Archeologists Rethinking Triassic Period Because of Massive Dinosaur Bones

Mindy Sparks
July 11, 2018

'But with this discovery we can see the first steps toward gigantism occurred 30 million years before the giants dominated practically the entire planet'.

Now, the discovery of Ingentia prima - a member of the Lessemsaurid group of dinosaurs and an ancestor of sauropods - shows that some dinosaurs had acquired several key characteristics during the Late Triassic that paved the way toward gigantism.

The discovery of the "first giant" dinosaur has provided a enormous clue on how these paleo-beasts got to be the largest animals to walk on Earth. "That's the surprise", said Cecilia Apaldetti, a government and San Juan University researcher.

Analysis showed that I. prima weighed between seven and 10 tonnes (the largest African elephants weight between six and seven tonnes), and it already exhibited an elongated neck and long tail, though not almost as pronounced as those seen later.

The dinosaur - named Ingentia prima, meaning "the first giant" - was up to 33ft long and weighed about 10 tons, living about 210 million years ago during the Triassic Period.

Previously, it was thought that for a dinosaur to grow to giant size, straight legs and continuous rapid, growth were essential.

Dr Apaldetti said the climate would have been warm, with periodic monsoons. producing an African savannah style landscape, with plenty of shrubs on which Ingentia prima would feed.

"Gigantism is an evolutionary survival strategy, especially for herbivorous animals, because size is a form of defense against predators", Apaldetti said.

I. prima was also found alongside three specimens of an already known species called Lessemsaurus sauropoides.

The fossil was found in the San Juan Province, in north-west Argentina, during a field trip.

The remains included shoulder blades, cervical vertebrae and bones from the forelimbs, feet and skull of the four dinosaurs. It possessed a bird-like respiratory system, related to the development of air sacs inside the body that gave it large reserves of oxygenated air and kept it cool despite its large size. Later sauropodomorphs would grow at a steady rate.

Sauropods - the largest land animals to ever appear on Earth - came from humble beginnings.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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