Researchers have presented in Argentina to Ingentia Prima, the first giant dinosaur that inhabited the planet more than 200 million years ago, found in the Balde de Layes deposit, southeast of the province of San Juan.
This dinosaur is three times larger than Triassic dinosaurs largest known to date.
Dinosaurs weren't always big. Evolutionary history took millions of years for some species to double the weight of a current elephant, and reach between eight and ten meters in length, but that time was much less than what was believed thanks to this discovery.
Dr. Cecilia Apaldetti, researcher at the Institute and Museum of Natural Sciences of the University of San Juan (IMCN) and CONICET, stated that “This new species shows a growth strategy unknown until now and indicates that the origin of gigantism came much earlier than previously thought”.
“Before this discovery, gigantism was considered to have arisen during the Jurassic period, approximately 180 million years ago, but the Ingentia Prima lived in the late Triassic, between 210 and 205 million years ago.”, He explained to the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Ricardo Martinez, paleontologist and co-author of the study, commented that “the name of this new species ‘Ingentia’ refers to its colossal size, while ‘Prima’ indicates that it is the first giant known to date on the planet”.
“Giant, especially for its moment in evolution, 30 million years before what was believed to be possible”, Commented Apaldetti, and added that “We see in Ingentia Prima the origin of gigantism, the first steps so that, more than 100 million years later, sauropods of up to 70 tons could be born like those that lived in Patagonia”.
The largest long-necked quadruped herbivorous dinosaurs on record (Patagotitan, Puertasaurus, and Argentinosaurus) were derived from Triassic sauropodomorphs such as Ingentia Prima. What was not known until now is that gigantism had already developed more than 200 million years ago.
While the Ingentia Prima It is the first dinosaur to reach gigantism, it was far from reaching the 70 tons that most of the giant sauropods of the late Cretaceous had, the rate of accumulation of bone tissue was not only higher than that of its time, but also higher than that of the biggest giants that inhabited Patagonia.
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