for their long necks and tails, along with a small head in relation to the rest of their body size.
Titanosaurs were amongst the heaviest creatures to walk the earth, with Dreadnoughtus schrani thought to be the largest so far.
Despite being so gigantic, titanosaurs are still relatively mysterious, having only been studied in the past through very incomplete fossils.
This has made it difficult to establish the evolutionary history of such creatures as well as preventing detailed descriptions of their anatomy.
The fossilised remains of Dreadnoughtus schrani are considered to be the most complete giant titanosaur yet and is hoped will prove very useful in the study of these creatures.
Dreadnoughtus schrani was discovered in upper cretaceous sediments in Patagonia, 1200km away from other known South American dinosaur locations.
It is thought that the dinosaur roamed the earth around 84-66 million years ago, with an estimated mass of 59.3 metric tons and a length of 26 metres.
Despite its huge size, bone histology evidence revealed that this individual was still growing at time of death, meaning the sheer potential size of these animals is still unknown.
This latest prehistoric discovery offers the most complete amount of information so far regarding the titanosaurs.
With approximately 45.3% of the bones of Dreadnoughtus schrani having been recovered, it is hoped that these will offer important data for future studies into the earth’s heaviest ever land animals.
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