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New Montana State University, Pennsylvania study reveals North America's biggest dinosaur
Date:12/7/2011

and bigger dinosaurs, putting the rest of the world in the shade," Fowler said. "However, our new finds not only show that Alamosaurus is newly recognized as the biggest dinosaur from North America, but also that it was right up there with the biggest South American species: the US is back in the fight for the No.1 spot."

Although comparison of the new Alamosaurus bones with the South American species gave the researchers an idea of size, giant specimens of sauropods like Alamosaurus and Argentinosaurus are only known from very fragmentary remains offering only a tantalizing glimpse of what a complete Alamosaurus might look like, Fowler said.

"We'd love to find more complete material," Fowler continued. "Fortunately, Alamosaurus bones are quite common in the Naashoibito of New Mexico, so we have a good chance of going back and finding more, but in order to dig up one of the world's biggest dinosaurs you need one of the world's biggest dinosaur digging teams and large digging equipment."

The Pennsylvania State Museum field crew is typically just two or three people, so there are limits on how many bones can be collected in one season, Fowler said. Even so, many new and important specimens have been recovered over the past 10 to 15 years, including new species, and other members of the fauna including the iconic carnivore Tyrannosaurus.

"We found a shed Tyrannosaurus tooth with another Alamosaurus neck bone that we were excavating," Fowler said. "The Tyrannosaurus may have lost its tooth while feeding on an Alamosaurus carcass."

The Alamosaurus discovery goes beyond just "size" bragging-rights, and may have important implications for other dinosaurs, Fowler said. Recent discoveries by paleontologist Jack Horner's paleo lab at the Museum of the Rockies have emphasized the importance of understanding growth and ontogeny in interpreting dinos
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Contact: Evelyn Boswell
evelynb@montana.edu
406-994-5135
Montana State University
Source:Eurekalert

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