Paleontologists unveil bones of 'biggest' dinosaur in US

Paleontologists unveil bones of 'biggest' dinosaur in US

A team from the Museum of Rockies in Montana State and the State Museum of Pennsylvania has described two gigantic vertebrae and a femur that it collected in New Mexico from 2003 to 2006 in a research report.

The bones belong to the sauropod dinosaur Alamosaurus sanjuanensis: A long-necked plant eater related to Diplodocus which roamed what is now the southwestern region of the US and Mexico about 69 million years ago.

In their report, the palaeontologists have written how carrying the the vertebrae alone was a "killer" task taking up an entire day because they carried them 1.2 miles through 100- degree heat, the 'Daily Mail' online reported.

Denver W Fowler at Montana State University, who led the team, said: "Alamosaurus has been known for some time, its remains were first described in 1922 from the Naashoibito beds of New Mexico.

"Since then, more bones have been discovered in New Mexico, Utah, some really nice material from Texas, and Mexico, including a few partial skeletons."

He said the sheer size of the new bones had caught the researchers by surprise, who had believed that a fully grown Alamosaurus measured around 60 feet long and weighed about 30 tons.

The enormity of the new bones puts Alamosaurus in the same size league as other giant sauropods from South America, including Argentinosaurus which weighed about 70 tons, and is widely considered to be the biggest dinosaur of all.

Dr Fowler said: "Over the past 20 years, Argentinean and Brazilian paleontologists have been unearthing bigger and bigger dinosaurs, putting the rest of the world in the shade.
"However, our new finds not only show that Alamosaurus is newly recognised as the biggest dinosaur from North America, but also that it was right up there with the biggest South American species..."

He added: "We found a shed Tyrannosaurus tooth with another Alamosaurus neck bone that we were excavating. The Tyrannosaurus may have lost its tooth while feeding on an Alamosaurus carcass."

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