Temporal range: Upper Jurassic – Upper Cretaceous
|Epachthosaurus skeleton, National Museum, Czech Republic, originally from South America|
They were some of the heaviest creatures ever to walk the earth. Titanosaurs included Saltasaurus, Isisaurus, Argentinosaurus and Paralititan. The largest might have weighed up to 100 tonnes (110 short tons) or, perhaps, even double that, if some poorly-described data are to be believed (see Bruhathkayosaurus).
The titanosaurs were the last great group of sauropods before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, about 90–65 million years ago (mya). They were the dominant herbivores of their time. The fossil evidence suggests they replaced the other sauropods, like the diplodocids and the brachiosaurids, which died out between the Upper Jurassic and the mid-Cretaceous.
Titanosaurs were widespread. In December 2011, Argentine scientists announced that titanosaur fossils had been found in Antarctica—meaning that titanosaur fossils have been found on all continents. Four well preserved skeletons of a titanosaur species were found in Italy.
They were especially numerous in the southern continents (then part of the supercontinent of Gondwana). Australia had titanosaurs around 96 million years ago: fossils have been discovered in Queensland of a creature around 25 meters long (82 feet). Remains have also been discovered in New Zealand.
References[change | edit source]
- "Italians report major dinosaur discovery". PhysOrg.com. United Press International. 2006-05-02. http://www.physorg.com/news65801246.html. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- Roberts, Greg (2007-05-03). "Bones reveal Queensland's prehistoric titans". The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21665765-2702,00.html. Retrieved 2007-05-04.
- Molnar R.E. and Salisbury S.W. (2005). "Observations on Cretaceous Sauropods from Australia". In Carpenter, Kenneth and Tidswell, Virginia (ed.). Thunder Lizards: The Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press. pp. 454–465. ISBN 0-253-34542-1.
- "Bone discovery confirms big dinosaur roamed NZ". The New Zealand Herald. 2008-06-24. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10518111. Retrieved 2009-01-18.