Meet Dreadnoughtus- A 130,000 Pound Dinosaur

Meet Dreadnoughtus- A 130,000 Pound Dinosaur

Dreadnoughtus

Scientists from Drexel University unearth the remains of a dinosaur that weighs more than a jet airplane.

The skeleton of an 85 ft (26 m) long, 30 ft (11 m) tall, 65 ton dinosaur was unearthed by scientists Thursday in the Patagonia region of Argentina. What may be even more astounding than its measurements is the fact that the gargantuan reptile was not finished growing when it died.

A team led by Kenneth J. Lacovara, a paleontologist at Drexel University in Philadelphia discovered the fossil of Dreadnoughtus in 2005. It took four years to excavate the skeletons, which were subsequently shipped to Philadelphia by container ship, then several more to prepare and study the more than 200 bones of Dreadnoughtus. The bones represent only 45 percent of the skeleton and include most of the vertebrae of its muscular tail. "We've got 16 tons of bone in my lab right now," Dr. Lacovara said. Even some soft tissues like tendons were preserved, and the team is trying to extract proteins and possible DNA samples from some of the bones.

Dreadnoughtus lived somewhere in the vicinity of 84 million to 66 million years ago. It was a member of a group of sauropod dinosaurs known as the titanosaurs. Most of the gargantuan members of titanosaurs are known from only a few bones. The more complete remains of Dreadnoughtus, including a six-foot-tall thigh bone, enabled a more definite estimate of the mass. For comparison, the better known Apatosaurus dinosaur (formerly known as the Brontosaurus) weighed only 75,000 pounds (38 tn), and an empty Boeing 737-900 weighs around 93,700 pounds (47 tn).

The researchers performed laser scans of all of the bones and published 3D models of each, which would allow other paleontologists to study the fossil and even print 3D replicas of the bones. Dr. Lacovara and his fellow scientists hope to use the models to study how Dreadnoughtus moved.

The dinosaur's full name is Dreadnoughtus schrani, after the World War I-era battleship Dreadnought, and technology entrepreneur Adam Schran who helped finance the research.

Source: New York Times

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Impressive, such a thing could feed me for at least a day.

How does such a thing taste?

I must have one for my steed!

...No, but I thought dinosaurs were too old to feasibly retrieve intact DNA.

The White Hunter:
Impressive, such a thing could feed me for at least a day.

How does such a thing taste?

Like chicken.

(someone had to make the joke)

Zachary Amaranth:
I must have one for my steed!

...No, but I thought dinosaurs were too old to feasibly retrieve intact DNA.

The White Hunter:
Impressive, such a thing could feed me for at least a day.

How does such a thing taste?

Like chicken.

(someone had to make the joke)

That disappoints me, I was rather hoping for something richer in flavour.

The White Hunter:

That disappoints me, I was rather hoping for something richer in flavour.

Unfortunately, all dinosaurs taste like chicken. Pterosaurs, too.

I felt my bones crushing from just reading that weight, holy mother of multiple gods, that's one heavy SOB!

Dreadnoughtus, a fitting name.

And just saying, weighing more than a jet is a bad descriptor... http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acrostar.jpg

Cool.

But it's not much of surprise that such bigass dinosaurs died out. That kind of form just doesn't seem sustainable. Just imagine how much the damn things had to eat.

Daemascus:
Dreadnoughtus, a fitting name.

And just saying, weighing more than a jet is a bad descriptor... http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acrostar.jpg

I'm thinking the usage of tanks might be better. If memory serves, the Dreadnoughtus weighs as much as a Leopard II main battle tank and King Tiger heavy tank, and the Apatosaurus weighs more than the 33-ton M4 Sherman (assuming that it's just the 1942 models and not a heavier modification)

Goddamn Satan is still planting fossils trying to make us think that Earth is not 6000 years old. /sarcasm

a.) Not a reptile.

b.) Not a dreadnought.
image

All jesting aside, to put 130,000 lbs in perspective, that's like ten fully-grown male African elephants. That... eats a lot of trees.


Do it for the children.

Raesvelg:

Seriously, when I see "Dreadnought", the only thing that pops into my mind is WH40K, I must add "massive cold blooded lizards" into that list as well.

Blackwell Stith:
Even some soft tissues like tendons were preserved- and the team is trying to extract proteins and possible DNA samples from some of the bones.

This is really hard for me to believe... I wonder what the circumstances could be to preserve flesh.

This would be the oldest DNA sample that I know about. I'm curious how much it differs.

See, these scientific terms that put "us" on the end of everything makes sense when it's Latin terms, it was already like that, but to take a regular word and just stick "us" on the end of it for the sake for making it sound more sciency...I don't know man, it just kind of rubs me the wrong way. But that might just be me, what do I know.

that's what they're calling it?...oooh kay

Its a wonder how such a big thing can function...

This thing is heavy alright. over half the weight of pure democracy

Raesvelg:

b.) Not a dreadnought.

Of course not, this is how a dreadnaught class battleship looks.
image

Draconalis:

This is really hard for me to believe... I wonder what the circumstances could be to preserve flesh.

This would be the oldest DNA sample that I know about. I'm curious how much it differs.

how about permafrost? could it preserve soft tissue?

Draconalis:

Blackwell Stith:
Even some soft tissues like tendons were preserved- and the team is trying to extract proteins and possible DNA samples from some of the bones.

This is really hard for me to believe... I wonder what the circumstances could be to preserve flesh.

This would be the oldest DNA sample that I know about. I'm curious how much it differs.

To be honest, I couldn't find anything regarding DNA samples in the source articles. They're looking at fossilized tendons and whatnot, which I suppose accounts for the whole "soft tissue" idea, but the sad truth is that DNA has a half life of about 500 years, which makes it functionally impossible to recover any of it after 65 million. Or a tenth of that.

No Jurassic Park for you!

Raesvelg:

Draconalis:

Blackwell Stith:
Even some soft tissues like tendons were preserved- and the team is trying to extract proteins and possible DNA samples from some of the bones.

This is really hard for me to believe... I wonder what the circumstances could be to preserve flesh.

This would be the oldest DNA sample that I know about. I'm curious how much it differs.

To be honest, I couldn't find anything regarding DNA samples in the source articles. They're looking at fossilized tendons and whatnot, which I suppose accounts for the whole "soft tissue" idea, but the sad truth is that DNA has a half life of about 500 years, which makes it functionally impossible to recover any of it after 65 million. Or a tenth of that.

No Jurassic Park for you!

Thank you!
That was my first thought when I read the article. I was more impressed at scientist attempting to extract DNA from "bones" than the actual dinosaur itself.

As you pointed out, DNA has a half-life of 520-ish years and it is totally useless on anything older than 1.5 million years; but the other thing is that fossilised bones are NOT bones. The bone itself has disappeared and has been replaced by minerals from the soil. They are nothing but positive "casts" from the original bone with no DNA in them.

Now, actual bones and tissues preserved in some other way are a different thing, but these are not fossils, these are remains.

I wonder how many of this board even know where the term dreadnought even came from, let alone what ships made it famous.

Strazdas:

how about permafrost? could it preserve soft tissue?

It could, but as others have mentioned, DNA breaks down. At absolute best, I believe it can be preserved for about a million years. After that, it's unreadable.

Raesvelg:
Snip

I am aware, which is why I said it's hard for me to believe.

 

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