Studies on fossils from the dinosaur Patagotitan mayorum show that it weighed around 62 tonnes, and measured more than 35 metres from nose to tail.
The titanosaur lived 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period and was a sauropod – a huge plant-eater with a long tail and neck that stood on four legs.
Vertebrae and rib bones were among the incredible finds recovered from the quarry at La Flecha ranch, Chubut Province in Argentina, in 2013.
Scientists now think the fossils belonged to at least six different individuals that died in a floodplain region, before being preserved in mud.This discovery is the first indication that titanosaurs were sociable animals.
With a likely body mass of 69 tonnes, Patagotitan was more than 15% heavier than Dreadnoughtus, the largest titanosaur from which a femur (thigh bone) and humerus (forearm bone) have been preserved.
Researchers led by Dr Jose Carballido, from the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio in Argentina, wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: ‘Here we describe a new giant titanosaur, which not only represents the largest sauropod described so far but also one of the most complete titanosaur taxa recovered to date.
The new taxon is represented by at least six different specimens. Based on the taphonomical, histological and ecological data available, we interpret this monospecific sauropod association as the first evidence of social behaviour among giant titanosaurs.’
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