Argentinosaurus‭ (‬Argentina lizard‭)‬

Short Info

Argentinosaurus‭ (‬Argentina lizard‭)‬

Phonetic : Ar-jen-teen-oh-sore-us.

Named By : José Bonaparte‭ & ‬Rodolfo Coria‭ ‬-‭ ‬1993

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 22-35 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Sauropod

Type Species : A.‭ ‬huinculensis‭ (‬type‭)

Found in : Argentina,‭ ‬Huincul Formation

When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 90 million years ago

Argentinosaurus is the name given to a species belonging to gigantic sauropod dinosaurs which was present during the Late Cretaceous period in what is today Argentina. Even though it’s only discovered through fragmentary remains, Argentinosaurus is one of the largest land animals ever and is perhaps the largest with length estimates that range between 30 and 39.7 millimetres (100 to 130 feet) as well as weight estimations of between 50 and 100 tons (55 or 110 short tonnes). It was part of Titanosauria which is the most dominant sauropod species during the Cretaceous.

Argentinosaurus skeleton, PLoS ONE
William Irvin Sellers, Lee Margetts, Rodolfo Aníbal Coria, Phillip Lars Manning, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the first Argentinosaurus bone was found on the farm of a man in 1987 who was on his property near in the town of Plaza Huincul. An excavation conducted by scientists of the area led by the Argentine Palaeontologist Jose Bonaparte was conducted in 1989. The results revealed a number of vertebrae from the back as well as parts of a sacrum fused vertebrae that connect the tail and back vertebrae. Other specimens include a complete the femur (thigh bone) and the shaft of a different. Argentinosaurus was coined by Bonaparte as well as the Argentine Palaeontologist Rodolfo Coria in 1993; the genus has only one speciescalled A. huinculensis. The general name Argentinosaurus is “Argentine lizard”, and the precise name huinculensis relates to the location of its discovery, Plaza Huincul.

The fragmentation of Argentinosaurus remains is what makes their interpretation difficult. The debate centers around the location of the vertebrae that were recovered within the vertebral column, and the existence of accessory joints between the vertebrae which could have given the spine strength. A computer-generated simulation of the skeleton as well as muscles revealed that the dinosaur had an average velocity of seven kilometers per hour (5 5 mph) with an incline, a gait that saw the fore and hind limbs of the same body moved simultaneously. It is believed that the fossils belonging to Argentinosaurus have been discovered in the Huincul Formation, which was found during between the Cenomanian to the early Turonian times (about about 96-92 millions of year ago) and includes a wide dinosaur species, including the massive theropod Mapusaurus.


Argentinosaurus in Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Jeremy Thompson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


It was the first Argentinosaurus bone, believed as a the fibula (calf bone) was discovered during 1987, in 1987 by Guillermo Heredia on his farm “Las Overas” about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Plaza Huincul, in Neuquen Province, Argentina. Heredia initially believed it was petrified logs in the area, contacted the local museum which was which was the Museo Carmen Funes, whose staff members removed the bone and deposited inside the museums display room. In early 1989, Argentine Palaeontologist Jose F. Bonaparte initiated an extensive excavation of the site that involved palaeontologists from the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales and yielded a variety of other elements that belonged to the same person. The person, who was later identified as the holotype for Argentinosaurus Huinculensis, is cataloged under the name MCF-PVPH. 1.

The process of separating fossils from the hard rock within which the bones were enclosed required pneumatic hammers. Additional material discovered comprised seven vertebrae dorsal (vertebrae that are located in the rear) as well as the sacrum’s underside (fused vertebrae that connect the dorsal and the tail vertebrae) comprising the sacral’s first and fifth vertebrae, as well as sacral ribs, as well as a portion of a dorsal-rib (rib that is located on to the side). The finds were later incorporated to the museum’s collection. Museo Carmen Funes.

Bonaparte presented the latest discovery during 1989, at a conference on science held in San Juan. The official description was published in the year 1993 by Bonaparte as well as the Argentine Palaeontologist Rodolfo Coria, with the designation of a new species and genus called Argentinosaurus Huinculensis. The generic name translates to “Argentine lizard”, while the precise name is related to the town of Plaza Huincul. Bonaparte and Coria have described the limb bone found in 1987 as a damaged Tibia (shin bone) but the Uruguayan Palaeontologist Gerardo Mazzetta and colleagues reidentified the bone as an left fibula in the year 2004. The year 1996 was the first time Bonaparte identified (assigned) an entire fimur (thigh bone) from the same area to the genus and was displayed on display at Museo Carmen Funes. The bone was distorted by crushing from front to back during fossilization. In their study of 2004, Mazzetta and colleagues mentioned another femur kept within the La Plata Museum under the specimen code MLP-DP-DP 46-VIII-21-3. Although it isn’t as deformed as the full femur however, it only preserves the shaft and has no lower and upper ends. Both specimens were comparable in size to Holotype specimen. In 2019, however it was not clear whether one of the femora was related to Argentinosaurus.

Argentinosaurus is among the biggest recognized land mammals, but the exact dimensions are hard to establish due to the incompletion of its remains. To overcome this issue it is possible for palaeontologists to compare the evidence with the smaller sauropods whose remains are more complete. remains. The taxon with the most complete information can then be expanded to correspond with the size of Argentinosaurus. Mass can be determined by analyzing the relationships between specific measurements of bone and body mass by determining the size of models.

A recreation of Argentinosaurus developed by Gregory Paul in 1994 yielded the length estimate of 30 to 35 metres (98-115 feet). The following year, estimates made by Bonaparte and Coria suggest a hind limb size that was 4.5 metres (15 feet) as well as a trunk length (hip between shoulder) of 7 meters (23 feet) and an overall length of 30 meters (98 feet) have been published. The year 2006 was the first time Kenneth Carpenter reconstructed Argentinosaurus with the more comprehensive Saltasaurus as a reference and predicted the length to be 30 metres (98 feet). The year 2008 was the time when Jorge Calvo and colleagues employed their proportions from Futalognkosaurus for estimating the total length of Argentinosaurus less than 33 meters (108 feet). Holtz provided a more extensive measurement that was 36.6 metres (120 feet) at the time of 2012. in 2013. William Sellers and colleagues came up with a length estimate that was 39.7 metres (130 feet) and an estimated shoulders height of 7.3 meters (24 feet) using the skeletal mount at Museo Carmen Funes. The similar year Scott Hartman suggested that since Argentinosaurus was believed to be an abasal titanosaur it could have a smaller tail and a narrower chest than Puertasaurus that he estimated to be 27 meters (89 feet) in length, which suggests that Argentinosaurus was smaller. In the year 2016, Paul estimated the length of Argentinosaurus at 30 meters (98 feet). Paul predicted a length of 35 meters (115 feet) or more in the year 2019 while restoring the elusive neck as well as the tail Argentinosaurus in the manner of other huge South American titanosaurs.

Paul calculated a body weight of between 80 and 100 tonnes (88-110 short tons) for Argentinosaurus in 1994. in 2004, Mazzetta as well as colleagues offered an estimate of 60-88 tons (66-97 short tons) and estimated that 73 tons (80 short tons) as the most likely weight, which makes it the largest sauropod that is known from high-quality material. Holtz estimated the mass at 73-91 tons (80-100 short tons) in 2007. The year 2013 was the same. Sellers along with colleagues suggested the mass at 83.2 tonnes (91.7 short tons) when they calculated what the size of the Museo Carmen Funes skeleton. The year 2014 was the time when Roger Benson and colleagues calculated the mass of Argentinosaurus at 90 tonnes (99 short tons). Based on equations to calculate body mass using an estimate of circumferences for the humerus’s humerus and femur of quadrupedal mammals, Bernardo Gonzales Riga and colleagues calculated a mass that was 96.4 tonnes (106.3 short tons). Paul mentioned Argentinosaurus at 50 tons (55 short tons) or more during that same year. in 2017, Jose Carballido and colleagues put its mass at sixty tonnes (66 short tons). In the year 2019 Paul provided a mass estimation of 65-75 tonnes (72-83 shorter tons) from his reconstructions of skeletal structures (diagrams depicting the bones and shapes that an animal takes) from Argentinosaurus in dorsal as well as lateral view.

Although Argentinosaurus was definitely a huge creature, there’s a bit of disagreement about its status as the most known titanosaur. Puertasaurus, Futalognkosaurus, Dreadnoughtus, Paralititan, “Antarctosaurus” giganteus and Alamosaurus are all considered to be roughly comparable in size to Argentinosaurus according to some studies, however, others have shown them to be significantly smaller. The year 2017 was the last time Carballido as well as colleagues believed Argentinosaurus as smaller than Patagotitan due to the fact that the latter was larger in space enclosed with the diapophyses, neural spine and parapophyses in its anterior dorsal vertebrae. But, Paul found Patagotitan to be smaller than Argentinosaurus in the year 2019, because of the dorsal column having a greater length. While Argentinosaurus was the titanosaur with the highest recognition however, other sauropods such as Maraapunisaurus and a massive mamenchisaurid might have been bigger however, they are only discovered from tiny remains. Certain diplodocids like Supersaurus and Diplodocus, may have surpassed Argentinosaurus in size, even though they were much smaller. The weight of blue whales however, that can exceed 150 tons (170 shorter tons) is still higher than that of all sauropods known.

Source: Wikipedia