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Ingenia prima shows dinosaur gigantism since Triassic

Penelitian - Giant dinosaurs live on Earth earlier than previously thought where a team of scientists in Argentina discovered the bones of a 200-million-year-old species or Triassic Period. Ingenia prima has a size three times the size of the largest Triassic dinosaur found on the site of Balde de Leyes in San Juan.

The research team led by Cecilia Apaldetti of Universidad Nacional de San Juan reported findings to Nature Ecology & Evolution on some spinal fossils from the neck and tail, as well as front and rear leg bones. Prior to this discovery it was theorized that gigantism developed during the Jurassic period or about 180 million years ago.

Penelitian Ingenia prima shows dinosaur gigantism since Triassic

"We realize this is something different.We found the first gigantic form among all the dinosaurs of their time. The species show an unknown growth strategy and show gigantism came much earlier than expected," Apaldetti said.

Herbivorous dinosaurs are sauropods easily recognizable by very long necks and tails. The Triassic Period was placed on 250-200 million years ago and Jurassic at 200-145 million years ago. Dinosaurs began to appear in Triassic in small bodies, but they evolved toward gigantism to defend themselves against predators.

Ingenia prima was the first dinosaur species to reach gigantism though not as heavy as 70 tons owned by the largest sauropods at the end of Cretaceous at 145-66 million years ago with accumulation of larger bone tissue and the largest giant living in Patagonia in southern Argentina.

LaporanPenelitian.com Ingenia prima shows dinosaur gigantism since Triassic

Dinosaur bone fragments show cyclical and seasonal growth with different tissue types with other sauropods that allow them to grow very quickly. Ingenia prima is believed to grow 8-10 meters (26-33 feet) tall and weighs about 10 tons or equal to two or three African elephants.

Journal : Cecilia Apaldetti et al. An early trend towards gigantism in Triassic sauropodomorph dinosaurs, Nature Ecology & Evolution, 09 July 2018, DOI:10.1038/s41559-018-0599-y

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