The dinosaurs that stayed together: Scientists find telling remains in Argentina

by Elton Gomes

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

Scientists said that the remains that belonged to the adult suggested it would have been around 12 metres in length. The remains of the two young dinosaurs were between six and seven metres long.

“This discovery of an adult and two juveniles also signifies the first record of a group displacement among the rebbachisaurus dinosaurs,” the study’s lead author Jose Ignacio Canudo from Zaragoza University, said, Daily Times reported.

“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, the Daily Times reported. In addition, parts of the neck, tail, and back were also found.

Researchers who participated in the project from Zaragoza University and the National University of La Matanza said that the group of dinosaurs likely moved around as a group and it is possible that they have died together.

The discovery comes as a huge surprise to palaeontologists. Researchers believe that the area where the remains were found could have been a desert with a scarce supply of food and water for herbivores.

What are sauropods?

Sauropods were the first successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs. They were known to dominate most terrestrial ecosystems for more than 140 million years, beginning from the Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous.

Sauropods had long necks and tails and relatively small skulls and brains. They stretched to 130 feet (40 metres) and weighed up to 80 tonnes (80,000kg), which is the equivalent of 14 times the weight of an African elephant.

What we know about the creature

The creature is believed to be a new species of Titanosaur, a long-necked, long-tailed sauropod that walked on four legs. The Titanosaur was known to have lived some 90 million years ago in the Cretaceous Period.

Researchers have said that the plant-eating dinosaur weighed the equivalent of more than 14 African elephants, or roughly 100 tonnes. It was also known to have stretched up to 40 meters (130 feet) in length.

The Argentinosaurus, the previous record holder, was also found in Argentina. The Argentinosaurus was estimated to measure 36.6 meters long. A fossilized femur of the Titanosaur was larger than the paleontologist who lay next to it. Moreover, the researchers did not stop there with their findings.

This is “the most complete discovery of this type of giant dinosaur in the world, a momentous discovery for science,” said Jose Luis Carballido, one of the eight scientists who participated in the research, reported.

Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius