Newly discovered titanosaur was one of the largest land animals ever

Introducing Yongjinglong datangi, a titanosaur that lumbered across the fields of China during the Early Cretaceous period some 100 million years ago. The specimen discovered, a juvenile not yet fully grown, measured nearly 60 feet in length, making it one of the largest species to ever walk the Earth.

The image above illustrates an Alamosaurus, a titanosaur similar to Yongjinglong. I chose it because the researchers provided a depiction that, uh, leaves much to be desired:


The team of palaeontologists, led by University of Pennsylvania researchers, didn't have much to go by — just three teeth, eight vertebrae, the animal's left shoulder blade, and the radius and ulna from its right leg. But that was enough to piece this bad boy together — and to conclude they were dealing with an entirely new species. It's considered one of the more advanced titanosaurs ever found.

One of the things that made it unique, aside from its tremendous size, was it's freakishly long shoulder blade. It was so long that it didn't fit in the body in a conventional way, but oriented at an angle of 50 degrees from the horizontal.

Read the entire study at PLoS.

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