Italians report major dinosaur discovery

May 02, 2006

Italian scientists report discovering Titanosaurus bones that might change the accepted scientific picture of the dinosaur.

"The morphology of the Titanosaurus could well have to be re-assessed after we're through looking at these four extremely well-preserved skeletons," said Beppe Mecconi, chief of the Natural History Museum at Lerici, near Genoa.

Knowledge of the growth, lifestyle and eating habits of the 80-million-year-old herbivore could also be boosted, Meocci told the Italian news agency ANSA.

The Titanosaurus was a shy, but enormous, dinosaur that had a long neck, a long tail, and a small head. It had a heavy body with bony armor on its back.

The giant herbivores, which grew to nearly 200 feet in length, lived during the late Cretaceous period about 65 to 83 million years ago. Researchers told ANSA the Titanosaurus was one of the largest animals ever to live on Earth.

Although not as long as some of its cousins, the dinosaur was bulky and weighed in at an estimated 30,000 pounds.

ANSA noted fans of Godzilla films know the name Titanosaurus as an ally of the latest 'Supergodzilla'. The two monsters team up to destroy Japan.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: How were fossil tracks made by Early Triassic swimming reptiles so well preserved?

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