Every discovery of dinosaur remains sheds new light on their evolution, but this discovery in Argentina could alter the way paleontologists see the entire evolution of dinosaurs.
After analyzing and examining all the details, researchers published their findings in the journal Nature. They were looking at a very large dinosaur named Ingentia prima, which was three times larger than the previous discovery of the species from the Triassic period.
Is This Discovery Essential to the Evolution of Dinosaurs?
Finding this specimen makes researchers reassess the evolution of dinosaurs because they thought that giant dinosaurs started to evolve 25 million years later, explains the lead author of the study, Cecilia Apaldetti who is a researcher at the University of San Juan:
“Before this discovery, gigantism was considered to have emerged during the Jurassic period, approximately 180 million years ago, but Ingentia prima lived at the end of the Triassic, between 210 and 205 million years ago.”
Ingentia prima translates to “first giant.” It was an herbivore which walked on four legs, and it grew cyclically. Cyclic growth was common in the dinosaurs of that period, but they usually stopped growing until they reached almost 1.8 tons in weight and 3 meters in length.
Inside the bones of the Ingentia prima wich was recently uncovered, researchers found cavities that could shed some light on how heavy the species was and what made them grow so easily, says Apaldetti:
“These pneumatic cavities indicate that this new species had highly developed air sacs and a very efficient breathing system, similar to what happens in modern birds, which also helped it to keep its body cool despite its large size.”
The bones of the Ingentia prima were found in western Argentina, in Balde de Leyes, an area where other dinosaur species and ancestors of turtles, iguanas, and mice were found.
The paleontologist Diego Pol at the Egidio Feruglio Museum in Argentina said that the discovery “gives a new look at the magnitude of the evolutionary explosion that the dinosaurs had.”
He concludes that the “evolutionary explosion was so great that it explains the success the dinosaurs had during the rest of their era.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.