Sunday, November 28

Supersaurus .. Fossil discovery determines what could be the longest dinosaur ever lived

According to research by Brian Curtis, a paleontologist at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, when Supersaurus was alive about 150 million years ago during the Jurassic period, it exceeded 39 meters in length and possibly reached 42 meters from snout to tail

The double-braced Supersaurus has long been thought of as one of the tallest dinosaurs, but research now shows that the double-braided Supersaurus may win the title of world’s tallest after scientists repaired a fossil mix and analyzed the new bones of the long-necked dinosaur.

Supersaurus is a genus of diplodocus sauropod dinosaur, first discovered in the Late Jurassic rocks of the central Morrison Formation in Colorado in 1972, and later in Portugal, in fossil remains dating back 153 million years ago.

Like other very tall dinosaurs, the double-branched Supersaurus was a large, long-necked dinosaur with a whip-like tail.

Paleontologist at the Arizona Museum of Natural Science, Brian Curtis, who leads the research, said, Expected Live Science “This is the tallest dinosaur based on a decent skeleton,” as the remains of other dinosaurs are fragmented, and it’s hard to accurately estimate their lengths.

The new discovery took nearly 50 years

According to to study Conducted in 2006 at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History of a specimen known as Seismosaurus, the shorter size of the double-pillared supersaurus also broke the record.

According to Curtis’ research, when Supersaurus was alive about 150 million years ago during the Jurassic period, it exceeded 39 meters in length and may have reached 42 meters from snout to tail.

The new discovery has been in the pipeline for nearly 50 years, and the new research, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, was presented online November 5 at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s annual conference.

Supersaurus Bones Discovered in a Dry Mesa Dinosaur Quarry in Colorado (fossil boxes)

bone salad

Curtis noted that the first specimen of Supersaurus was discovered in 1972 in a complex of bone, a mixture of bone that essentially formed what we would call a “bone salad.” So, it wasn’t immediately clear which bones belonged to this dinosaur.

The bones were excavated by Jim Jensen, who collected and prepared the fossils for Brigham Young University in Utah, Colorado. Jensen discovered a 2.4-meter-long scapula – two fused bones that make up the shoulder girdle of adult dinosaurs and other reptiles.

The quarry also contained additional bones that Jensen thought belonged to two other sauropod dinosaurs.

In 1985, Jensen published study In it, he announced the discovery of 3 new dinosaurs from the same quarry, but unfortunately Jensen was not a trained paleontologist, and he made some mistakes in his analysis of those samples.

Over the years, paleontologists, including Curtis, have discovered that its bones were originally misidentified and that they all actually belonged to a single Supersaurus. Reclassification of the three dinosaurs provided the creation of one more complete Supersaurus, which is useful for estimating its length.

Since the original discovery, other paleontologists have discovered partial skeletons believed to be Supersaurus, and by uncovering the errors of past years, Curtis found that the longer bone was indeed deformed by cracks, which led many scientists in the past to believe that it belonged to another genus of dinosaurs.

He also found abnormalities in the bones attributed to Distillosaurus and other genera, and showed that these bones, in fact, belonged to Supersaurus.

In addition, no excessively large sauropod dinosaur bones have been found nearby. Instead, all the large, dual-looking bones were found in one pocket of the socket, and there were no duplicates (that is, there is only a left scapula and a right scapula).

One Supersaurus individual was found in Colorado and two were unearthed in Wyoming. (Image credit: Fossil Crates)One Supersaurus individual found in Colorado and two in Wyoming (fossil boxes)

The longest recorded dinosaur

All of the large dinosaur bones are about the same size, Curtis said, so it’s possible that they all belonged to one individual, the Supersaurus. When the quarry was excavated, the researchers removed large blocks of rock and fossils and wrapped them in plaster jackets.

Curtis, who has studied some of these unstudied bones over the years, identified 5 new neck vertebrae, a new posterior vertebra, two new tail vertebrae, and a left pubis.

These newly identified bones helped Curtis get a more accurate estimate of Supersaurus’ new lengths, including that its neck was longer than 15 metres, and its tail was longer than 18 metres.

Moreover, the size and shape of the newly identified bones support the idea that all of the massive bones belonged to Supersaurus, rather than 3 different large dinosaurs.

It’s worth noting that Supersaurus might be the tallest dinosaur on record, but it’s not the heaviest. The honor would likely go to the superheavy titanosaur Argentinosaurus, which weighed more than 90 tons and nearly weighed twice as much as Supersaurus, Curtis said.

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