Monday, May 19, 2014

Argentine titan

You've probably seen the news stories about the "biggest dinosaur ever" discovered in the Patagonian desert. The unnamed sauropod lived approximately 95 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Paleontologist Jose Luis Carballido of the Egidio Feruglio Museum in Trelew, Argentina, has extrapolated the size of the beast based on measurements of its femur (IMAGE ABOVE). The media is quick to report that it stood as tall as a 7-story building and weighed the same as 14 African elephants. But paleontologist Paul Barrett of London’s Natural History Museum warns against claiming superlatives, since size and weight are often revised downward after peer review. One problem with assessing the weight of both Argentinosaurus [discovered in Patagonia in 1987] and this new discovery is that they’re both based on very fragmentary specimens – no complete skeleton is known, which means the animal’s proportions and overall shape are conjectural.”

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