Monday 11 December 2017

Move aside T. rex... new species is heavyweight of the dinosaur world

Stock picture
Stock picture

Seth Borenstein

A study proclaims a newly named species the heavyweight champion of all dinosaurs, making the scary Tyrannosaurus rex look like a munchkin.

At 76 tons, the plant-eating behemoth was as heavy as a space shuttle.

The dinosaur's fossils were found in southern Argentina in 2012. Researchers who examined and dated them said the long-necked creature was the biggest of a group of large dinosaurs called titanosaurs.

"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 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 honours 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, Mr Pol said.

The dinosaur averaged 37m and was nearly 6m 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.

Legendary T. rex and other meat eaters "look like dwarfs when you put them against one of these giant titanosaurs," Mr Pol said.

Irish Independent

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