FROM THE EDUCATION DESK
Patagotitan mayorum fossils were found in southern Argentina and belongs to a group called titanosaurs. At 76 tons, this plant eater was as heavy as a space shuttle. It was named after the Patagonia region where it was found and the Greek word titan, which means large. The second name honors a ranch family that hosted the researchers. The fossils found were studied and dated to about 100 million years ago, based on ash found around them. It was nearly 20 feet high at the shoulder. A cast of the skeleton is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and is so big that the head sticks out into a hallway.
Scientists have known titanosaurs for awhile, but this is a new species. Argentinosaurus was previously thought to be the largest. How did these dinosaurs get to be so large? Researchers are still studying this question but feel it had something to do with an explosion of flowering plants which along with the forest, was like an all you can eat buffet for these animals and they just kept getting bigger. T.rex looks like a dwarf up against the giant titanosaurs. Kristi Curry Rodgers, a paleontologist at Macalester College said, “The fact that Patagotitan’s bones show signs that they haven’t completed their growth means that there are even bigger dinosaurs out there to discover.”