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giganotosaurus...article from boston globe



fwiw...the boston globe had the following article on the giganotosaurus
this morning.

mike

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        Huge meat-eater unseats Tyrannosaurus rex
          By David L. Chandler   Globe Staff

The fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex has been toppled from its perch as the
largest meat-eating dinosaur, replaced by an even bigger predator found
in Argentina: a 42-foor-long, 6- to 8-ton behemoth called Giganotosaurus
carolinii, according to a new report.

The first bones on the new king of the prehistoric beasts, which lived
90 million years ago, were found in 1993 by an amateur fossil hunter,
Reuben Carolini.  Its skull, backbone, pelvis and leg bones were
subsequently excavated by two Argentine paleontologists, who described
the find in the report, published today in the journal Nature.

The report says the predator is the "largest therapod ever recorded from
the Southern Hemisphere and is probably the world's biggest predatory
dinosaur."  It was written by Rodolfo Coria of the Carmen Funes museum
in Nequen, Argentina, and Leonardo Saigado or Argentina's National
University of Comahue.

Coria and Saigado said the shattered skull bones of the new dinosaur,
parts of which are missing, make it impossible to make an exact
comparison between the size of its head and that of Tyrannosaurus.  But
its thigh bone is about 2 inches longer than that of T. rex, and all its
bones are "more robust," indicating that it was much heavier.

The two giant meat-eaters Giganotosaurus and the later Tyrannosaurus
evolved independently of each other, the authors said, indicating that
enormous size may be a feature that evolved in response to similar
environmental conditions in the ecosystems they inhabited.

"large carnivorous animals...are rare," the authors wrote, "and
flesh-eating dinosaurs were rarer still."

The same fossil site in the Patagonian region of Argentina has also
yielded bones of one of the largest plat-eating dinosaurs ever found,
called Argentinosaurus.  Both of these giants found in Argentina thrived
at a time when most of the giant dinosaurs had already died out in the
Northern Hemisphere, and 30 million years before T. rex evolved.

The find was described this year in the Globe, but at the time it had
not been described in the scientific press or given its name.