Dreadnought Dinosaur

Vertebrate palaeontologists rely on artists to help test their sometimes hypothetical reconstructions. The latest example is of a well-preserved and complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina.

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KJ Lacovara et al publish details in Nature Scientific Reports, 4 September 2014

The nearly complete specimen is from the most diverse and abundant large-bodied herbivore known from in the southern continents, and lived there 95 to 65 million years ago.

Lacovara et al - Figure 3 (phylogeny)

It is named Dreadnoughtus schrani and weighed about 59.3 metric tons (though the bone histology of the specimen studied suggests it was still growing at the time of death). One of the authors of the report and a plastic bucket give scale to pictures of the in situ specimen.

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As well as artists’ reconstructions the authors use comparisons to familiar objects to describe its length – they have named it after the First World War series of battleships Dreadnought, and compare its length to that of two London buses:

300px-HMS_Dreadnought_1906_H61017

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