Paleontologists find bones of biggest dinosaur to have walked on Earth

A paleontologist during an excavation in Argentina of the bones of one of the largest dinosaurs to ever live on Earth (AFP via Getty Images).

Paleontologists have discovered the remains of a dinosaur that lived in Argentina 98 million years ago and may be the largest dinosaur ever discovered.

The team has just published its findings following the discovery of the remains of a titanosaur sauropod in 2012. In 2015 and 2016, excavations began in the Candeleros Formation, a geological formation in the eastern part of Neuquén Province in Argentina.

A study of dinosaur remains has been published in the scientific journal Cretaceous Studies.

Experts from the Conise (National Council for Scientific and Technological Research) worked on the project, including Dr. Alejandro Otero, 39, a researcher at the Museum of La Plata.

We were looking for the remains of sauropods and we came across this animal, Dr. Otero told the Real Press.

This discovery is important because well-preserved bones can provide clues and additional information about how these dinosaurs lived, including their biology, diet, circulation and growth.

The remains were found in the Candeleros Formation, in the Neuquén River valley, in southwestern Argentina (AFP).

Titanosaurs were plant-eating dinosaurs that lived at the end of the Cretaceous period, about 98 million years ago.

So far, 24 bones of caudal vertebrae have been found, as well as bones of hip and shoulder blades, Dr. Otero explained.

However, the size of the dinosaur is not yet known and researchers will continue to search for other bones in the area.

Unfortunately, we don’t have long bones like the hip or humerus, which are fundamental to calculating an animal’s weight because body mass estimates are based on circles of long bones, Dr. Otero said.

Scientists still have a long way to go, such as finding B. the hip that would accurately predict total sample size (TSS).

Comparing the fossils found with bones corresponding to known dinosaurs such as Patagotan, another very large sauropod found in Chubut province, we can estimate its size.

Dr. Otero said: We can already see that the new bones are slightly larger, about 10 to 20% larger than the bones of the Patagotitan meiorum.

The expert noted that this suggests that this new animal may have reached the size of the Patagotitan, or may have been even larger, although he stressed that without the long bones it is difficult to compare them.

The Patagotan had a body mass of 60 to 70 bones and was 35 feet long, and this new dinosaur was certainly one of the largest.

Life-size model of the dinosaur Meiorum patagotitanum in Patagonia (Credits: Shutterstock / Oleg Senkov)

So far, the dinosaur found in the area has not been officially named because the artifacts have not yet been excavated. Dr. Otero explained that since we don’t have all the anatomical information, we want to wait to get more material and compare the differences and similarities with other dinosaurs.

However, he stated that it could be a new, previously unknown dinosaur species, but stressed that further research is needed to determine this with certainty.

Apparently, the dinosaur found in Neuquen Province is one of the largest in the world, and this discovery is important because it gives researchers more information about large dinosaurs, information that is lacking because most of the remains found of these dinosaurs are broken or poorly preserved.

There are many Cretaceous rocks in the area, but it is rare to find dinosaur bones as large and intact as here.

The human-sized fossilized bone fragments belonging to the giant sauropod appear to be 10-20% larger than those attributed to Meiorum patagotitanum, the largest dinosaur ever identified (AFP via Getty Images).

Although little is known about the sauropods’ way of life, Dr. Otero told Real Press that they are herbivores, with many teeth that can cut vegetables, with no canines because all the teeth are the same size.

As for their way of life, according to information from Patagotitan, whose bones were found in the river basin, sauropods tended to go to the same place to drink water and look for food.

Dr. Otero said sauropods, like modern elephants, live in groups that give them some protection from predators because, even though they are very large, there are always vulnerable elements in the society, such as older or younger offspring.

Neuquen, which is now a very dry area, full of rocks and with very short vegetation, had many rivers 100 million years ago, according to Dr. Otero…..

So he explained that it was a good place for large animals up to 30 feet because they had no problem eating.

According to Dr. Otero, sauropods live in groups like modern elephants (AFP via Getty Images).

Sauropods also lived with other dinosaurs and according to Dr. Otero, carnivorous dinosaurs used their bodies after death. In fact, it is reported that bones and fecal remains were found at the same site, which may support this theory.

The research team included experts from the Museum of La Plata, the Museo Egidio Ferudlio, the University of Rio Negro, the Sapa Museum and the University of Zaragoza.

MORE: Scientists reconstruct the genitals of powerful dinosaurs to find out how they had sex.

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