Paralititan ‭(‬Tidal titan‭)‬

Short Info

Paralititan ‭(‬Tidal titan‭)‬

Phonetic : Pah-ral-e-ty-tan.

Named By : Joshua B.‭ ‬Smith,‭ ‬Matthew C.‭ ‬Lamanna,‭ ‬Kenneth J.‭ ‬Lacovara,‭ ‬Peter Dodson,‭ ‬Jennifer R.‭ ‬Smith,‭ ‬Jason C.‭ ‬Poole,‭ ‬Robert Giegengack‭ & ‬Yousri Attia‭ ‬-‭ ‬2001

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 26 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Sauropod

Type Species : P.‭ ‬stromeri‭ (‬type‭)

Found in : Egypt‭ ‬-‭ ‬Bahariya Formation

When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 99-94 million years ago

Paralititan, which means “tidal giant”, was a titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur species that was discovered in coastal deposits of the Upper Cretaceous Bahariya Formation in Egypt. It lived between 99.6 million and 93.5 millions years ago.

Joshua Smith, informally the leader of the research team that discovered the dinosaur fossils, said to an interviewer, “It wasn’t a really huge dinosaur by any reckoning.”

It is hard to know the exact size of Paralititan because so little is known about it. The limited information, particularly the long humeri, suggests that Paralititan is one of the largest dinosaurs to have been discovered. Its estimated weight was 59 t (65 small tons). The length of the right humerus was 1.69 meters (5.54 feet) which was at the time the longest in Cretaceous dinosaurs. This was broken in 2016 by the discovery of Notocolossus, which had a 1.76m (5.09 in) humerus. Carpenter used Saltasaurus to estimate its length at 26 m (85 feet) in 2006. Scott Hartman has estimated a massive animal, which is still smaller than titanosaurs like Puertasaurus and Alamosaurus. Gregory S. Paul in 2010 estimated the animal’s length to be 20+ meters (66+ feet) and its weight to be 20 tonnes (24.2 short tons). Holtz estimated its length at 32 meters (105 feet) and weight at 65.3-72.5 tons (72-80 small tons). It was estimated to weigh 50 t (55 small tons) using equations that calculate body mass by measuring the circumference of the hip and the femur of quadrupedal animal quadrupedals. Gregory S. Paul in 2019 estimated Paralititan to be between 30-55 tonnes and 33-60.6 short tons. 2020 Molina Perez and Larramendi guessed the animal’s size at 27 metres (88.6 feet) and 30 tons (33 short tonnes).

Aegyptosaurus, another sauropod, was already known from the formation. Paralititan is larger than Aegyptosaurus, with the latter genus only weighing fifteen tons. This could be due to its lack of pleurocoels in the front tail vertebrae and its longer deltopectoral crown on its humerus.

Joshua Smith, 1999 Bahariya Oasis, rediscovered the Gebel El Dist site that Richard Markgraf had excavated fossils in 1914 for Ernst Stromer in 1912-13 and 1914. An American expedition was organized to return the site in 2000. Markgraf apparently had removed all complete skeletons and left only a few remains. The expedition found a partial sauropod skull at Gebel Fagga. Lacovara identified it as a new species. It was described and named by Joshua B. Smith and Matthew C. Lamanna. In reference to the “paralic”, tidal flats that the animal lived on, the generic name is “Stromer’s tidal titan (Greek para+ halos “near-sea”) titan” or “Stromer’s tidal giant”. Named after Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach (German paleontologist and geologist), who discovered dinosaur fossils in the area in 1911. Paralititan is the first tetrapod to be found in the Bahariya Formation, since Romer’s 1935 publication.

CGM 81119 was the holotype Paralititan specimen. It was discovered in a Bahariya Formation layer dating back to the Cenomanian. It is a partial skull-less skeleton. Except for bone fragments, it is incomplete. It contains two fused posterior and two anterior caudal vertebrae. There are also two incomplete scapulae. Paralititan’s type specimen is evidence that it was scavenged from a carnivorous dinosaur. It was eight metres long and had the bones clustered in an oval. In between the clusters was a Carcharodontosaurus tooth. The collection includes the holotype.

In 1932, Stromer used the large anterior dorsal vertebra 1912V11164 to refer to an undetermined “Giant Sauropod”, but Paralititan was first proposed to be its name in 2001.

Source: Wikipedia