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Re: Liopleurodon: 150 ton ?



João Simões Lopes Filho asked: 
I'm watching now an episode of BBC's "Walking with Dinosaurs" (exhibited this year in Brazil ). It's said that Leipleurodon had 150 tons? Is it correct? Is there some translation mistake?
 
Short answer: "No."
 
Long answer.............

"This [25 metre] size created much debate ... as no palaeontologist thinks
Liopleurodon really got this big. Although several complete skeletons have
been discovered, these are individuals of between 5 and 10 metres in length.
It is less complete remains discovered in the Oxford clay that indicate
lengths greater than this, though here we move into an area of rough
estimates and guesswork. A vertibra at Peterborough Museum would seem to
indicate a pliosaur of between 17 and 20 metres, and various fragments of
snout and lower jaw in other museum collections suggest specimens of similar
size.
 
The immesnse weight ascribed to Liopleurodon in WwD results from comparisons with modern baleem whales. If we accept an imaginary length of 25 metres for Liopleurodon then the only similarly sized living animal is the blue whale.
 
Because it is not possible to simply put whales onto weighing scales, experts disagree over the weight of these animals. Some say that the largest blue whales may reach 200 tonnes, while others say that they probably don't even reach 100 tonnes. Regardless, weights within this range were applied to Liopleurodon. However, most of a whale's bulk is carried in the thick blubber layers it carries for use on long migrations, and to insulate it from the cold of the polar seas.
 
Liopleurodon was a denizen of warm, subtropical seas and would not have had such blubber. We therefore estimate that even the biggest pliosaurs would not have weighed half as much as the biggest whales."
from: "Walking with Dinosaurs - The Evidence"
 

Gav
 
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