Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

This Triassic Beast Paved the Way for the World's Largest Dinosaurs

This Triassic Beast Paved the Way for the World's Largest Dinosaurs

Most of the classic creatures that come to mind when you think of dinosaurs are from the Cretaceous period, when evolution seems to have hit its stride and splashed out with things like the huge, long-necked sauropods.

"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".

Researchers also found cavities in the bones of the Ingentia prima, which they say would help lighten the weight of the species and allow it to grow more easily. Although it has a much shorter neck and more theropod-like feet, the family resemblance is clear. These eventually evolved into the four-legged creatures that became the largest animals that ever walked the land.

The dinosaur - named Ingentia prima, meaning "the first giant" - was up to 33ft long and weighed about 10 tons, living about 210 million years ago during the Triassic Period. "It is a true giant, especially for that moment of evolution where most of the animals that coexisted did not exceed two meters in height and the largest reached, at most, three tons". The well-developed air sacs and perfectly working breathing system were highly important in the process of cooling the dinosaur's body.

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.

"But with this discovery we can see the first steps toward gigantism occurred 30 million years before the giants dominated practically the entire planet".

Baldetti, and her colleagues found that this was not the case, studying the remains of a unique dinosaur that her team found in the Central part of Argentina, in the province of San Juan. But the lessemsaurids tell us that at least some dinosaurs were able to attain giant sizes during the latest part of the Triassic, before the extinction. World's Oldest Dandruff Discovered on 125-Million-Year-Old Microraptor Dinosaur by Scientist.

On the other hand, traces of blood vessels in these bones indicate that these lizards grow up "jerks", which was not typical for later sauropods and all the other dinosaurs didn't go on straight legs, and squatting.

"It is a new way to get body size in an early moment in evolutionary history", said Dr Apaldetti.

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