It’s always nice to know about new discoveries especially when it comes to dinosaurs!

I read an article about a new species of sauropod dinosaur, the group of giant herbivores that also included Diplodocus and Brontosaurus, has come to light in the province of Neuquen, Argentina, in an area that was once desert and apparently little suitable for animals of this type. A group of paleontologists from Spain and Argentina discovered the remains of three specimens of Lavocatisaurus agrioensis (as the new species was called) dating back 110 million years ago: an adult who had to reach 12 meters and two young men aged 6-7 meters in length.

RICH DEPOSIT. In addition to bones of the neck, tail and back of the animals, the team has found most of the components of the skull: the snout, the jaws, many teeth, the bones that define the ocular orbit: elements that will allow to rebuild almost entirely the shape of the head of prehistoric lizards.

The sauropods were the greatest living beings to tread the planet. It is thought that some species such as the Argentinosaurus, widespread in South America, could reach 36.5 meters from head to tail, and exceed 70 tons of weight. The Lavocatisaurus agrioensis was part of the rebbachisauri, a group of sauropods that diversified in the supercontinent Gondwana and known until the early Cretaceous period (99 million years ago). This kind of dinosaurs is of particular interest because it helps to reconstruct the dispersal processes of Gondwana and Laurasia before the separation between Africa and South America. However, the relationships within this group are still little known for the scarcity of cranial material that aid in reconstruction. Here is the reason for the importance of the discovery.

OUT OF PLACE. For the authors of the find, the three sauropods of Neuquen moved and died together, in circumstances that are still unclear. At their end the climatic conditions of the area in which they were found may have contributed, once a desert dotted with sporadic lakes – not exactly where one would expect to run into a large herbivore. “Even if you can imagine that this group of sauropods had adapted to move in more arid environments, with little vegetation, low humidity and little water, it is not an area where you would have expected to find the fossils” commented Jose Luis Carballido, among the authors of the discovery.

image source google

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