I Know Dino Podcast: Dreadnoughtus

Episode 9 is about Dreadnoughtus, one of many largest dinosaurs to have ever lived, and was so huge it had nothing to worry.

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On this episode, we talk about:

  • The dinosaur of the day: Dreadnoughtus
  • The identify Dreadnoughtus comes from an outdated English phrase meaning “worry nothing”
  • The dinosaur was so huge, there was in all probability nothing that would have attacked it; Dreadnoughtus could have been the most important dinosaur ever
  • The complete identify of the species, Dreadnoughtus schrani, is predicated on the identify of the large battleships within the 1900s, in addition to Adam Schran, who helped fund the analysis
  • Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, from Drexel College, found Dreadnoughtus throughout excavations between 2005-2009, within the Cerro Fortaleza Formation within the Santa Cruz Province, Patagonia, Argentina
  • In 2014 information of the invention unfold. Along with being big, the Dreadnoughtus was one of the crucial full skeletons discovered. Researchers discovered about 45% of the whole skeleton (a lot of the bones, just like the ribs, have been hole). This may assist scientists decide the way it lived, its bone energy, the way it helped itself up, in addition to how huge it was
  • Dreadnoughtus was about 85 toes lengthy, 30 toes tall, and weighed 65 tons, which is the equal of 12 elephants or 9 instances the burden of a T-rex
  • Blue whales are nonetheless the biggest animals to have lived (on land and in water); they develop to 150 tons
  • After analyzing the bones, scientists concluded that the Dreadnoughtus skeleton they discovered was nonetheless rising when it died. It in all probability died younger as a consequence of a catastrophic flood
  • Researchers have been in a position to measure the femur and humerus (the “gold commonplace” for calculating the mass of four-legged animals) to find out the 65 ton weight estimate. In response to paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara, no different dinosaur measured that approach was as huge (Argentinosaurus solely has a partial skeleton, so estimates on its weight differ significantly)
  • As a result of Dreadnoughtus was so huge, and it was present in a distant location, it took Lacovara and his staff 4 summers to excavate.
  • They used mules to assist get the bones to a truck. In 2009, the staff used an ocean freighter to maneuver Dreadnoughtus to Philadelphia to organize the fossils and analyze them. Ultimately the fossils shall be given to the Museo Padre Molina in Rio Gallegos, Argentina
  • Due to the completeness of the skeleton, scientists could possibly mannequin the Dreadnoughtus‘ respiratory, work out its blood strain and precisely how a lot meals it needed to eat, and decide proportions and shapes of big sauropods
  • Dreadnoughtus had a shorter, extra muscular tail (about 30 toes lengthy) and longer neck than anticipated. The neck was 37-feet lengthy, and possibly allowed Dreadnoughtus to face in a single place to eat. This effectivity was vital, because it needed to client half a ton of meals daily
  • Scientists discovered a single cylindrical tooth, about one inch lengthy. Dreadnoughtus had rows of those enamel, which they used to strip vegetation and swallow with out chewing. Lacovara mentioned their stomachs have been bigger than a draft horse, so the vegetation in all probability stayed of their stomachs for months.
  • Dreadnoughtus had longer forearms than different Titanosaurs (its clade or group) however they don’t seem to be for much longer than its hind limbs, so it in all probability held its neck extra horizontally.
  • Dreadnoughtus‘ tail had distinctive traits. The primary vertebrae had a ridge on its ventral floor, known as a keel.
  • Additionally, a part of its respiratory system was within the bases of the neural spines within the first third of the tail, which had cavities brought on by contact with air sacs. In response to Lacovara, physique weight of recent animals correlates to inner physique temperature. However at 65 tons, physique temperature can be a lot increased than the temperature that cooks meat, so the air sacs helped Dreadnoughtus fan themselves on the within.
  • The lengthy neck and tail gave Dreadnoughtus extra floor space per quantity, which might have additionally helped Dreadnoughtus handle its physique warmth.
  • The neural spines in Dreadnoughtus‘ tail had distinct ridges. Like fashionable animals with tails, reminiscent of crocodiles, Dreadnoughtus had bones under its vertebrae known as chevrons. They bones linked in a “Y” form
  • Lacovara and his staff made laser scans of all of the bones discovered, and so they used 3D imagery to determine the way it moved.
  • The staff additionally used 3D printers to create fashions at one-tenth scale. All of the 3-D scans can be found free of charge as PDF recordsdata, on Figshare
  • Dreadnoughtus is a part of the Titanosaur group. Titanosaurians is a bunch of sauropods, very massive herbivores, that lived over the past 30 million years of the Mesozoic Period. Some titanosaur species are the biggest land-living animals found, however in lots of instances, scientists have discovered incomplete fossils
  • The identify Titanosaur got here from the Titans of Historical Greek mythology
  • The household, Titanosauridae, was named after Titanosaurus, an incomplete fossil (solely a partial femur and two incomplete caudal vertebrae) discovered by Richard Lydekker in 1877. Some scientists suppose there’s not sufficient info for Titanosauridae to be a genus
  • Titanosaurs have been the final group of sauropods. They lived about 90 to 66 million years in the past and have been the dominant herbivores. They changed different sauropods, like diplodocids and brachiosaurids
  • Titanosaur fossils have been discovered on all continents, together with Antarctica. Probably the most titanosaurs lived within the southern continents, which was then a part of the supercontinent Gondwana.
  • In comparison with different sauropods, Titanosaurs had small heads. Their heads have been additionally vast, with massive nostrils, and crests fashioned by nasal bones
  • Titanosaurs had spoon-like, or peg or pencil like enamel that have been very small
  • Titanosaurs weren’t choosy eaters. That they had a broad food plan which included cycads and conifers, in addition to (surprisingly) palms and grasses, such because the ancestors of rice and bamboo (proof that dinosaurs and grasses developed collectively)
  • They tended to have common size necks, at the least for sauropods, and whip-like tails, however not so long as the Diplodocus tail
  • Titanosaurs additionally had slimmer pelvis’ in comparison with some sauropods, and wider chests, which gave them a broader stance (and so they left broader tracks)
  • That they had stocky forelimbs that have been often longer than their hindlimbs, and so they had strong again bones as an alternative of hollowed out again bones
  • However in addition they had a extra versatile spinal column, so they may in all probability transfer higher and rear up
  • Scientists have discovered from pores and skin impressions that Titanosaurs had small, bead-like scales round bigger scales. And one species, Saltasaurus, even had bony plates, like an ankylosaurus
  • Titanosaurs, reminiscent of Rapetosaurus, could have used their osteoderms to retailer minerals throughout droughts
  • Enjoyable reality: Scientists used to theorize that some dinosaurs had two brains, and the second mind was of their butt

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