Paleontology

New titanosaur unearthed in Argentina

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Science  12 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6202, pp. 1307-1308
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6202.1307-e

Researchers working in Argentina have discovered the most complete skeleton of a titanosaur, giant plant-eating dinosaurs that dominated the Southern Hemisphere beginning 90 million years ago. Dreadnoughtus schrani was 26 m long and weighed 59 metric tons—twice as long as Tyrannosaurus rex and as heavy as a herd of elephants. Lacovara et al. recovered 70% of the dino's skeleton, including most of its vertebrae but not the head. The researchers say the beast was so big it would have had no fear of predators (Dreadnoughtus, from Old English, means “fearing nothing”). And an examination of its back and shoulder bones indicates that the animal was still growing when it died.

Sci. Rep. 10.1038/srep06196 (2014).

PHOTO: JENNIFER HALL

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