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Argentinosaurus huinculensis

By Paleo-King
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FORGOTTEN GIANTS: species #2 - Argentinosaurus huinculensis

*NEWLY UPDATED with more robust limbs, bigger chest, and more accurate femur width and limb spacing*

**Dorsal vertebrae COMPLETELY REVISED based directly on the 1993 description paper, with a new posterior view of the third dorsal**

***Femur and fibula COMPLETELY REVISED after intensive study of the description and Mazzetta (2004)***

***Black flash skeletal added. (Thanks Amin for the suggestion.)***

Location: Plaza Huincul, Argentina
Time: Cenomanian epoch (beginning of the Late Cretaceous)
Length: 110ft. (33m)
Probable mass: 80 tons

This not-so-forgotten giant is currently considered by most people to be the "biggest" dinosaur (though there are as many as ten contenders for that title, including something potentially longer and a LOT wider: fav.me/d3lfqci).

Argentinosaurus is a basal titanosaurian sauropod (currently classed in the dubious family Andesauridae, though it may not belong there), and probably reached a length of 110 ft (33m). It's known from two specimens - one consisting of some enormous dorsal and hip material plus a fibula (NOT a tibia as Bonaparte and Coria originally claimed in 1993), and the other being a femur shaft that's missing both ends. Its neck and tail are totally unknown, but based on related basal titanosaurs, it's likely that both were pretty long.

Argentinosaurus had a very long torso. Here I have restored it with 11 dorsal vertebrae (the standard count for most macronarians, including some titanosaurs). However it may have had 12 like some other basal titanosaurs, making its belly even longer.

References:

- Bonaparte, J.; Coria, R. (1993). A new and gigantic titanosaurian sauropod from the Rio Limay Formation (Albian-Cenomanian) of Neuquen Province, Argentina. Ameghiniana 30 (3): 271–282

- Carpenter, Kenneth (2006). Biggest of the Big: A Critical Re-Evaluation of the Mega-Sauropod Amphicoelias fragillimus, Cope, 1878. In Foster, John R.; Lucas, Spencer G.. and Geology of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation. 36. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. pp. 131–138.

- Mazzetta, Gerardo V.; Christiansen, Per; Fariña, Richard A. (2004). Giants and Bizarres: Body Size of Some Southern South American Cretaceous Dinosaurs (PDF). Historical Biology 65: 1–13. www.miketaylor.org.uk/tmp/pape…
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Comments150
anonymous's avatar
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DrJre77's avatar
Is this available as a print? never mind, I was using the app and couldn't see the print button! I may buy one of these prints for a commission sculpture! if I end up doing so I'll be sure to let everyone know I'm using your work as a reference! Your work is awesome!
buried-legacy's avatar
Hey paleo is it possible that this thing could grow bigger like 130 feet.
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
May I use this as a reference to an Argentinosaurus I'm working on? Credits will be given, and it's non-profit.
Paleo-King's avatar
Sure. I'd like to see your work.
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
Thanks. Also, may I reference your Andesaurus as well?
Paleo-King's avatar
Sure. Just slap my avatar and link up on both.
Paleo-reptiles's avatar
Hello Nima

Did Alamosaurus  and  Argentinosaurus have an armour skin in back of body like titanosaurs, aligators and Ankylosaurs? How and why?

Did Giganotosaurus have a prey method like Allosaurus ?
Do Teeth and jaws in both  them were meat eater for preying herd of giant
sauropods?

The numbers of predators of a herd in Allosaurus, Giganotosaurus and T.rex for preying giant sauropods was similar each other? How and why? which one have the most numbers in group method prey? What is your personal reasons?

Do T.rex can use their bone broker teeth and jaws for cut thick of alive giant Alamosaurus? or  T.rex was just  scavanger of their carcaces like spotted Hyena? How and why?
Paleo-King's avatar
Alamosaurus armor plates have been found. They were like the lognkosaur ones (see my Ruyangosaurus for reference), but with a smaller spike-stud core. Probably the outer spike was not that long in Alamosaurus.

Argentinosaurus may not have had armors. We don't know if titanosaurs that primitive had them or not, the most primitive titanosaur found with armor is Malawisaurus, which had the spike-shaped ones.

Giganotosaurus was more specialized for hunting sauropods than Allosaurus. Longer jaw, more teeth. Allosaurus was more of a general-purpose predator, and faster. It could hunt many prey species, everything from Camptosaurus to Stegosaurus... big sauropods were most likely not the preferred prey. In the Jurassic USA, Torvosaurus was usually bigger and slower than most Allosaurs, it may have hunted sauropods more exclusively. Some big allosaurs like Epanterias and Saurophagnax may have hunted big sauropods more often. It's hard to tell if allosaurs hunted in packs or just disorganized mobs.

T. rex could attack a small or midsized Alamosaurus but their teeth are not good for cutting meat, more for bone-crushing, so not a very clean bite.

T. rex is designed to kill Triceratops by breaking their frills and necks. It could disable a young Alamosaurus but not kill it instantly. But it was too small to break the bones of an adult Alamosaurus. Sauropod hunters usually tend to be slower and have thinner teeth than T. rex. Like Giganotosaurus, they were evolved for cutting flesh and cutting arteries, not breaking bones, because sauropod leg bones were just too thick. If T. rexes ever ate Alamosaurus, they were either scavenging carcasses or hunting the babies. Adults were too big. Some of the Alamosaurus adults may have been 100 feet or longer!
Paleo-reptiles's avatar
Hello Nima 

1- Alamosaurus was a relatives of Argentinosaurus that migrate to north america? How and why?

2- Which one of them were the bigger in length and weight ? How and why?

3- Do exist any Argentinosaurus in south america in same time that
Alamosaurus  exist?

4- you told me, .... Giganotosaurus and Allosaurus prey long neck dinosaurs because their teeth and jaws was meat cutter ..... but teeth and haws of T.rex was good for break bones of Triceratops and Ankylosaurus  Therefore, How .rex prey fast giant  Hadrosaurs and giant  Alamosaurus (mountain of meat) ?

Do documents  about teeth mark of T.rex in bones of Alamosaurus was related to scavanger of carcace like a hyena ? 

T.rex was like spotted  hyena or a lion? both them prey animals but lions just prey a live animals but spotted  hyena with their powerful jaws enjoy of carcaces too. however. Heyna are low speed predator and lions have good speed in chased animals.... How about T.rex ?
Paleo-King's avatar
1. Alamosaurus was more closely related to the Lognkosaurs and the Lithostrotians, than to Argentinosaurus. It was a more advanced species, and migrated to North America when the panama bridge was formed by plate collision in the Late Cretaceous.

2. Argentinosaurus was about 110ft. long and 90 tons. The biggest specimens referred to Alamosaurus (Mexican fibula and the Fowler & Sullivan neck vertebra) are from animals around 110ft. long but probably more like 120 tons, as Alamosaurus was more robust proportioned, wider body. But it's hard to tell if these specimens are really Alamosaurus, or a different genus. The Big bend neck specimen (80-foot individual) may also be a different genus but there's not enough large Alamosaurus neck material to compare it to. If you kick out those specimens the remaining biggest ones are just 60ft. or so. So it depends on whether you consider the really huge ones to be true Alamosaurus or not. If they are, then Alamosaurus was bigger.

3. Argentinosaurus was living in the Albian-Cenomanian epochs. Alamosaurus was Campanian-Maastrichtian, so it lived much later (and it was much more advanced animal).

4. T. rex was probably faster than hadrosaurrs. It had longer metatarsus and more leg leverage. So it could catch giant hadrosaurs like Anatotitan or Edmontosaurus. In fact there is an Edmontosaurus tail that has T. rex bite marks on it that healed, THAT time the Edmontosaurus escaped, but sometimes they didn't.

I don't know about T. rex bite marks on Alamosaurus. Do you have a paper that documents this?

T. rex's niche was more like a lion. But really we can't compare it with modern animals, the ecosystem was too different. But remember that lions are both hunter and scavenger, just like T. rex. YES they do scavenge sometimes. And hyenas also do hunt sometimes. But the lion is the bigger stronger predator, so that is more like T. rex. T. rex had high speed to when it was needed, around 30mph or so. But the really big ones like Sue and MOR 008 were bulkier and slower than the AMNH-sized ones.
Majestic-Colossus's avatar
Will you shrink it too much in your updated version?
Paleo-King's avatar
Shrink it "too much"? LOL you are talking to the Paleo King here, not Ken Carpenter :XD: I don't think I will end up shrinking it, but if I do, it certainly won't be "too much". There's certainly no reason to turn it into a short-necked Saltasaurus clone.

The main changes that may need to be made are in the order of the dorsal vertebrae. Other than that the proportions may change a bit depending on what clues I can find in its cousin Rukwatitan, but I don't expect a very big change in the proportions. Maybe a small change in the curve of the neck and tail.
Majestic-Colossus's avatar
Happy to know that... Scott Hartman, for example, said that Argentinosaurus was possibly around the same size as his Puertasaurus, or even smaller... (I can't think about 26-27m long Argentinosaurus). 
Paleo-King's avatar
Hartman's Puertasaurus is also too small... mainly because it's a clone of his Futalognkosaurus, which itself is around 50% cloned from Malawisaurus as gap-filler (instead of from more derived and bigger lognkosaurs)... hence the short proportions.

While it is probably true that Argentinosaurus was a bit smaller than Puertasaurus, it bears remembering that Puertasaurus literally has some of the biggest bones on record, and probably had different proportions from Futalognkosaurus as well (a more elongated neck for one thing, as well as a wider torso). So with a bigger Puertasaurus, you also get a bigger Argentinosaurus. Making either of them look like small titanosaurs cloned up is misleading, because the smaller ones generally had more modest proportions as well (shorter neck, shorter tail, usually a slimmer body).
Bleskobleska-Yandere's avatar
Wow. Amazing reconstruction. You're so talented! O.o
Paleo-King's avatar
Thanks! This was one of the harder species to restore because of the incomplete material, even though it's so famous.... so it's good to hear feedback :D
Bleskobleska-Yandere's avatar
mark0731's avatar
So it is likely it was thinner than Puertasaurus (proportionally)?
Paleo-King's avatar
Yes.  Its cruciform vertebrae and the slender fibula (more gracile than in lognkosaurs) suggest a thinner animal. Which makes sense as basal titanosaurs were slimmer than the intermediate and derived ones. Though they were still somewhat "chubby" by brachiosaur and euhelopodid standards.
bhut's avatar
Very professional!
zoobuilder21's avatar
what did you use for the head refrence and what would a Argentinosaur head look like
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
Still i didn't reduced it's weight from 100 tonnes.The confusing part is ,it was reduced to 75 tonnes and then once again some other estimates put it to 83 tonnes or so based on Dreadnoughtus.
     I think you have given the same shoulder height for both Argentinosaurus and Puertasaurus,i wondered why because you mentioned it as 80 tonnes that is being smaller than Puertasaurus. The
Argentinosaurus reconstruction image from Coria in your blog which doesn't even seem to cross 20 or 21 feet at shoulders.
                   While they reduced this animal's weight or not,still almost many sources say Puertasaurus was rivaled only by
Argentinosaurus.( and also Alamosaurus.)
Paleo-King's avatar
Not sure about your question, but I would say around 75-80 tons for Argentinosaurus makes sense. Dreadnoughtus IMO was probably 55-60 tons, it's smaller than it was hyped out to be (still pretty long though).

Puertasaurus is heavier than Argentinosaurus because it is considerably wider, not because of its shoulder height. Argentinosaurus has the classic cross-shape vertebrae in the back, taller than wide, but Puertasaurus has the super-wide double-anvil type with 2/3 of the width being the diapopyses, which are extremely deep and wedge-shaped to support a much wider rib cage than Argentinosaurus. The neck of Puertasaurus is also very wide so this gives one more clue that this animal looked very "fat" even compared to Argentinosaurus.

With these proportions it's not surprise Puertasaurus is heavier.

Puertasaurus, Argentinosaurus, Alamosaurus, and Ruyangosaurus are currently the biggest titanosaurs known. "Huanghetitan" ruyangensis and Fusuisaurus zhaoi may also come close, but they are not true titanosaurs.
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
I can see that the Puertasaurus vertebra is wider and very different,i like it. Honestly some Chinese names are confusing sometimes for me. Like those you said, Ruyangosaurus Giganteus and Huanghetitan ruyangensis. Now the last name for Huanghetitan is ruyangensis which is similar to the first name of Ruyangosaurus. Sweating a little... 
anonymous's avatar
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