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Drexel University Scientists Reveal Largest Dinosaur Ever


<![CDATA[A group of scientists from Drexel University in Philadelphia have recently revealed their findings on what is to date the largest dinosaur ever found. It is the Dreadnoughtus Schrani, which stood at two stories tall and weighed 65 tons. It measured 85 feet from head to tail, and lived 77 million years ago. It is the largest dinosaur discovered to date that can be scientifically quantified. The fossils were found in Upper Cretaceous sediment in Southern Patagonia, Argentina. The Dreadnoughtus Schrani was a Titanosaurian Sauropod, a group of large-bodied herbivores that inhabited the southern continents during the final years of the Mesozoic period. The first of these bones were found in 2005, since then 145 bones from two individuals have been found, with 115 bones and a tooth all belonging to one of them. The most complete individual was studied, and it is the most complete find of a titanosaur to date. The name Dreadnoughtus means "fears nothing," scientists gave it this name because of its huge size. It is derived from the Old English word "Dreadnought". There were hardly any other dinosaurs that could have challenged them, and they could eat any plant in their sight. The species name Schrani is in honour of one of the major supporters of the project, American entrepreneur Adam Schran. The study was published last week in the journal Scientific Reports, and was led by Kenneth Lacovara from the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science at Drexel University. All of the major skeleton regions found were well preserved, with the muscle scars and other soft tissues identifiable. The other dinosaurs that belonged to the titanosaur group that may have been larger than Dreadnoughtus are 'Antarctosaurus giganteus', 'Argentinosaurus', 'Paralititan', and 'Puertasaurus,' but there are insufficient remains to verify their supposed sizes. Future studies hope to reveal any relationships that Dreadnoughtus may have had with these other species. By using equations for calculating body mass based on humeral and femoral circumference, the scientists have estimated that the Dreadnoughtus found weighed 59.3 metric tons, which is twice the weight of the largest brachiosaur- 'Giraffatitan'- which weighed 34 metric tons, based on the same method of calculation. The scientists say that despite this individual's enormous size, it was not fully mature at the time of its death, meaning it had the potential to grow even larger! They deduced its immaturity by looking at the shoulder bone, which was not fused to a bone named the coracoid, this is a marker of maturity in sauropods. There were also other observable features which gave hints about its immaturity. Lacovara's lab has published 3D scans of the skeleton for anyone to access. He scanned the bones in order for scientists around the world to be able to access the profile of the dinosaur easily. ]]>

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