Skip to comments.105-Foot Dinosaur Unearthed in Argentina
Posted on 10/15/2007 2:00:35 PM PDT by Alter Kaker
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) The skeleton of what is believed to be a new dinosaur species a 105-foot plant-eater that is among the largest dinosaurs ever found has been uncovered in Argentina, scientists said Monday.
Standing alongside a replica of a neck vertebra more than 3 feet high, scientists from Argentina and Brazil said the find was remarkable because they have recovered the most complete skeletons one of one of these "giants" found so far.
They said the Patagonian dinosaur appears to represent a previously unknown species of Titanosaur because of the unique structure of its neck. They named it Futalognkosaurus dukei after the Mapuche Indian words for "giant" and "chief," and for Duke Energy Argentina, which helped fund the skeleton's excavation.
"This is one of the biggest in the world and one of the most complete of these giants that exist," said Jorge Calvo, director of the paleontology center at the National University of Comahue, Argentina. He was lead author of a study on the dinosaur published in the peer-reviewed Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.
Scientists said the giant herbivore walked the Earth some 88 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.
Since the first bones were found on the banks of Lake Barreales in the Argentine province of Neuquen in 2000, paleontologists have dug up the dinosaur's neck, back region, hips and the first vertebra of its tail.
"I'm pretty certain it's a new species," agreed Peter Mackovicky, associate curator for dinosaurs at Chicago's Field Museum, who was not involved with the discovery. "I've seen some of the remains of Futalognkosaurus and it is truly gigantic."
Calvo said the neck alone must have been 56 feet long, and by studying the vertebrae, they figured the tail probably measured 49 feet. The dinosaur reached over 43 feet tall, and the excavated spinal column alone weighed about 9 tons when excavated.
Patagonia also was home to the other two largest dinosaur skeletons found to date Argentinosaurus, at around 115 feet long, and Puertasaurus reuili, 115 feet to 131 feet long.
Comparison between the three herbivores, however, is difficult because scientists have only found few vertebrae of Puertasaurus, and while the skeleton of Futalognkosaurus (FOO-ta-long-koh-SOHR-us) is fairly complete, scientists have not uncovered any bones from its limbs.
North America's dinosaurs don't even compare in size, Mackovicky added in a phone interview. "Dinosaurs do get big here, but nothing near the proportions we see in South America."
Jeff Wilson, an assistant professor of paleontology at the University of Michigan, who was asked to review the finding, said he was impressed by the sheer amount of skeleton recovered.
"I should really try to underscore how incredible it is to have partial skeleton of something this size," Wilson said in telephone interview. "With these kind of bones you can't study them by moving them around on the table, you have to move around them yourself."
The site where Futalognkosaurus was found has been a bonanza for paleontologists, yielding more than 1,000 specimens, including 240 fossil plants, 300 teeth and the remains of several other dinosaurs.
"As far as I know, there is no other place in the world where there is such a large and diverse quantity of fossils in such small area. That is truly unique," said Alexander Kellner, a researcher with the Brazilian National Museum and co-author of the dinosaur's scientific description.
This Thread won’t give children nightmares without pictures.
Oops, that’s not a plant eater. It feeds on wealthy nations.
HOw could something that large subsist as a herbivore?
It would have to consume tons of fodder a day?
Would the enviroment of that time have supported them?
Are we sure cave men weren’t putting steroids in their feed?
I am still trying to figure out how the blood circulated if this thing raised its head to the full extent.
How could dinosaurs exist 87,993,352 years before the earth was created?
105 feet, now that’s a lot of feet.
I'd call it the centasaur...
I think I saw that on the Flintstones.
That would have made a hell of a batch of neckbones and rice!.........
Indeed. Even something as *small* as a giraffe needs to maintain substantial blood pressure merely to remain conscious. Granted, a dinosaur probably had a much more primative, undeveloped brain as compared to a camelopard, but it still needed some degree of circulation up at the end of the 56 feet of neck.
Don't worry about that... our top creationist minds are working on that little detail right now. Solution forthcoming.
That sounds too much like "foot-long-o-saurus" and makes it sound like the main ingredient in a prehistoric hot dog.
Some will drool....others may consider themselves "above" eating the lowly tube-steak.
I already have a spread-sheet open to calculate the number of "foot-longs" one could harvest from a Futalognkosaurus
For you believers out there, the pre-flood vapor canopy theory explains this nicely. With 2X the oxygen density in the atmosphere, little fluctuation in daytime and night temperatures, plus abundant moisture, plants and things would grow VERY large. Further, if you believe that before the Fall, there was no sin and thus no death in the world, animals without a growth inhibiting factor (like fish and reptiles)would continue growing as long as they were alive. There are even skeletal examples of very large people who lived in pre-historic times. Or not, if you prefer.
Global Warming helped grow huge plants until the big dinosaurs, the SUV's of the era, emitted enough methane to ignite the flora and fauna, thus hastening their demise.............
So that’s where they’re outsourcing all those newspaper & MSM jobs being cast out here in North America!
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