Titanosaur: American Museum of Natural History Unveils World's Largest Dinosaur Skeleton
A new species of titanosaur, one of the world's largest dinosaurs, was recently unveiled for the first time at New York's American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).
The fossil remains, which were excavated in 2014 in Argentina, are still so new that scientists have not yet given the prehistoric creature an official scientific name. What they do know, however, is that this 100 million-year-old herbivorous dinosaur would have stretched 122 feet long and had a small head at the end of a curling 39-foot neck. The museum replica weighs roughly 70 tons and is so big that it doesn't fit in the display space; in fact, its head and neck protrude into the hallway. (Scroll to read more...)
The remains were unearthed from the Patagonian desert region of Argentina by a team of paleontologists from the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio, led by José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol.
The find made headlines when images of Pol lying alongside one of the dinosaur's ginormous thigh bones went viral. Since then, more than 200 bones representing 70 percent of the skeleton have been recovered. Four of the bones – each over a meter long – are also on display at the exhibit. But the dinosaur skeleton on display is constructed of lightweight fiberglass, cast from 84 of the 223 recovered bones from six young specimens. The actual bones would be far too heavy for the building to support – the thigh bone alone weighs over 1,100 pounds.
"It's very exciting when you're uncovering sediment that buried an animal 100 million years ago and you're the first person taking this femur out and bringing it for the first time back to the surface," Pol said in a statement, adding it was a "once in a lifetime" moment.
The titanosaur is on display in the Wallach Orientation Center on the fourth floor of the museum.
For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).
-Follow Samantha on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13