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Club Fellow Ken Lacovara discovers new supermassive dinosaur species

Explorers Club Fellow and Drexel University professor Kenneth Lacovara, PhD has just published “A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina,” which details the discovery and description of “a new supermassive dinosaur species with the most complete skeleton ever found of its type,” the aptly named Dreadnoughtus schrani.

Working with a team of professional colleagues and students, Lacovara unearthed the remains of the Dreadnoughtus in southern Patagonia on four seasons in the field between 2005 and 2009. “It weighed as much as a dozen African elephants or more than seven T. rex,” Lacovara explains, “it is by far the best example we have of any of the most giant creatures to ever walk the planet.” His team at Drexel has subsequently scanned the bones and made a ‘virtual mount’ of the skeleton, affording fellow scientists the opportunity to study the unprecedented remains as part of the paper’s open-access online supplement. The high fidelity scans of the bones show “deep, exquisitely preserved muscle attachment scars that can provide a wealth of information about the function and force of muscles that the animal had and where they attached to the skeleton – information that is lacking in many sauropods.”

You can read all about Dr. Lacovara’s discovery of the Dreadnoughtus in Rachel Ewing’s coverage on drexel.edu.

Click here to download the full paper A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina, from nature.com.

Illustration by Jennifer Hall, via drexel.edu

Published by : EC Staff

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