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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.

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

> 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:

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
It may no be science but it sure is art!

 _/|_    _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <mike@indexdata.com>  http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
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