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Re: "Largest" dinosaurs...



> Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 14:37:05 -0500
> From: Pluto77189@aol.com
> 
>      I went ahead and looked up some info on the recent supposed
> "largest" dinosaurs: Giganotosaurs, carcaradontasaurs,
> Argintiniosaurus, etc...(I know I misspelled them).

Well ... we sauropod-lovers tend to think of _Giganotosauras_,
_Carcharadontasaurus_ and the rest as microvertebrates, but, OK,
they're pretty big for boring ol' theropods.

> I am a bit frustrated about these claims.  It seems that they are
> based on WAY to fragmentary remains for such claims.  Even
> Spinosaurus, which remains SEEMED to be suggestive of a huge animal,
> were not really, ahhh...complete.

Yes, many of the remains are fragmentary.  That doesn't mean the
claims are groundless, though, just that they're not cast-iron.  See
the Dinosaur FAQ's page on the biggest carnivores if you want some
brief justification for size claims.
        http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/dino/faq/s-size/predator/

However, there are enough fragments and rumours of fragments from
frickin' HUGE theropods that we can pretty confidently say that
_T. rex_ is not even nearly the biggest -- at least based on the
specimens we have so far.  Yes, we're mostly talking about scraps, but
they're very _suggestive_ scraps.  Patience.  All will be revealed, we
hope.

> I just find it difficult to put any credibility in these claims.
> With T-rex, we have sufficient remains to know--definitavly--how big
> any of the individuals was, at least in length, height, etc.  Recent
> therapods claiming the BIGGER THAN T-REX!!!! status are doing so
> with only one or two fragmentary remains.  I cannot see how any such
> claim can be taken seriously given the inability to accuratly
> extrapolate lengths from the complete remains of OTHER species using
> the FRAGMENTARY remains of "new" ones and scaling the up.--pardon
> the run-on.

Hmm.  The _Giganotosaurus_ remains are complete enough for us to be
pretty damned sure it's bigger than The King.  (But for whatever it's
worth, that doesn't dethrone _rex_ in my eyes.  It might not be as big
as other theropods, but its _better_, and that's all there is to it :-)

> I saw the skeletal reconstructions of argintiniosaurus( I think it
> was argintiniosaurs...) and Giganotosaurs mounted in a museam.  I
> Assumed that to do such an extensive reconstruction, much of the
> fossils were known.  I was wrong.

This will be the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta, right?  There are some
excellent photos of these mounts, courtesy of this list's very own
Kristopher Kripchak, on the Dinosauricon:
        http://dino.lm.com/taxa/display.php?name=Argentinosaurus
and
        http://dino.lm.com/taxa/display.php?name=Giganotosaurus

These mounts are ... questionable :-) While the _Giganotosaurus_ is
based on reasonable remains, it's put together rather oddly, not least
in that the arms seem to be attached to the neck.  But the
_Argentinosaurus_ mount is much worse -- it's pretty much a complete
fiction.  Though I'm prepared to forgive it because it's a FRICKIN'
HUGE SAUROPOD, and that's what matters.  Check out the scale of the
Fat Bloke near its foot in
        http://dino.lm.com/images/display.php?id=401
It may no be science but it sure is art!

 _/|_    _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <mike@indexdata.com>  http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "You adopted a fox-cub whose mother was somebody's coat" --
         Roger Waters, "Go Fishing"

--
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