Among the group of long-necked dinosaurs called Sauropods is the genus Futalognkosaurus discovered in 2007. The long-necked dinosaur has an equally justified long name. It was a Sauropod dinosaur from the clade Lognkosauria. The generic name refers to 'giant chief lizard' derived from Mapudungun, the indigenous language spoken by Mapuche people in Argentina and Chile. While 'futa' means 'giant' and 'lognko' means 'chief', it was also described as 'the most complete giant dinosaur known so far'. The type species of the genus is the Futalognkosaurus dukei. It lived during the late Cretaceous period around 87 million years ago. As Futalognkosaurus fossil remains were uncovered from the Portezuelo formation in the Neuquén province of Argentina, it lived around South America. Calvo, J. Orlando, Coria, Juan P., González Riga, Porfiri, and Kellner first discovered and documented these Titanosaur giant dinosaurs under 'Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências' and 'Arquivos do Museu Nacional 65, 4' in 2007.
Futalognkosaurus is pronounced 'foo-tə-long-ko-saw-rəs' or 'foo-ta-logn-koh-sohr-us' and the generic name was derived from 'futa' meaning 'giant' and 'lognko' meaning 'chief'. The name, meaning 'giant chief lizard,' originated from the indigenous language of Mapuche known as Mapundungun or Araucanian. It was first discovered and coined by Calvo, J. Orlando, Coria, Juan P., González Riga, Porfiri, and Kellner in 2007. It was formerly described as 'the most complete giant dinosaur known so far'.
The Futalognkosaurus was a Sauropod dinosaur from the clade Lognkosauria. It was one of the giant dinosaurs living during the late Cretaceous period around 87 million years ago. The known type species described is the Futalognkosaurus dukei. Specimens were first unearthed in 2007 by Calvo, J. Orlando, Coria, Juan P., González Riga, Porfiri, and Kellner from the Portezuelo formation in the Neuquén province of Argentina. A mounted replica of the skeleton is housed at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada.
A Futalognkosaurus dukei lived during the estimated period of the Coniacian stage in the late Cretaceous period.
Fossil remains of the Futalognkosaurus were found in 2007. It lived around the Coniacian stage. It is though to have faced extinction during the Turonian stage in the late Cretaceous epoch. Although research did not reflect upon major threats, natural disasters, habitat loss, and predation are considered some of the common causes catalyzing the extinction of these dinosaurs.
As specimens of fossil remains were first uncovered in Neuquén, Argentina, the Futalognkosaurus lived around South America. It primarily inhabited the Neuquén province. South America was thought of as the cradle of giant dinosaurs such as Sauropod dinosaurs like the Argentinosaurus.
Although the Futalognkosaurus habitat did not have a specified range, these dinosaurs were mobile animals found in grasslands, forests, deserts, beaches, woodlands, wetlands, and areas with plentiful vegetation.
Often dinosaurs lived in a group or pair, but research does not report the behavior of a Futalognkosaurus.
Dinosaurs were considered to have a healthy life span ranging from 70-80 years, but a Futalognkosaurus' estimated life span is not known.
Dinosaurs were oviparous animals that laid amniotic eggs. While the reproductive behavior of a Futalognkosaurus is poorly studied, females were known to have medullary bones rich in calcium which helped in making eggshells. Specimens of medullary bones in fossil remains come in handy to paleontologists for the classification of the sex of the animal.
The description of the appearance of a Futalognkosaurus was built by studying fossil remains of these dinosaurs. It was a quadrupedal animal with a long neck. The long neck of these dinosaurs comprised 14 vertebrae with extremely tall shark-fin-shaped spines. Like other Titanosaurs, hips were broad and bulky. The estimated Futalognkosaurus size and description highlight it to be one of the biggest three dinosaurs and it was also described as 'the most complete giant dinosaur known so far' by Calvo et al. in 2007.
Although the specimen of Futalognkosaurus skeleton comprises vertebrae, the sacrum, the ilia, ribs, the ischium, and the right pubis, Futalognkosaurus leg bones, tail and skull remain unknown. Thus, the number of bones in these dinosaurs remains unrecorded.
With the evolution of time, dinosaurs inherited both visual and vocal methods of communication. They communicated by clapping jaws together, hissing, rubbing scales together, grinding mandibles against the upper jaws, or using various environmental materials like splashing water. A Futalognkosaurus living in the late Cretaceous epoch probably had similar techniques to communicate with each other, although no reports confirm this.
In the dinosaur world, the Argentinosaurus was known to have a length of around 130 ft (39.6 m), while the Anchiornis huxleyi was the smallest with a length ranging up to 1.1 ft (34 cm). While dinosaurs were tallest around their hips, the Futalognkosaurus height ranged between 49-65.6 ft (15-20 m), and the length varied around 85-112 ft (26-34 m). In comparison, it was among the three biggest dinosaurs around the globe.
The speed of a Futalognkosaurus is not recorded so far. It was a quadrupedal animal.
The estimate of the weight of a Futalognkosaurus ranges from 43.5-51 ton (39,462.5-46,266 kg).
Male and female dinosaurs do not have sex-specific binomial names.
A baby Futalognkosaurus is also called a hatchling or chick.
The Futalognkosaurus was one of the herbivorous dinosaurs primarily feeding upon leaves, twigs, pine needles, and roots of various plants.
Studying the behavior of these dinosaurs is a challenging task as not much information can be gathered from fossils of the skeleton except the height, the length, the weight, and rough appearance. Although the Futalognkosaurus had spines on its body, it did not display an aggressive temperament.
An incomplete skeleton of the Futalognkosaurus was discovered and described by Calvo et al. in 2007. The type species of the Futalognkosaurus is documented as Futalognkosaurus dukei.
A Futalognkosaurus was one of the three biggest dinosaurs but was not the biggest dinosaur.
These dinosaurs had a long neck to feed on high leaves of various plants and trees. Similarly, a Futalognkosaurus had a long neck like modern day giraffes. There are several theories behind the length of the neck.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Xenotarsosaurus facts and Yinlong facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Futalognkosaurus coloring pages.
Hero/Main image- Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com)
Second image- Steveoc 86