Paleontologists discover new sauropod species in Argentina

The region where the new species of sauropod was found is unusual as it would have been a desert during that era, 110 million ye
The region where the new species of sauropod was found is unusual as it would have been a desert during that era, 110 million years ago

A team of Spanish and Argentine paleontologists have discovered the remains of a dinosaur that lived 110 million years ago in the center of the country, the National University of La Matanza revealed Friday.

The remains came from three separate dinosaurs from the herbivorous group of sauropods, the best known of which are the Diplodocus and Brontosaurus. This new species has been named Lavocatisaurus agrioensis.

"We found most of the cranial bones: the snout, the jaws, a lot of teeth, also the bones that define the eye sockets for example and, in that way, we were able to create an almost complete reconstruction," said Jose Luis Carballido, a researcher at the Egidio Feruglio museum and the national council of scientific investigations.

Parts of the neck, tail and back were also found.

"Not only is this the discovery of a in an area where you wouldn't expect to find fossils, but the skull is almost complete," added Carballido.

The remains belonged to an adult of around 12 meters (39 feet) in length, and two minors of around six to seven meters.

The paleontologists say the dinosaurs moved around in a group and died together.

"This discovery of an adult and two juveniles also signifies the first record of a group displacement among the rebbachisaurus dinosaurs," said study lead author Jose Ignacio Canudo of Zaragoza University.

Paleontologists found the remains of three separate members of the new species: an adult and two juveniles
Paleontologists found the remains of three separate members of the new species: an adult and two juveniles

The area in which the fossils were found is unusual for as it would have been a desert with sporadic lakes in that era.

Sauropods were the biggest creatures ever to walk the planet. It is believed that Supersaurus could reach up 33-34 meters in length and Argentinosaurus might have weighed up to 120 tons.

They were herbivorous quadrupeds with long necks and tails, massive bodies and small heads.

But the discovery in Neuquen, published in the scientific journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, remains a huge surprise.

"While one can imagine that this group of could have adapted to move in more arid environments, with little vegetation, little humidity and little water, it's an area in which you wouldn't be looking for fossils," said Carballido.


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Fossils of 'largest' dinosaur found in Argentina (Update)

Journal information: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

© 2018 AFP

Citation: Paleontologists discover new sauropod species in Argentina (2018, November 3) retrieved 26 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-paleontologists-sauropod-species-argentina.html
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Nov 04, 2018
How could something that would need tons of green food per day survive in an arid environment?

Nov 04, 2018
How could something that would need tons of green food per day survive in an arid environment?


They probably spent almost 24 hours a day grazing.

Nov 05, 2018
How could something that would need tons of green food per day survive in an arid environment?


Sauropods did not need tons of food, at most tens of kilograms.
Most of the sauropods found across N America in the Morrison Formation thrived in a semi-arid environment, even large ones.

Diets of giants: the nutritional value of sauropod diet during the Mesozoic:
https://onlinelib...la.12385

Camarasaurus sp. with a mixed diet consisting of equal proportions of monilophyte understory and canopy plants (using values derived from P. vulgare, E. hyemale, A. araucana, G. biloba and M. glyptostroboides) would need to eat 34.2 kg/day. For comparison, a typical modern elephant, weighing 7 t, with an energy requirement of 550 kJ ME/kg BW0.75/day would need to eat 47.0 kg/day of P. vulgare, 33.7 kg/day E. hyemale sp., 39.3 kg/day of a 50:50 mixture of these two species

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