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Re: a really big bite



john hunt wrote:
Is this the mega Liplurodon that was featured in WWD? I recall it caused a
bit of a stir when the series came out but the size estimate was based on
scaled up isolated bones IIRC
No, it's based upon new material from the Late Jurassic (i.e., strata from which /Liopleurodon /is unknown) of the Norwegian Arctic. There's more info (from previous field seasons) at http://www.plesiosaur.com/plesiosaurs/svalbard.php

It is becoming clear that the largest pliosaurs of all were swimming around in the Late Jurassic; if not species of /Pliosaurus /itself, they were presumably a very similar animal. Exactly how big these L. Jurassic things got has been a topic of discussion amongst pliosaur workers; all of the material is (as far as I am aware) incomplete, so there is necessarily some guesswork involved. The palaeontologists involved (Jørn Hurum, Espen Knutsen and Pat Druckenmiller) have been involved with a TV documentary about this material, so the story might be based upon preliminary results featured in that program - I haven't seen any recent papers, and Espen is still working on his PhD, so it might be a case of waiting for the paper (although I'd be happy to be corrected in this).

Whatever the details of the methods that they've used for the estimates of body mass and bite force, this thing is likely to have been both the biggest biting carnivore of all time, and the biggest carnivore of all time. But note that the size estimates are still way below the WWD accounts of /Liopleurodon /(which are completely ficticious).

--
Colin McHenry
Computational Biomechanics Research Group http://www.compbiomech.com/
School of Engineering (Mech Eng)
University of Newcastle
NSW 2308

t: +61 2 4921 8879