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Argentine giants



A week or so ago we had several postings about giant theropods on the net.
I mentioned that a new one from Argentina was being described.  A paper on
it was presented in Argentina during the first week of April, and I now have
the abstract on it.  It sounds like a gigantic beast:  it has a 1.44 meter
long femur, compared to Sue's 1.38!  Its occipital condyle (the ball on the
back of the skull which articulates with the vertebrae) is 15 cm (=6 in)
across!  It appears to be a member of the group Neoceratosauria, which
includes Ceratosaurus and the Abelisauridae (and possibly the Spinosauridae).

Intriugingly, the new as-yet unnamed giant comes from the Rio Limay
Formation, which has also produced the gigantic sauropod Argentinosaurs, an
animal much larger than any North American or African sauropod.

I will post more information on these middle Cretaceous Argentine giants
when it comes in.

Thomas R. HOLTZ
Vertebrate Paleontologist, Dept. of Geology
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Phone:301-405-4084