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Re: Seismosaurus

Chris ceevans@home.com wrote:

> You were right in correcting me about the weight of the animal. I made
> an error when stating it's weight. That's probably more logically the
> weight of one of the ULTRA-BIG Brachiosaurs(Ultrasaros, Argentinosaurus,
> etc.)

Note: _Ultrasauros_, formerly _Ultrasaurus_, is no longer a valid name, as
it is composed of a scapula of _Brachiosaurus_ and a vertebra of
_Supersaurus_.  _Brachiosaurus_ is now reportedly a smaller brachiosaur than
the recently named _Sauroposeidon_.  And _Argentinasaurus_ is not a
brachiosaur, but a titanosaur, and is smaller than yet another (as yet
unnamed) Argentinean titanosaur.  On the plus side for the titanosaurs
(assuming that bigger is better), they were particularly broad sauropods,
and were probably very heavy indeed.  They are believed to have produced
wide gauge trackways as opposed to the typical narrow gauge tracks of other

> However, how can you assume that this animal didn't exceed 120'
> when pieces of the neck and tail are missing, not to mention other
> parts, and also that it is considerably larger than diplodocus, which is
> known for its great length of 90'?

This is the problem with all of the very biggest sauropods: relatively
incomplete specimens.  Sizes and masses given are estimates, and vary
considerably for a given species.  In the best cases they are scaled up
according to a putative close relative.  We can say with some confidence
that some sauropods were really, really, really big, though.

-- Ralph W. Miller III      gbabcock@best.com

Corrections graciously accepted.