|1st Species||Argentinosaurus huinculensis|
|Time Range||97-94 mya|
|Name Meaning||Argentinian reptile|
|Physical Dimensions||32.2 meters long|
Argentinosaurus is an andesaurid sauropod sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina. It was named in 1993 by Jose F. Bonaparte and Rodolfo Coria. It has been routinely described as one of the largest, if not the largest known dinosaur.
Argentinosaurus was a large sauropod with a bulky, downwards-sloping body, a deep torso, 4 large, erect, pillar-like legs, a moderately long tail, a long neck, and a small head. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.
Argentinosaurus was an herbivore, feeding on leaves from large trees. Its peg-like teeth were used to strip branches of their leaves, and its long neck and limbs allowed it to access vegetation some 15 meters in the air without rearing.
Despite its massive size, Argentinosaurus was a competent terrestrial walker, with one study concluding that it was able to walk at a maximum of 5 mph across the vast scrublands it lived in; however, the Argentinosaurus mount used for this study was inaccurate, and the top speed is likely to have been underestimated. As well as this, its neck was able to be used in two different way, from reaching up high in order to feed on conifers to sweeping the ground in search of bushes and ferns. Along with this, the sauropod would have traveled in small herds in order to protect juveniles from harm; juveniles and subadults would have fallen prey to predators such as Mapusaurus, while adults were impervious to predation. An interesting thing to note is that Argentinosaurus never stopped growing, and that babies would have to grow 25000 times their size in order to reach adult size.
Over the years, Argentinosaurus has been ascribed to various phylogenetic positions. Originally described as an andesaurid , it was later assigned to Saltasauridae . More recent analyses have placed Argentinosaurus back within Andesauridae or close by .
In popular cultureEdit
Argentinosaurus was first introduced to the public in the 2nd episode of the 2002 documentary Chased by Dinosaurs, where it is shown as the biggest dinosaur to ever live; as well as this, it was featured alongside many animals misplaced through time (and space), such as Giganotosaurus (mentioned as the biggest land carnivore), Macrogryphosaurus, Sarcosuchus, Tropeognathus, and Pteranodon (the latter of which was very egregious). It appeared again in another documentary, Planet Dinosaur, where it was accurately shown alongside other dinosaurs that did live with it; however, they were depicted as being prey items for Mapusaurus, no matter what age (on the other hand, it was shown as more than capable of killing the theropod).
- ↑ Bonaparte J, Coria R (1993). "Un nuevo y gigantesco sauropodo titanosaurio de la Formacion Rio Limay (Albiano-Cenomaniano) de la Provincia del Neuquen, Argentina". Ameghiniana. 30 (3): 271–282.
- ↑ Curry Rogers, K. A., 2005, "Titanosauria: A Phylogenetic Overview" inCurry Rogers and Wilson (eds), The Sauropods: Evolution and Paleobiology pp. 50–103
- ↑ Novas F.E. and Ezcurra M.D. 2006. Reinterpretation of the dorsal vertebrae of Argentinosaurus huinculensis (Sauropoda, Titanosauridae).Ameghiniana 43: 48-49R.
- ↑ Leonardo Salgado & Jaime E. Powell (2010) "Reassessment of the vertebral laminae in some South American titanosaurian sauropods", Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30:6, 1760-1772, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2010.520783
- ↑ Lacovara, Kenneth J.; Ibiricu, L.M.; Lamanna, M.C.; Poole, J.C.; Schroeter, E.R.; Ullmann, P.V.; Voegele, K.K.; Boles, Z.M.; Egerton, V.M.; Harris, J.D.; Martínez, R.D.; Novas, F.E. (September 4, 2014). "A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina". Scientific Reports. 4: 6196. doi:10.1038/srep06196. PMID 25186586.
- ↑ González Riga, Bernardo J.; Lamanna, Matthew C.; Ortiz David, Leonardo D.; Calvo, Jorge O.; Coria, Juan P. (2016). "A gigantic new dinosaur from Argentina and the evolution of the sauropod hind foot".Scientific Reports. 6: 19165. doi:10.1038/srep19165. ISSN 2045-2322.
- ↑ Gorscak E, O‘Connor PM. (2016) "Time-calibrated models support congruency between Cretaceous continental rifting and titanosaurian evolutionary history." Biol. Lett. 12: 20151047. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.1047