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Fossils of ‘first giant’ dinosaur uncovered in Argentina
12 July 2018, 10:12 | Dale Webster
Huge new gentle giant dinosaur the size of a double decker bus discovered in Argentina
'But with this discovery we can see the first steps toward gigantism occurred 30 million years before the giants dominated practically the entire planet'.
A dinosaur as big as a double decker bus that roamed Argentina more than 200 million years ago has been dug up by scientists. "That's the surprise", asserted Cecilia Apaldetti, a San Juan University researcher.
The fossil was discovered from the northwest of Argentina during a field trip.
Scientists in Argentina have discovered the earliest-known "giant" dinosaur, revealing the evolution of gigantism began around 30 million years earlier than previously thought.
An improved respiratory system and modifications to the vertebral musculature and hind limbs were key factors to the giant growth spurt, theorize the researchers. Its neck also was shorter than later sauropods, which possessed among the longest necks relative to body length of any animals ever.
What is really unexpected is that the lessemsaurids achieved their huge bodies independently of the very big sauropods like Brontosaurus and Diplodocus, which did indeed evolve later during the Jurassic.
There have been excavations of four skeletons in all, out of which one is an entirely new species, and the other three are of related dinosaurs. It was at least twice as large as the other plant-eaters that shared the warm, savannah environment it inhabited. "That in Latin means the "first giant". Called the Ingenia prima, this dinosaur was thrice the dimensions of the bulkiest of Triassic dinosaurs. The fossilized remains include a shoulder bone, several neck vertebrae, and some bones from the legs and tail.
Researchers said the dinosaur - named Ingentia prima, meaning "the first giant" - was up to 33 feet (10 meters) long and weighed about 10 tons, living about 210 million years ago during the Triassic Period.
Like dinosaurs that lived later, it had bird-like air sacs, which may have been needed to keep large animals cool and supply large amounts of oxygen.
But unlike their more recent counterparts they stood on bent legs and had bones that grew thick through accelerated bursts.
Their expansion in the Late Triassic is evident from the appearance of many small, agile two legged types recorded throughout the world.
Find, Baldetti and her colleagues belong to the number of sauropods - large quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaurs, making rate of its huge mass, a huge number of eggs in the clutch and rapid growth of young animals.
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