New 'thunder-thighs' dinosaur discovered (w/ Video)

Feb 23, 2011
Brontomerus mcintoshi is a newly discovered dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of North America. The name Brontomerus means "Thunder thighs" -- a name chosen because the peculiar shape of the hip bone shows that it would have had enormously powerful thigh muscles in life.

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new dinosaur named Brontomerus mcintoshi, or "thunder-thighs" after its enormously powerful thigh muscles, has been discovered in Utah, USA. The new species is described in a paper recently published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica by an international team of scientists from the U.K. and the U.S.

A member of the long-necked sauropod group of dinosaurs which includes Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, Brontomerus may have used its powerful thighs as a weapon to kick predators, or to help travel over rough, hilly terrain. Brontomerus lived about 110 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous Period, and probably had to contend with fierce "raptors" such as Deinonychus and Utahraptor.

The fossilised bones of two specimens of Brontomerus mcintoshi – an adult and a juvenile – were rescued from a previously looted and damaged quarry in eastern Utah by researchers from the Sam Noble Museum. Paleontologists speculate that the larger specimen is the mother of the younger and would have weighed around 6 tons, about the size of a large elephant, and measured 14 meters in length. At a third of the size, the smaller specimen would have weighed about 200 kg, the size of a pony, and been 4.5 m long.

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The authors classified the new genus based on an incomplete skeleton including bones from the shoulder, hip, ribs, vertebrae and some unidentifiable fragments. They used the bones to identify Brontomerus' unique features, primarily the shape of the ilium (hip bone), which, in the case of Brontomerus, is unusually large in comparison to that of similar dinosaurs. The wide, blade-shaped bone projects forward ahead of the hip socket, providing a proportionally massive area for the attachment of muscles.

The shape of the bone indicates that the animal would likely have had the largest leg muscles of any dinosaur in the sauropod family. This is reflected in the name Brontomerus, which literally means "thunder-thighs." The dinosaur's species name, mcintoshi, was chosen in honor of John "Jack" McIntosh, a retired physicist at Wesleyan University, Conn., and lifelong avocational paleontologist.

"Brontomerus mcintoshi is a charismatic dinosaur and an exciting discovery for us," said first author Mike Taylor, a researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London. "When we recognised the weird shape of the hip, we wondered what its significance might be, but we concluded that kicking was the most likely. The kick would probably have been used when two males fought over a female, but given that the mechanics were all in place it would be bizarre if it wasn't also used in predator defense."

Other marks on the bones give additional clues to Brontomerus' lifestyle and environment. Co author Matt Wedel, assistant professor of anatomy at Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, Calif., explained: "The shoulder blade of Brontomerus has unusual bumps that probably mark the boundaries of muscle attachments, suggesting that Brontomerus had powerful forelimb muscles as well. It's possible that Brontomerus mcintoshi was more athletic than most other sauropods. It is well established that far from being swamp-bound hippo-like animals, sauropods preferred drier, upland areas; so perhaps Brontomerus lived in rough, hilly terrain and the powerful leg muscles were a sort of dinosaur four-wheel drive."

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While Brontomerus' unusual hip structure and enormous thigh muscles place it on the list of most extreme dinosaurs, it is also a significant find for another reason. It is one more in a number of finds over the past 20 years that challenge the previously held idea that sauropods began to disappear in the Early Cretaceous period.

"Because sauropods were the most abundant dinosaurs found during the Jurassic period and the rarest during the Early Cretaceous, there's long been the perception that sauropods were successful in the Jurassic and were replaced by duckbills and horned dinosaurs in the Cretaceous," explained Wedel. "In the past 20 years, however, we are finding more sauropods from the Early Cretaceous period, and the picture is changing. It now seems that sauropods may have been every bit as diverse as they were during the Jurassic, but much less abundant and so much less likely to be found."

Explore further: Bronze Age wine cellar found

More information: Taylor, Michael P., Mathew J. Wedel and Richard L. Cifelli. 2011. Brontomerus mcintoshi, a new sauropod dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, USA. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 56(1):75-98. doi:10.4202/app.2010.0073

Provided by University College London

4.1 /5 (12 votes)

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kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (7) Feb 23, 2011
So an interesting question to answer would be: What OTHER animal/bird fossils were found with this particular one? I wish the researchers would include a list of ALL fossils found in the same dig and at the same level, instead of just trumpeting the particular high-interest item.
This would bring to light the fact that most dinosaurs are found in places where birds like owl, parrots, cormorants and even penguins are also present in fossil form. Same goes for foxes, snakes, crocodiles and even platypus.
Does that surprise you? It should because those are not reported. Only what suits the evolutionary paradigm.
kaasinees
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 23, 2011
This would bring to light the fact that most dinosaurs are found in places where birds like owl, parrots, cormorants and even penguins are also present in fossil form. Same goes for foxes, snakes, crocodiles and even platypus.


Uhm they have numerous ways of dating fossils. Also what is your source reference?

And did you just confess that you think the world is more than 6000 years old? (Or was that somebody else who believed that)
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Feb 23, 2011
This would bring to light the fact that most dinosaurs are found in places where birds like owl, parrots, cormorants and even penguins are also present in fossil form
It would have been mentioned if anyone had found such a thing.
Same goes for foxes, snakes, crocodiles and even platypus.
Silly lie. Crocs maybe as they have been around a LOONNG time. The rest are new. Maybe a snake with LEGS could be found there.
Does that surprise you?
No. It is exactly the sort of idiot lie I expect out of you. People have been digging up dinosaurs since before Darwin and NO one has found a modern animals with them. EVER.
It should because those are not reported.
They aren't there to be reported. Of course YOU could quit spending all your time telling lies here and go out and LOOK. You won't find anything that you like but it least it would be a case of a Creationist actually trying to prove a point instead of telling lies.

So when was the Flood oh great chicken?

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (4) Feb 23, 2011
Also what is your source reference?
His source is himself.

However he did bring up a point with his nonsense. If he and others really believe that crap why aren't they doing the research? Get in a truck. Load it up with Jack Daniels and Bibles and some shovels and brushes and a bunch of Hardshell Baptists go on up to Utah or the Badlands or a vast number of other places and FIND THE STUFF.

Of course they won't do that. They don't believe it either. It is kind of funny that way. Fanatics that think the world is what the Bible says and they REFUSE to do ANY research to support the idea.

Not ONE Creationist has EVER done any research in the field to find the vast amount of evidence that should be there. Oh, they have tried to muddy up reality by looking at real science and intentionally misinterpreting it, such as in the alleged polonium halos, but no one has looked for what would be there if they were right. Which means they DON'T REALLY BELIEVE.

Ethelred
jamesrm
not rated yet Feb 23, 2011
The first video made me think Discovery channel go a new show:
So you think dinosuars can't dance.

That raptors doing a wicked Back Flip Half Twist.

rgds
jms
LariAnn
3 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2011
Ethelred,
Good point about the creationists doing actual research, but think about it - if some did as you suggest and claimed that they did find the proof they were looking for, would you believe the report? In your view, would it be necessary, instead, to include an atheist evolutionist on the dig team in order for the results to be scientifically valid? For that matter, why not include a creationist on an atheist evolutionist dig team and see what happens then?
xznofile
not rated yet Feb 23, 2011
Kicking is possible but I bet that muscle was used to pivot when turning to whip the tail. Someone (Horner?) said sauropod tails had solid bones at the end like 10 foot numchucks.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2011
but think about it - if some did as you suggest and claimed that they did find the proof they were looking for, would you believe the report?
Only if it is confirmed by others. Just as with any other science. LOTS of confirmation would be needed. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
In your view, would it be necessary, instead, to include an atheist evolutionist
I have noticed before that you have some other odd ideas about evolution as well but you don't participate much in these discussions so perhaps I am remembering incorrectly. First there are NO evolutionists. There people that go on the evidence and study evolution. Many of those people are NOT Atheists or even Agnostics like me. Darwin was not an Atheist when he came up with the theory of Natural Selection.

However I have seen Creationists engage in out and out fraud so I would not take their word for it. Even if they had video. Remember the bogus alien autopsy. Video can be unreliable.

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Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2011
order for the results to be scientifically valid?
Valid and trustworthy are two different things. They would have to let the skeptics check the site. No one is stopping Creationists from checking the work of real paleontologists in the US.
For that matter, why not include a creationist on an atheist evolutionist dig team and see what happens then?
Nothing will happen except that a Creationist will be exposed to reality and I really don't think anyone that wanted to do so would be denied the opportunity.

Do you really think that the entire field of paleontology, archeology, anthropology and genetics is based on some bizarre fraud, with thousands of people involved, for decade after decade, intended to ready the world for what? The Anti-Christ? I can't think of any reason for such a conspiracy and I sure don't see how it could be managed. Kevin just made up shit and hoped someone would swallow it down whole.

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