An Argentinian team of researchers discovered 200-million-year-old giant dinosaur bones. The finding revealed that big dinosaurs were crawling on Earth much earlier than expected, and, thus, it might force scientists to rewrite Triassic Period history. The report describing this significant discovery was issued yesterday in the Nature Ecology & Evolution journal by the San Martin University’s Scientific Dissemination Agency from Argentina.
“As soon as we found it, we realized it was something different. We found a shape, the first giant one among all the dinosaurs. That’s the surprise,” asserted Cecilia Apaldetti, a San Juan University researcher.
The fossilized remains “exhibit a growth strategy that was unknown until now and indicates that gigantism originated much earlier than was thought,” she added.
According to the researchers, the giant dinosaur bones belonged to big herbivore dinosaurs possessing long necks and tails, possibly belonging to the sauropods group.
Giant dinosaur bones found in Argentina rewrite the Triassic period and dinosaurs’ evolution
This finding shows that enormous dinosaurs evolved in the Triassic period, and not in the Jurassic era as previously thought. As the researchers pointed out, during early-Triassic, when dinosaurs started to grow, there were many small reptiles which evolved in giant dinosaurs. At least, that’s what scientists knew until this recent discovery.
Now, however, the giant dinosaur bones unearthed in Argentina revealed that enormous dinosaurs, such as the herbivore one to which these bones belonged to, started to emerge much earlier than thought.
As they know so far, researchers think that Ingenia prima, the species to which the giant dinosaur bones belonged to, was, in fact, the first gigantic dinosaur species.
According to the Argentinian team of scientists, Ingenia prima measured about 10 meters in height and weighed approximately 10 tons. Also, its bones are lighter and present air cavities, a fact that, as the researchers showed, promoted this dinosaur species’ extreme growth.