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The Cerro Fortaleza formation is contemplated as one of the richest locations of excavation for fossils. It is located in the region of Santa Cruz in Argentina. Dreadnoughtus fossils were also discovered in this location and it is a very recent discovery. The genus is named Dreadnoughtus and it is the only species currently that is Dreadnoughtus schrani. It is from two partial skeletons that were discovered by the American paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara. It has been deduced that it is one of the largest land vertebrae. Types of bones that were unearthed at the excavation spot were later transported and studied at Drexel University. Upon its analysis, it was recorded that this specimen came from the late Cretaceous era. Moreover, the skeleton of Dreadnoughtus schrani is a more complete skeleton than any other Titanosaurian. It is named Dreadnoughtus because of its massive size that would have feared nothing just like the 20th-century battleships ‘dreadnought’.
Intrigued already? Want to learn more about the Dreadnoughtus? Keep reading this article as more interesting facts are stated below.
If you like this article then check out our other articles on the Prosaurolophus and the Harpactognathus and share these pieces of information with everyone.
Although the Dreadnoughtus schrani lived several million years ago, this dinosaur species was discovered by Lacovara, a paleontologist at the Drexel University, in 2014. The name of this dinosaur is influenced by battleships of the 20th century which were massive and impactful. The term Dreadnoughtus is pronounced dread-nort-us.
This species is a Sauropod dinosaur that is acknowledged for its length and weight. Remains of these animals that have been preserved for so long give an apparent idea of how gigantic this dinosaur was. It was a herbivore dinosaur that had a massive tail and weight. From what has been analyzed from its bones, scientists believed that it was a gigantic dinosaur species that walked on this planet. It belongs to the Titanosaur group of Sauropod; therefore, this dinosaur species was a plant-eating herbivore. Titanosaurs were once considered to be closely linked to Diplodocidae because of the structure of their teeth but now it has been established that it was due to convergent evolution. Titanosaurs are more closely related to Brachiosaurids and Euhelopodids. The skeleton that has been discovered is said to be of a growing dinosaur; therefore, how big these dinosaurs could have gotten is not listed. The original holotype at the Drexel University comprises the partial skeleton, mostly its jaw, tooth, vertebrae, ribs, front foot, limbs, pelvic element, and one claw that was recovered from the site. This specimen was buried quickly either due to the rupture in a levee or fluvial avulsion.
According to the fossil of the dinosaur, the Dreadnoughtus existed on this planet in the upper Cretaceous period, from the Campanian age, which is probably the 5th or 6th ages of the last Cretaceous period, to the Maastrichtian or the latest age of the Cretaceous period. Therefore, it may have lived approximately 100-66 million years ago.
The exact date for the extinction of this species is not listed. However, it was 65 million years ago when dinosaurs encountered mass extinction due to several factors. The gradual climate change and an asteroid's impact eventually initiated their complete extinction.
Fossils of the Dreadnoughtus schrani were initially discovered in Argentina by a paleontologist at the Drexel University who thought of undertaking an expedition to this location. The Cerro Fortaleza formation or the Pari Aike formation is a geological formation of the late Cretaceous era. The Cerro Fortaleza formation belongs to the Santa Cruz premises of Argentina in South America. Fossils, upon their discovery, were transported to the Drexel University where they underwent complete analysis by various scientists and researchers.
The exact habitat requirement of this dinosaur is not stated but according to history, the late Cretaceous era was relatively humid. Furthermore, these were herbivores and their long neck enabled them to eat leaves from high branches of trees.
The social behavior of this dinosaur is not stated yet.
After studying the holotype of this dinosaur it was inferred that this dinosaur was still growing before it died. However, how long it would have lived is not yet listed.
There may not be sufficient data regarding the reproduction of this dinosaur. However, since they belong to a similar class as present-day reptiles, reproduction was most likely performed sexually. However, the sexual behavior of this animal, its gestation period, or its clutch size remains unspecified.
These were giant dinosaurs with an unusual length and weighed almost 108,027 lb (49,000 kg). The tail of this animal was the most striking feature. Bones from the site form 70% of its head. The body posture of this giant animal was inclined.
The entire structure of this dinosaur is not complete. From the fossil, the number of bones obtained resulted in a skeleton completeness of 45.5 percent and postcranial completeness of 70.4 percent. A fragment of the jaw, a tooth, multiple ribs, 18 tail bones, 32 vertebrae, front limb bones devoid of the front foot, the pectoral girdle, hind limb bones without the hindfoot, the tibia, and a claw was obtained. The larger specimen out of the two contained 115 bones.
There is not much data regarding the communication skill of these dinosaurs.
The Dreadnoughtus height was almost 30 ft (9 m). The tail was the most remarkable feature of these dinosaurs. The length of the tail of the Dreadnoughtus schrani was 29 ft (8.7 m), the length of the head and the neck was almost 40 ft (12.2m), while the length of its neck only was around 37 ft (11.3 m). Estimates regarding the Dreadnoughtus skull have been made by assuming the skull size of the holotype of the Tapuiasaurus. This Sauropod variety was smaller than the Argentinosaurus which is almost 121-131 ft (37-40 m).
The length and mass of these dinosaurs were enormous and how it affected their speed or how fast they could move has not been documented.
The Dreadnoughtus weight was approximately 108,027 lb (49,000 kg). They are contemplated as one of the largest vertebrae to walk on this planet. There have been many disputes regarding the mass of these dinosaurs as different researchers and scientists have employed different techniques and had different estimates. A new study in 2020 has claimed that it weighed almost 108,027 lb (49,000 kg).
The exact term for the male and female of this species is not listed.
There is no exact term listed yet for baby Dreadnoughtus. However, they were born from eggs like offspring of reptiles; therefore, they can be labeled as hatchlings and juveniles.
Sauropods were primarily herbivores. The Dreadnoughtus schrani also comes under Titanosaurian Sauropods that ate plants. The long neck of these dinosaurs enabled them to eat leaves from tall trees.
The temperament of these dinosaurs has not been documented.
The scapula of the Dreadnoughtus as per its fossil scapula and ilium are longer than that of any Titanosaur measuring 5.7 ft (1.74 m) and 4.2 ft (1.3 m) respectively.
Lacovara, after this dinosaur's discovery, decided to name it the Dreadnoughtus because it was so gigantic that it may have not feared anything. The Dreadnoughtus was primarily a 20th-century battleship. These ships were very powerful and were massive just like this dinosaur species.
The Dreadnoughtus was discovered by a paleontologist at the Drexel University named Kenneth Lacovara on September 4, 2014. He discovered it in the Santa Cruz region of Argentina. The skeleton is more complete than any of the other Titanosauruses. Lacovara found the giant femur first in 2005 which was covered under minerals. From these bones, it is presumed that although it was a gigantic dinosaur, it had not grown completely as it died during the time it was growing.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures by reading our Malawisaurus facts or our Telmatosaurus facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable family of four dinosaurs coloring pages.
Main image by Nobu Tamura
Second image by ArcaneHalveKnot
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