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Dinosaur senior: Enormous skeleton will go on show at history museum

Dinosaur senior: Enormous skeleton of prehistoric beast larger than a blue whale and heavier than Dippy the diplodocus will go on show at history museum

  • Titanosaurs were a group of gigantic long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs
  • The giant dinosaurs were found on all continents 100million years ago 
  • New exhibit will only just fit inside the enormous 30ft-high Waterhouse Gallery 

For those wondering how big the Natural History Museum’s new dinosaur is, the clue is in the name.

A titanosaur skeleton, the most complete giant dinosaur remains ever discovered, will be showcased next year. 

The exhibit is four times heavier than the museum’s famous Dippy the diplodocus, and 40ft longer than its blue whale, Hope.

Patagotitan mayorum, to give the titanosaur its Latin name, will only just fit inside the enormous 30ft-high Waterhouse Gallery. 

Titanosaurs were a diverse group of gigantic long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs, found on all continents 100million years ago

What were titanosaurs? 

Titanosaurs were the last great group of sauropod dinosaurs before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, about 65 million years ago.

Like other sauropods, titanosaurs were herbivorous quadrupeds with long tails, long necks, and small heads.

However, their bodies were stockier and their limbs produced a wider stance than other sauropods.

Titanosaur fossils have been found on all continents except Antarctica and include some 40 species.

The group contains the largest terrestrial animals known, some approaching the size of whales.

Museum fossil expert Professor Paul Barrett said: ‘Comparable in weight to more than nine African elephants, this star specimen will inspire visitors to care for some of the planet’s largest and most vulnerable creatures, which face similar challenges for survival.’ 

The titanosaurs were the last great group of sauropod dinosaurs before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, about 65 million years ago.

Like other sauropods, titanosaurs were herbivorous quadrupeds with long tails, long necks, and small heads.

They differed from other sauropods, however, in that the titanosaurs’ bodies were stockier and their limbs produced a wider stance than other sauropods.

Titanosaur fossils have been found on all continents except Antarctica and include some 40 species.

The group contains the largest terrestrial animals known, some even approaching the size of modern whales. 

The London museum’s patagotitan, uncovered in South America, was estimated to be 121ft long and weigh 65 tons. It has been loaned to the UK by Argentina.

Dr Alex Burch, director of public programmes at the Museum says, ‘We are so excited that Patagotitan, the most complete giant dinosaur ever discovered, is making its European debut here at the Natural History Museum, the home of the dinosaur. 

A titanosaur skeleton, the most complete giant dinosaur remains ever discovered, will be showcased next year

A titanosaur skeleton, the most complete giant dinosaur remains ever discovered, will be showcased next year

The London museum's patagotitan, uncovered in South America, was estimated to be 121ft long and weigh 65 tons. It has been loaned to the UK by Argentina

The London museum’s patagotitan, uncovered in South America, was estimated to be 121ft long and weigh 65 tons. It has been loaned to the UK by Argentina

‘Our fascination with dinosaurs provides the ideal opportunity to inspire and inform the next generation about the natural world, and empower them to act for the planet.’

The cast of Patagotitan mayorum has been provided to the Museum by the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio (MEF), Argentina.

WHAT IS DIPPY THE DINOSAUR, WHERE DID IT COME FROM, AND WHERE DID IT GO ON TOUR?

Dippy the Dinosaur is a cast of the first Dipolodocus skeleton ever found, and was made in the early 1900s from the original in Pennsylvania, USA.

In its displayed pose, the skeleton is 85 feet (26 metres) long, 14 feet (4.3) metres wide and 13.7 feet (4.2) metres high.

When it was unveiled at the Natural History Museum in London in 1905, the cast became a star, and has since featured in newspaper cartoons, news reports and even played starring roles in film and television.

When railroad workers unearthed the fossilised bones Dippy is based on in Wyoming, USA, in 1898, newspapers billed the discovery as the ‘most colossal animal ever on Earth’.

Dippy is one of 10 replicas of the original in museums around the world, including Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and Moscow.

Dippy, the Dinosaur is a cast of a Dipolodocus skeleton made in the early 1900s from an original in Pennsylvania, USA. When it was unveiled in London 1905, the cast became a star, and has since featured in newspaper cartoons, news reports and even played starring roles in film and television. Pictured is the cast at London's Natural History Museum in 1905

Dippy, the Dinosaur is a cast of a Dipolodocus skeleton made in the early 1900s from an original in Pennsylvania, USA. When it was unveiled in London 1905, the cast became a star, and has since featured in newspaper cartoons, news reports and even played starring roles in film and television. Pictured is the cast at London’s Natural History Museum in 1905

Dippy had been on display at the Natural History Museum since the early 1900s, and was mostly recently shown in the Hintze Hall in the museum’s entrance from 1979 to 2017.

In 2018, the dinosaur skeleton cast embarked on a two-year tour of the UK, visiting Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and five regions across England.

The tour aimed to connect the nation with nature and spark the imagination of a new generation of scientists, naturalists and environmentalists.

Diplodocus was a long, herbivorous species first described as a new type of dinosaur in 1878 by Professor Othniel C Marsh at Yale University.

The species lived sometime between 156 and 145 million years ago and belongs to a group called sauropods, meaning ‘lizard feet’.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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