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Patagotitan Mayorum Was Largest Dinosaur, Study Says

Image: Patagotitan Mayorum Was Largest Dinosaur, Study Says

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By    |   Thursday, 10 Aug 2017 06:05 AM

Patagotitan mayorum has become the new king of the dinosaur world, with a new study this week estimating that it measured some 120 feet long and weighed some 69 tons when it roamed Argentina during the Cretaceous period.

Those numbers would make the Patagotitan mayorum, which lived about 102 million years ago, the largest dinosaur – or any animal – to walk the Earth, National Geographic reported. The weight alone is equal to 12 African elephants, today's size leader.

Paleontologists José Luis Carbadillo and Diego Pol from the Egidio Fergulio Paleontology Museum in Argentina spent a year carefully digging up the bones of the huge titanosaur from a field in the country's Patagonia region, National Geographic said.

The Patagotitan mayorum's full model has already been on display at the American Museum of Natural History as a permanent exhibit since early 2016. Scientists, though, had not described it in detail until its study released this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Researchers believe, according to Newsweek, that there was likely "one major event" that allowed the dinosaur to become so much bigger than other dinosaurs.

"As far as we know and for some reason, giant titanosaurs were present only in Patagonia," Carballido told Newsweek. "This means that in Patagonia they had the resources and weather for their subsistence. But there are certainly other factors of why this does not happen in other parts of the world, probably related to the intrinsic characteristics of the group.

"We do not know yet why we have such drastic change in body mass at this time here in Patagonia. … Titanosaurs were herbivores, so certainly they had the food they needed, and plants are directly constrained by the weather. Probably the weather helped into have a particular group of plants living in Patagonia," he continued.

National Geographic said the new study on the Patagotitan mayorum has suggested that there could have been a previously unknown group of especially huge titanosaurs that lived in the Patagonia region.

Pol told the magazine, though, that the Patagotitan may have reached the limit of size of dinosaurs.

"All contenders for the largest dinosaur species were similar sized, within a 10 to 15 percent difference," Pol said, per National Geographic. "This suggests we are approaching the maximum possible body size for a terrestrial animal, which was unknown until recently, and it is an exciting discovery."

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Patagotitan mayorum has become the new king of the dinosaur world, with a new study this week estimating that it measured some 120 feet long and weighed some 69 tons when it roamed Argentina during the Cretaceous period.
patagotitan mayorum, largest, dinosaur, study
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2017-05-10
Thursday, 10 Aug 2017 06:05 AM
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