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Giant Dinosaur Unearthed In Argentina

samzenpus posted about a month and a half ago | from the we're-going-to-need-a-bigger-rock-hammer dept.

Science 85

sciencehabit writes Researchers working in Argentina have discovered the most complete skeleton of a titanosaur, a group of gigantic plant-eating dinosaurs that dominated the Southern Hemisphere beginning about 90 million years ago. The new dino, named Dreadnoughtus schrani, was 26 meters long and weighed about 59 metric tons—that is, twice as long as Tyrannosaurus rex and as heavy as a herd of elephants. That puts it on a par with other well-known giants such as Argentinosaurus (but it's four times as large as the perhaps better known Diplodocus). The researchers say that the beast was so big it would have had no fear of predators. And it was about to get bigger: A close examination of the fossils, especially its back and shoulder bones, indicates that the animal was still growing when it died.

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Predators (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831325)

Oh, I don't know about no fear. The way to hunt giant animals is with pack behavior. And if they could hobble one of these suckers and get it to fall over ... well, there's no way it would ever be able to get back up again with that kind of weight. This is the kind of beast that would have to spend its life standing.

Re:Predators (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831365)

Sure. That's why you always see lions and hyenas taking down elephants and hippos.

Re:Predators (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832367)

Sure. That's why you always see lions and hyenas taking down elephants and hippos.

Lions and hyenas are almost carrion eaters. They will perfer food that is dead (or dying) over having to hunt live prey.

A better example of pack hunters taking down a larger animal would be wolves taking down a moose or ox. Also you have ants that will work together to take down a much larger insect.

However most large predators tend to become selfish (solitary hunters) for evolutionary reasons (competition for food and mates). However to say it had no fear from predators solely due to its size is a bit of a misnomer.

Re:Predators (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47833147)

"A better example of pack hunters taking down a larger animal would be wolves taking down a moose or ox."

Sure but the point he was making I think is that those aren't good examples of animals being quite big enough to survive pack hunters. I think the point is that there are at least some animals that have grown so big that nothing really bothers them much, even in packs- sometimes their smaller young get hunted but that's about it.

Blue whales are a fine example like elephants, sure orcas have been known to go after the young, but adults? Not a chance - there's just too much animal there for even a pack of them to deal with.

I think the summary was pointing out simply that the colossal size of this animal meant it was in that category- the set of animals that have managed to grow big enough in their environment that when fully grown even packs aren't going to dick around with.

I suspect a pack probably could take down these animals, just as a pack of hyenas probably could take down an elephant and a pack of orcas probably could take down a blue whale, but when the risk is so high no such packs are ever going to bother in practice. Why shouldn't this animal fall into the same category? It doesn't seem unreasonable to think that it's sheer size meant it was never hunted when fully grown or near fully grown whether by packs or solo hunters, it was just too fucking big to bother with.

Re:Predators (1)

phayes (202222) | about a month and a half ago | (#47833225)

I'm more a believer in pack animals hunting oversize prey since I read about the following:
While it wasn't hyenas, there is a pride of lions that adapted to a dry spell by hunting new prey: Adult elephants. Until that point there were no records of predation by Lions in the area but the pride switched over to preferring elephants when other prey became abundant once again even after the dry spell ended. Over the course of the next few years they hunted out every elephant from the pride's area.

Re:Predators (2)

Xest (935314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47833371)

I guess that's a form of specialisation though? Effectively what you're seeing there is evolution in action- the only Lions that could survive the drought were those that adapted to hunt elephants and that continued afterwards, but whether it's a viable long term strategy is a different question, if you whipe out all your prey in your area then suddenly those elephant hunting lions will be back to square one, such that those who adapted simply to hunt elephants will die due to lack of elephants forcing them back towards the norm. Potentially what may happen is the pride heads off after other herds of elephants that are more capable of fighting off lions and they are dissuaded from further hunting of Elephants (or simply wiped out in a failed hunt) that way too. Of course, the other possibility is that they continue to successfully hunt elephants and it's no longer true that elephants have no persistent sustained natural predators- lions become exactly that, well, until the elephants grow even larger through evolutionary pressure perhaps.

Evolution will always throw up such situations now and again, and I suspect the same was true of this creature, and I suspect the same is true of adult blue whales - I didn't mean so much by saying they don't have any natural predators doesn't necessarily imply they're never ever hunted, simply that it only happens in extreme fringe circumstances that may only be temporary blips in the history of evolution where evolution tries and fails these things tended back to how things were before. Fundamentally such freak events are somewhat unnatural (okay, well, pedantically, everything that happens ever is technically natural, but you get the point) until they become naturalised as normal events.

I think it's more a question when talking about natural predators if it's something that is constant and sustained such that the predator/prey populations stay in balance. If the prey is hunted to extinction then it loses it's natural predators through extinction, it becomes a historical footnote with that natural predator. If they can continue in balance being hunted then that is their natural predator in the cycle of life. We've had fringe cases of pelicans eating pidgeons before, but such fringe cases I do not think are enough to class them as natural predators of pidgeons unless it similarly becomes sustained and commonplace.

So such an event doesn't mean that animals can have no natural predators consistently through time, not at all, evolution isn't binary, it works on a spectrum- there will be periods whereby they are still evolving to be big enough to be free from predators, and there will be periods where the predators caught up, but it's quite possible that this particular specimen (arguably similar to blue whales) reached a size where they were safe and continued to live at that size such that would-be future predators were whiped out by extinction events (the event that killed the dinosaurs, or event now where humans are hunting species to extinction) in a way that that particular branch of life was ended abruptly at a point where no such predators managed to exist for the species in questions.

Though next week, we might find fossils of 29 metre long t-rex cousins too of course :)

Re:Predators (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about a month and a half ago | (#47835789)

This isn't evolution. Evolution is slow. It takes quite a few generations. This is learned behavior.

Re:Predators (1)

Xest (935314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47841955)

No, not at all, evolution occurs due to natural pressures. If a natural pressure such as a drought forces Lions to change behaviour then that's a point at which evolution is forcing the attempting of something new - that learned behaviour goes hand in hand with evolution. Were the elephant populations to remain stable in the face of suddenly being hunted by lions such that they become normal predators of elephants you'd then find the evolutionary pressures would force slowly those elephant hunting lions to gain traits that make them better at it, such as perhaps the ability to more easily penetrate elephant skin, or the ability to jump higher.

You're absolutely right that evolution is slow, but that does not mean we cannot witness elements of it occurring and such a change is a perfect example of exactly that - it's a natural pressure forcing a previously stable species to have to adapt, it's natural selection - those lions that learn to hunt the elephants continue to feed and survive, those that fail to start trying to hunt elephants starve and die and that can very much result in a completely new constant evolutionary battle between a new matching of predator and prey.

Re:Predators (1)

phayes (202222) | about a month ago | (#47898937)

Lions that could survive the drought were those that adapted to hunt elephants

No. I never said that. IIRC while the pride that was learned & went on to prefer attack elephants prospered, other prides in the area suffered through the drought, but survived.

if you wipe out all your prey in your area

Lions weren't the only reason or even the most important one in the extinction of elephants in the pride's area. Humans reduced the elephant population to the point that they could be locally exterminated.

Pack animals predating much larger prey isn't a freak event. It has happened throughout time & all over the earth whenever a prey species has evolved to be much larger than the available predators. There may be a window in which the prey species is invulnerable but eventually pack animals will adapt to the available resource.

  If 29 meter (terrestrial) carnivores ever existed, we would have seen some sign of them by now

Re:Predators (1)

Optali (809880) | about a month and a half ago | (#47843221)

It may have no fear from Predator but it shuddered in terror for Cthulhu!

"The things once rearing and dwelling in this frightful masonry in the age of dinosaurs were not indeed dinosaurs, but far worse. Mere dinosaurs were new and almost brainless objects... but the builders of the city were wise and old [...] They were the Great Old Ones that filtered down from the stars when the earth was young [...]

Re:Predators (1)

LienRag (1787684) | about a month and a half ago | (#47841447)

There is footage of a pack of lionnesses taking down an adult elephant. Quite impressive actually...

Re:Predators (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831385)

I believe the proper name for this is "Kaiju."

Re:Predators (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831861)

"And if they could hobble one of these suckers and get it to fall over "

I very much doubt that was possible. These giant plant-eaters probably lived in wetlands, and never set foot on dry ground. Without standing water to lessen their effective weight, it's doubtful if they would have even been able to stand up.

Re:Predators (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832691)

Wasn't this theory debunked like 50 years ago?

Re:Predators (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832849)

Yes. When I was a child, which was quite a while ago now, pictures of Diplodocus or "diplo - dokus" as I used to call it, showed them mooching around in lakes with predators like Tyrannosaurs looking on wistfully from the shoreline.

Re:Predators (2)

whereiswaldo (459052) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832073)

Pack behaviour - that was my thought as well. I have seen video of a pack of lions exacting revenge on an elephant. The elephant got so exhausted with all those lions on it that it fell over and the writing was on the wall after that. What a slow, horrible way to go. An article recently suggested that T-Rexes may have hunted in packs which makes it plausible that an animal like the Dreadnoughtus could actually be taken down.
Also worth considering what vulnerabilities being that large could pose, such as getting stuck in a ravine or falling victim to some other terrain hazard making it easy for predators to wait for it to weaken before striking.

Sadly, it was forced into professional wrestling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831327)

Where its gigantism made it into a main event attraction.

Predators become Parasites? (5, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831361)

But if it is so big, instead of tiny insectoid parasites, a pack of rats might just burrow into its hide and make a nest, instead of fleas it might have ferrets like creatures crawling over it and biting it to drink its blood. And I do not even want to think about what it might have instead of the standard tapeworms. It would be interesting to research what type of ecosystems build up around such giant creatures.

Re:Predators become Parasites? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831487)

It would be interesting to research what type of parasite ecosystems build up around such giant creatures.

Conservatives, mostly.

https://www.google.com.au/sear... [google.com.au]

Re:Predators become Parasites? (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831549)

And I do not even want to think about what it might have instead of the standard tapeworms.

Spelunking fecalphiliacs armed with SCUBA gear?

Re:Predators become Parasites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831759)

Turtles all the way down!

Re:Predators become Parasites? (3, Informative)

Drishmung (458368) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831787)

Brian W. Aldiss [wikipedia.org] wrote a story about this [smithsonianmag.com] many years ago.

Re:Predators become Parasites? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831959)

But if it is so big, instead of tiny insectoid parasites, a pack of rats might just burrow into its hide and make a nest, instead of fleas it might have ferrets like creatures crawling over it and biting it to drink its blood.

i'm guessing the fact that it was aquatic dissuaded the rats and ferrets. I'm not sure the size of the creature means the small parasites would ignore it, either.

I'm guessing leeches and little shrimp-like things and jesus that's disgusting. No wonder it's extinct. Good thing, too. You wouldn't want one of these wandering into your backyard to get into your garbage. It would give your dog a heart attack.

Re:Predators become Parasites? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832463)

i'm guessing the fact that it was aquatic dissuaded the rats and ferrets. I'm not sure the size of the creature means the small parasites would ignore it, either.

I'm guessing leeches and little shrimp-like things and jesus that's disgusting. No wonder it's extinct. Good thing, too. You wouldn't want one of these wandering into your backyard to get into your garbage. It would give your dog a heart attack.

Thanks, now we know what was swimming around in the Death Star's garbage disposal. They've just unearthed a Dianoga [wikia.com] !

Re:Predators become Parasites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832029)

Jonah?

Re:Predators become Parasites? (1, Funny)

Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832163)

... a pack of rats might just burrow into its hide and make a nest, instead of fleas it might have ferrets like creatures crawling over it and biting it to drink its blood.

Thanks a lot. Now I have to live with that image in my mind.

Re:Predators become Parasites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832191)

while it is pretty massive it isn't that big as to be completely different in parasites and ecosystem. size and weight wise it is still smaller than what a blue whale can reach in size and weight today.

Re:Predators become Parasites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832371)

The dinosaur blood sucking insects were pretty terrifying. A thick skin requires long needles.

Re:Predators become Parasites? (2)

Xest (935314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47833185)

I don't know, would they ever get through the skin? chances are this thing is going to be basically armour plated on the thickness of it's skin alone and I don't think the parasitic ability of biting through to drink blood that you see in things like tics, leeches and so forth would scale particularly well. I may be wrong though, I'm just guessing.

It strikes me that a Titanosaur sized tick would make a tasty simple to find meal for something like a velociraptor sized creature, so any such parasite would probably look very different from what we have now. Most parasites today survive by being small and having large amounts of offspring - that becomes harder to sustain the larger you get (which is why the larger an animal is, the smaller it's litter size tends to be), so they'd probably need some mechanism to defend themselves when they're not attached to a host meaning they'd be much more active and much more complex than the incredibly simply wait and attach mechanism in most modern parasites. I suspect just because the animal is bigger doesn't mean the parasite has to be, a kind of parasitic fungus or bacteria could do just as well on these things as on anything smaller for example. It'd just have more room to spread.

metric tons, thanks for clarifying (4, Funny)

iggymanz (596061) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831369)

A creature weighing 59 short tons of course would be wimpy and easily bullied and not at all impressive.

Re:metric tons, thanks for clarifying (4, Funny)

Smallpond (221300) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831463)

It's tiny compared to the library of congress.

Giant Dinosaur FOSSIL Unearthed In Argentina (3, Informative)

jpellino (202698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831389)

Unless the original headline is accurate, in which case get Michael Bay on the phone.

Re:Giant Dinosaur FOSSIL Unearthed In Argentina (1)

Lexible (1038928) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831469)

I logged in just to make this point... a moment or two after giggling at the giant bird-lizard that had been cooped up for some-odd millions of years, but was now free to roam around.

Re: Giant Dinosaur FOSSIL Unearthed In Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47833259)

well... okay, let's assume that this thing could fly. To do that, it would have to be significantly lighter, but need the structure as well, perhaps for a giant zeppelin.

Helium would be out, of course; but if methane could be converted to hydrogen gas by carbon-fixing bacteria, then it could concievably float around to avoid predators, and reach its long neck DOWN for its meals.

Probably its main problem would be lightning strikes, which would mean that it would need to avoid storms. In the event of farstriking gamma-ray induced lightning, though, it would break up like the Hindenberg, meaning that you wouldn't have many complete skeletons.

I see no reason to believe that my imagination should be reality, but at least I know it still works...

Re:Giant Dinosaur FOSSIL Unearthed In Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831733)

Me Grimlock Kick Butt!

Re:Giant Dinosaur FOSSIL Unearthed In Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832075)

No, giant dinosaur. Based on an examination of its skull, we can tell that even with its tiny brain it was able to make appropriate inferences. There was no room in the skull for a pedantry lobe.

Re:Giant Dinosaur FOSSIL Unearthed In Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47833239)

Sounds more like Roland Emmerich's turf to me...

Re:Giant Dinosaur FOSSIL Unearthed In Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47833883)

He's probably not interested, since that dinosaur, dead or alive, is rather unlikely to explode in the foreseeable future.

Nice rendering. Would it've killed them to (1, Insightful)

jpellino (202698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831409)

include some scale - you know, a standard metric - a Volkswagen Beetle, football field, Rhode Island?

Re:Nice rendering. Would it've killed them to (2)

chichilalescu (1647065) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831885)

the original article has a human next to the fossil for scaling. and it's open access apparently http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep... [doi.org] (the link is in the sciencemag.org "story").

Re:Nice rendering. Would it've killed them to (2)

jpellino (202698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831989)

Thx. The dino is in mid-stride, the figure is just standing in its path, waving. Yup, that's a human alright!

Re:Nice rendering. Would it've killed them to (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832543)

include some scale - you know, a standard metric - a Volkswagen Beetle, football field, Rhode Island?

It's about 10,000 kilos heavier than an (empty) 737 and about 10 metres longer.

Re:Nice rendering. Would it've killed them to (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832855)

In the UK the standard metric is units of London double-decker buses.

Re:Nice rendering. Would it've killed them to (1)

jrumney (197329) | about a month and a half ago | (#47840059)

For things of this scale, yes. For smaller things, there are also units of Black Cabs and Pints of Lager (the latter being probably the most consistently regulated unit of measure in the world).

Here's hoping it's worth something (-1, Offtopic)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831411)

Argentina needs SOMETHING to sell and pay off the national debt.

Re:Here's hoping it's worth something (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47834931)

No such hope. If it's worth anything at all, Kretina and her cronies will sell it on e-bay and keep the money to themselves.

They discovered it died of ... (-1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831431)

... 35% overseas credit card purchase tax.

Re:They discovered it died of ... (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about a month and a half ago | (#47838809)

Tough crowd.

Where again? (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831521)

indicates that the animal was still growing when it died

And this was found in South America? I only ask 'cause it sounds like it would have fit right in in Oklahoma... :p

Re:Where again? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831973)

sounds like it would have fit right in in Oklahoma...

Yeah, it'd probably be an offensive tackle for the Sooners. Coach Stoops likes them big boys.

Re:Where again? (2)

necro81 (917438) | about a month and a half ago | (#47833903)

I only ask 'cause it sounds like it would have fit right in in Oklahoma

Nah, it would have been discounted as misinformation - placed there by God to test the faith that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

Dinosaur?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831565)

Wow.

A fossil would be more likely, IMO

Dinosaur tax (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831573)

How long before Argentina creates a dinosaur tax?

Re:Dinosaur tax (1, Troll)

aBaldrich (1692238) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831783)

In Argentina owning fossils gets you a shitload of paperwork and regulations that you must fill and abide to, with regular inspections from government and constant threat of expropriation. On educational and culture-preserving grounds of course.

Re:Dinosaur tax (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832931)

How long before they declare war on it to draw attention from their economy, before getting the arses handed back to them.

3-D model encrypted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831629)

I read that the scientist deliberately encrypted/obfuscated the 3-D model code such that it could not be reverse-engineered to be able to be used with 3D printers. Anyone on slashdot care to try to reverse engineer this ant-reverse engineer-able file, and print a 3-D model? Challenge thrown to the world!

Re:3-D model encrypted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832517)

"This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder in order to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/"

Did not see any other license for the 3D data, but could be. The other thing is, i don't know much about PDF 3D stuff, but i doubt you can just push print and it'll 3D print it. Could be that 3D PDF is protected always and you can't extract the model from there ever even if it wasn't specifically set protectable by the one who released it. But, if you can extract the 3D model, you can 3D print it. You might have to fix it a bit, maybe it's just a very thin "skin", so you need to fill the model or something like that.

Re:3-D model encrypted (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about a month and a half ago | (#47835907)

Without actually looking at it, it might well be a U3D model. U3D is an example of why, if you offshore development, you should go all the way across the Pacific rather than settling for R'lyeh. The only documentation I've ever found is on the file format, which says absolutely nothing about how anything should look or function. AFAIK, all display software is based on the original, sometimes with enhancements like fewer memory leaks.

If it is U3D, it's a triangular tessellation of a 3-D figure with only the surface showing, and would be difficult (but not impossible) to convert to a 3D printer format.

(Seriously, if you know of any real documentation for U3D, please, please, give me a pointer to it.)

That's not very long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47831769)

Not very long for a sauropod, surely?

Probably just never stopped growing. (4, Interesting)

Wycliffe (116160) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831781)

It's not uncommon in many reptiles to just never stop growing. I wonder if some of these dinosaurs are
just exceptionally large specimens of already know dinosaurs instead of entirely new species.

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about a month and a half ago | (#47831977)

They can look at the shape of the skull, the number of bones in the neck, things like that to determine the species. I don't think palaeontologists would be tricked by a dinosaur being a different size.

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832021)

Some folks are not so sure, with the the apparent case being that Triceratops was a juvenile form of Torosaurus. We've got a ways to go! http://www.walkingwithdinosaurs.com/news/editorial/triceratops-torosaurus-same-dinosaur-debate/1/

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832135)

The same geniuses who decided that Brontosaurus, "thunder lizard" should be discarded for the bland terminology, Apatosaurus "deceptive lizard".

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832895)

At least neither of those has "Schrani woz ere lol" tacked onto the end of its name. "Apatosaurus Marsh" anyone? What about "Tyrannosaurus Brown"?

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (1)

reanjr (588767) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832069)

Sure, but dinosaurs aren't reptiles, so not sure what relevance that has. Now if an ostrich continued to grow throughout its life, or perhaps a chicken...

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832911)

But they chicken out and become hens or roosters.

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (1)

gtall (79522) | about a month and a half ago | (#47833155)

Now there's a thought, a herd of 8 foot tall chickens rampaging around the country-side. If you mange to kill one, you could eat for two weeks with proper refrigeration. Now about those venomous ducks...

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (1)

Wycliffe (116160) | about a month and a half ago | (#47833411)

Sure, but dinosaurs aren't reptiles, so not sure what relevance that has. Now if an ostrich continued to grow throughout its life, or perhaps a chicken...

Kangaroos, fish, and crocodiles (which are commonly refered to as one of the closest living relative) never stop growing.
I'm sure there are some birds that do as well but if nothing else the shear size difference between the dinosaurs and the birds
means that at some point the mechanism that is in charge of growth probably changed.

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47833675)

crocodiles (which are commonly refered to as one of the closest living relative)

Sparrows are a bit closer than crocodiles when it comes to dinosaur family meetings.

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a month and a half ago | (#47834193)

Sure, but dinosaurs aren't reptiles, so not sure what relevance that has. Now if an ostrich continued to grow throughout its life, or perhaps a chicken...

Kangaroos, fish, and crocodiles (which are commonly refered to as one of the closest living relative) never stop growing.

Also kreetles from Star Wars: Galaxies

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832337)

Can some one answer a couple of questions for me? Its always reported how big it's believed these beasties grew but how many years did it take to grow that size and what would have been it's estimated natural lifespan?

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832433)

Gangstasaur: the dinosaur which grows to become a start, suffers a gravitational collapse and lives forever, or dies trying.

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832541)

RTFA!!! answer is in there!!! sheesh

Re:Probably just never stopped growing. (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about a month and a half ago | (#47835923)

On the other hand, you can't scale things up forever, so you won't just see species grow to arbitrary sizes. They may grow increasingly slowly, or they may grow until the square-cube law or other consequence kills them slowly. To get much bigger, you'll need a new species.

Original article in Nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832123)

See the calorie-rich article in Nature [nature.com] . sciencehabit appears to be consistently pimping sciencemag.org. Most of its posts appear to link to far more detailed articles.

Video (3, Informative)

chameleon3 (801105) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832329)

Nice video with the researcher here [youtube.com]

A herd of elephants? (2)

torsmo (1301691) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832373)

Is that a standard unit of measure now? What are the conversion factors?

Where are the photos from the excavation site? (2)

Max_W (812974) | about a month and a half ago | (#47832767)

Almost everybody has an HD photo-camera nowadays. Why not make some images from the excavation site and publish them together with the text about the discovery?

Drawings are OK, but nothing can substitute an HD JPG image.

Re:Where are the photos from the excavation site? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47833993)

"as heavy as a herd of elephants" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47832935)

Oh, THAT heavy...

Sheesh. Who writes this nonsense?

Thank you for using SI units (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47833355)

Thank you for using SI units

Blue whale - 170 metric ton. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47833367)

Blue whales should be mentioned when discussing large animals. Many people today is not aware of the size of the blue whale compared to the dinosaurs.

noah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47834631)

Wonder how Noah got two of these into his ark?

And they'll clone it... seen that before.... (1)

whitroth (9367) | about a month and a half ago | (#47835467)

Just about exactly the same size....

                      mark

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