Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday, Jan

Some of Earth's largest dinosaurs are discovered in Argentina

Mendoza & National

By Post-Gazette

A series of fossil discoveries have revealed giant dinosaurs that, head to tail, extended a third of a football field and weighed as much as a dozen elephants or the largest humpback whale.  

And a Pittsburgh paleontologist was on one team to study newly discovered fossils of two such titanosaurs — gigantic creatures that likely shook the ground with each step in what is now modern-day Argentina. Those behemoths were 82 to 92 feet and up to 66 tons -- 132,000 pounds.

“You’d definitely feel vibrations when lots of them were moving, just like a herd of buffalo shakes the ground,” said Matthew Lamanna, assistant curator of vertebrate paleontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “But they definitely walked rather than ran. I don’t think titanosaurs could move very quickly.”

The dinosaurs known as Notocolossus gonzalezparejasi roamed the outskirts of Patagonia during the Cretaceous Period about 86 million years ago. Their necks were long enough to eat from the ground to the tree tops, with similarly long tails other creatures likely strived to stay clear of.

Mr. Lamanna, who holds a Ph.D. in paleontology, worked on the team led by Bernardo Gonzalez Riga of the National University of Cuyo in the Mendoza Province of Argentina, who first spotted a fossil partially sticking up from... (Read More)

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