Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Titanosaur Found

From Yahoo.news come this news:

Argentine paleontologists have discovered the largely intact skeleton of a young Titanosaurus that lived 71 million years ago.

"What's extraordinary about this is that the remains were articulated, as if the animal had fallen or lain down and remained that way. There were no signs that it was preyed on," local media reported geologist and paleontologist Bernardo Gonzalez Riga as saying.

Scientists discovered the remains of a foot "with all its toes and claws in an exceptional state of preservation," as well as the complete rear bones, tail, "and part of the pelvis," Gonzalez said. While the skeleton is almost complete from ribs to tale, there is no sign of the head and neck, which were likely washed away over the millennia, said Gonzalez.

Such finds are rare, said Gonzalez, adding that there are only one or two Titanosaurus in the world with complete feet. Gonzalez is a professor at Cuyo University, one of two universities with teams that excavated the remains.

An initial examination of the remains suggest a small young Titanousaurus about 10 meters long that weighed about 12 tons. The giant herbivores, which grew up to 35 meters long, lived during the late Cretaceous period (83-65 million years ago).