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05 Sep 2014

Image of the week – Dreadnoughtus schrani

Posted on September 5, 2014 by

As a bit of a Jurassic Park fanatic I was interested to hear about the discovery of the remains of the largest mammal on earth, the Dreadnoughtus schrani.

Fossil hunters in Patagonia, South America, unearthed a unique haul of bones representing almost a complete skeleton of a plant-eating titanosaur that lived billions of years ago. The 60-tonne 26-metre long beast is thought to be the largest land animal that has ever walked the planet and was therefore named after the dreadnought battleships of the early 20th century. Perhaps what is most shocking is that it wasn’t even fully grown when it died!

It had taken the team four years to excavate the entire collection of bones, during which time they came across the remnants of a smaller titanosaur.

The fact that almost a complete skeleton of the Dreadnoughtus schrani was discovered, it meant that the team were able to create an impression of what the animal might have looked like. The image was shared across the world as people (like me) were keen to see the latest discovery from archaeologists. They’ve even used 3D printing technology to create models of the dinosaur which they have turned into robots by adding motors to move their limbs.

This photo, our image of the week, demonstrates a real breakthrough for palaeontologists who are piecing together the ancient history of the earth one bit at a time.

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