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Argentinosaurus huinculensis Mk. II by Paleo-King Argentinosaurus huinculensis Mk. II by Paleo-King
Location: Plaza Huincul, Argentina
Time: Cenomanian epoch (beginning of the Late Cretaceous)
Length: 37m (122ft.)
Probable mass: 90+ tons

Finally, an Argentinosaurus that's reasonably true to life! While the original paleo-king.deviantart.com/art/… was cutting-edge for its time, and inspired many tributes, it was long overdue for an update.  Argentinosaurus is completely redone with the next-gen Paleo King treatment! Based on new material of closely related titanosaurs Patagotitan and Rukwatitan, and with the more distant Malawisaurus as the third gap-filler, this hi-fi skeletal completely rewrites the shape of Argentinosaurus. And with the revised proportions, the case is once again looking very good that this is still the biggest known dinosaur, at a whopping 37m. I am not going to do a life profile in case yet more complete relatives are found which force further revisions of the skeletal, which is far more easily updated. But this revision is probably the most radical relative to the old version, and makes all previous Argentinosaurus restorations - both mine and those of others, not to mention anything from Horizon and the BBC - obsolete.

The proportions of Puertasaurus shall also have to be updated based on recent lognkosaur discoveries (i.e. Patagotitan, Dreadnoughtus) so we can see how the two stack up: fav.me/d3lfqci). And then there's the Mexican Alamosaurus, as well as Patagotitan, which may still exceed it in mass. So far though, Argentinosaurus may at least top them in length.

As in all of the best rigorous skeletals, this one is a hybrid, with the most relevant species consulted first. Scaling up the hips and lower cervicals of Rukwatitan, we end up with a neck considerably longer than in previous Argentinosaurus reconstructions - and Rukwatitan does appear to be the closest relative of Argentinosaurus yet found, based on cladistics. The limbs are based on the type and referred material, along with Patagotitan and Rukwatitan for the shoulder, humerus and ulna, and Andesaurus and Dreadnoughtus for the manus and pes. The skull is modeled on the mysterious and never formally described skull (likely heavily restored) sometimes associated with Argentinosaurus on the web: 1.bp.blogspot.com/_u6CUqDWU5nw… The shape of this skull looks somewhere in between the skulls of Euhelopus and Malawisaurus, which cladistically also makes sense. The neck and tail are composites of Rukwatitan, Patagotitan and Malawisaurus, with some input from Ruyangosaurus on the problematic and heavily eroded final dorsal.

Argentinosaurus is a basal titanosaurian sauropod (sometimes classed in the dubious family Andesauridae, though it may form its own clade "Argentinosauridae" along with Rukwatitan), and probably reached a length of 122 ft (37m) - considerably larger than previous estimate which did not take the proportions of its smaller cousin Rukwatitan into account. 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 is missing both ends. Its neck and tail are totally unknown, but based on related basal titanosaurs, it's likely that both were long, with the neck rivaling some euhelopodids in proportions, if Rukwatitan is any clue to its design. A more complete femur roughly 2.5m long was referred to Argentinosaurus by Bonaparte in 1996, though whether it's from the holotype individual or an altogether new specimen is unknown (and the book Bonaparte published it in is now long out of print and obscenely expensive).

Argentinosaurus had a long torso. Here I have restored it with 11 dorsal vertebrae (the standard count for most macronarians, including basal titanosaurs and most basal somphospondyli). The described dosrals are largely exposed without right-side ribs, so you can see their true shape. Salgado and Powell (2010) revised the order of the dorsals in comparison with other titanosaurs, reassigning the "first" dorsal described in 1993 by Bonaparte and Coria to the position of third dorsal, moving the supposed "third" dorsal to fourth dorsal position, and sorting out the placement of the posterior dorsals. I used this new ordering here. The final dorsal, heavily eroded and never figured in print, appears to be in the eleventh dorsal spot, the "dorso-sacral" which transitions to a sacral vertebra in lognkosaurs and other intermediate groups, reducing the dorsal count to 10 (and is caught midway through the act of this evolution in the colossal Ruyangosaurus).

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

- Bonaparte, J.F. (1996b). Dinosaurios de America del Sur. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Buenos Aires.

- 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…

- Salgado, L.; Powell, J. E., 2010. Reassessment of the vertebral laminae in some South American titanosaurian sauropods Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology Vol. 30 , Iss. 6,2010
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcadrophemus:
Cadrophemus Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2018
Great stuff, even better than the old one. BTW, what's with the 73 ton estimate by Mazzeta?
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:iconkaprosuchusdragon:
KaprosuchusDragon Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
will you do a puertasaurus skeletal?
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:iconzesmollestbirb:
zeSmollestBirb Featured By Owner May 10, 2018
We're gonna need a bigger tank.
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:iconstrick67:
Strick67 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2018
Big chap.
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:iconsameerprehistorica:
SameerPrehistorica Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice skeletal. Previously when some people reduced it's weight at 70 - 80 tonnes, i always put it upto 90 tonnes. No matter how many giant sauropods are known, still Argentinosaurus is holding the popularity very well. Seems like i have to put the old estimate again which they mentioned for the first time - 80 - 100 tonnes. 
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:iconmajestic-colossus:
Majestic-Colossus Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018
By the way, I saw an old discussion between you and Zach Armstrong about neck posture, from 2011. Looking at this colossal neck and others such as Sauroposeidon, Brachiosaurus, Mamenchisaurus' necks, I just can't see how a horizontal or semi-horizontal posture would even fit the animal's needs... 

A 10m+ long neck would be incredibly hard to maneuver among trees, the animal would probably miss a lot of food that it would barely even see with that posture. If the goal is to feed on low vegetation, but remaining big enough to scare predators away (or any other purpose to be a giant), why not develop "short" necks like that of Saltasaurus? A 7m neck would already be enough for an Argentinosaurus-sized sauropod to be a low grazer or eat at the height of its shoulders, being also easier to maneuver. We know the Mesozoic had plenty of trees tall enough for these sauropods to take advantage of, so why wouldn't they? Why would they compete with smaller species for low to mid vegetation? Sounds like an enormous waste of resources to maintain a horizontal posture when you have a 10-15m long neck. Such neck just doesn't make sense in a horizontal posture.

That's of course, assuming the neck was mostly for feeding purposes.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, that's just what I've been saying. If you're going to low-graze, a shorter neck makes more sense. That's why apatosaurs and dicraeosaurs had shorter ones. Also a shorter neck is much easier to hold horizontal because gravity acts on the entire span of a horizontal neck, but only a small fraction of the length of a vertical one. The "gravity shadow" effect. Basic Pythagorean physics, really. It's one of those things, like sauropods not needing long tails to balance their necks, that pop-science and mainstream documentaries mislead people on, OVER and OVER again.

The only reason for very long necks is if you're going to do some high-browsing at least part of the time. And holding them vertical is the easiest posture, less strain on the neck tendons and cartilage.

I don't know why Zach has consistently favored horizontal necks in macronarians. It's maladaptive to have the neck that way in real life. Maybe he does it for measuring purposes. But I do know that the "ONP" phenomenon has become almost a dogma to a lot of people even though it's not supported by live animals. No living animal holds its neck out front stiff as a board. Even short-necked diplodocids still have a bit of curve to the neck. Kent Stevens, we can at least say, is taking ONP to an ideological level where he seems not to care if it dislocated the zygapophyses or snapping the spinal cord. He flat-out mocks other scientists with phallic adjectives and his fictitious "coffee conversations" between long-dead paleontologists. But Zach? Your guess is as good as mine.
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:iconmajestic-colossus:
Majestic-Colossus Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2018
By the way, I forgot that Supersaurus existed... And it most likely had a "horizontal" posture, even though it had a huge neck.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
The neck posture and shoulder height in Supersaurus is however debatable... We have some people like Gunnar here who think maybe Scott Hartman was incorrect to assess the ulna as being from a different species. I scaled it down, assuming it's from an even bigger individual than the specimens known... but Gunnar suspects it could indeed belong to an animal in the same size range as the BYU material. If that's true, we could have a Supersaurus with higher shoulders, a bit more like Apatosaurus ajax... and potentially a steeper neck incline with the base already being tilted up higher.

Then the very long neck would make more sense. But we still don't have a skull, so the mouth shape is a mystery. If it were rounded like Tornieria, then high-browsing is a strong possibility. If it's square, a vaccum-mouth, despite that huge neck, then we're all really, really confused :D
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:iconkirkseven:
kirkseven Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2017
Nice work here.
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:iconyty2000:
yty2000 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2017
So Argentinosaurus and Rukwatitan are sister taxons due the similarities in the pelvis?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Well the closest thing to "sister taxons" that we can get so far. Rukwatitan, by both the strict parsimony and Bayesian methods, comes out intermediate  between Andesaurus and Malawisaurus in the description's cladistic analysis - which is exactly where Argentinosaurus would be, even though it wasn't used in the paper's analysis. So both the pelvis shape and the characters in the study put it very close to the node/branch position of Argentinosaurus. And critically, it's the closest relative of Argentinosaurus that we can actually cross-scale the neck from. Even though Malawisaurus is more complete, it's not as closely related (it's already gotten rid of hyposphenes entirely, and has a very different neural arch structure). And Patagotitan isn't known from any ilium or sacrum material.
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:iconyty2000:
yty2000 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2017
There's a bunch of sauropods that fell into the "more derived than Andesaurus, but not as derived as Malawisaurs" category, hopefully we will get enough data in the future to sort out the relationship between these dinosaurs.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
True, this is a murky place in the titanosaur family tree. Where exactly is the fork between Malawisaurus and true lognkosaurs, and where Patagotitan and Ruyangosaurus fit relative to that split, is a mystery. Savannasaurus at least looks enough like Malawisaurus to give it its own valid family. Argentinosaurus and Rukwatitan are probably more basal than the fork point, but where they fit between Andesaurus and that fork is unknown.
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:iconspinoinwonderland:
SpinoInWonderland Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2017
Aside from Rukwatitan, Malawisaurus would be the next best thing to use, I'm assuming? Correct me if I'm wrong.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Malawisaurus is not bad, given how little else there is in terms of close relatives. After Rukwatitan and Patagotitan, it's the next best filler for the gaps. The problem with it is the proportions of Malawisaurus, not necessarily the shapes of the individual bones - it's got much shorter neck proportions and also it composite of several specimens, so the hip-neck proportions are tough to gauge accurately. With Rukwatitan, there's just one specimen that has both. I used Rukwatitan to cement the proportions as close to Argentinosaurus would have been. Then I filled in most of the rest with Malawisaurus material, but scaled to fit the enlarged Rukwatitan-based hips-neck proportions of the template. The neck of Malawisauus would not have been this long, but the shapes of most of the vertebrae are closely based on it. There's a bit of Patagotitan there too, the the dorso-sacral is partially based on Ruyangosaurus (2014).

But yes, much of this skeletal uses Malawisaurus (mainly neck and tail material), scaled to Rukwatitan proportions. Just not the hips, limbs, shoulder, or head! Those are Rukwatitan, Patagotitan, the mysterious skull photo, and a fair bit of speculation. Good thing Rukwatitan includes humeri, so we don't have to use Andesaurus there. I'm not sure how accurate Bonaparte's reconstructed Andesaurus humerus is, even if it did base the plaster top end on a "natural cast" in the stone matrix.
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:iconchristina1969:
Well, I guess I'll wait until Gunnar updates his Argentinosaurus, as it seems to me that Scott, Franoys and Randomdinos goes by the "make it as small as possible" rule, you go by the "make it as big as possible" rule, and Gunnar is in the middle.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
I actually don't go by the "make it as big as possible" rule. What I "wanted" Argentinosaurus to look like was the old version, which was 33m. That's before we had Rukwatitan and Patagotitan. Now with Rukwatitan having both the ilium, anterior caudals, and the lower cervicals, it's possible to cross-scale the neck and tail with Argentinosaurus. I didn't expect Argentinosaurus to be this big, but that's how it would be if its proportions were anything like its closest relative. I actually reduced the tail proportions on this one relative to how they would have scaled up from Rukwatitan, because of how small the last few preserved sacral centra are. (If it was a straight Rukwatitan clone, it would have longer limbs and be over 40m long).

BTW, my Puertasaurus and Ruyangosaurus will probably have to be downsized. More new evidence from related animals reduces them, but new evidence increases Argentinosaurus!
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:iconchristina1969:
christina1969 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2017
Answer please :(
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
It's actually metric tons.

You're funny.
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:iconchristina1969:
christina1969 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2017
Write "tonnes" or "metric tons" then. Almost everybody in the world thinks of the imperial "short tons" when they see "tons".
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Do you believe you represent or can think for "almost everybody"?  They way you try to "think" for me and pretend you know my thoughts, background and whereabouts?

Literally nobody else has demonstrated such pathological difficulty understanding it. Don't tell me what to write. Every paper I've read on sauropods in the past decade uses metric tons, and yes, sometimes they just say "tons" instead of "tonnes" and it's understood this implies metric. Even British authors mean it to refer to metric, let alone USA authors. And literally nobody else makes such a big deal or accuses me of political motives for a simple measurement which isn't even what you thought it was.

And so what if I used imperial tons? Where do you get off implying "patriotism" from that? It's just a measurement, most people don't even think that ideologically about it. And even if they did, why is "patriotism" so "cancerous" to you anyway? Don't you have patriotic feelings for any country or culture? Or does treason, espionage, and (just let me guess here) the pipe dream of an international "workers paradise" of rootless human cogs and drones make you feel healthier?

Really, maybe you can be the subject of a paper. Do you have some kind of perverse obsession with nationalists or "imperialists" and see them everywhere you look, like how schizophrenic people hear voices?
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:iconmark0731:
mark0731 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2017
Sorry for interrupting, but she was right actually, the "90+ tons" made some confusion about whether you use metric or imperial, as you can see it here in the comments if you check them. Also:

"Every paper I've read on sauropods in the past decade uses metric tons, and yes, sometimes they just say "tons" instead of "tonnes" and it's understood this implies metric."

That's true, but they only write it this way after they wrote "tonnes"  or "metric tons" when they first mentioned the estimate they made (at least that's what I've seen in all papers I read, maybe that was different prior to 2000 though). To give an example, in the Patagotitan paper they wrote "tonnes" in the "main"/first part of the paper, and they wrote "tons" in the supplementary material.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Perhaps getting all over-reactive and emotional, calling one measurement system "cancer" and then trying to order me around wasn't the best way for her to go about it. Or anything else.

Even so, this isn't a scientific paper, it isn't even SV-POW, it's DA for crying out loud. People need to get a grip. Maybe there is confusion but I am not using imperial/standard tons in any of my measurements because that isn't the convention, I've never said anything about imperial measurements at all... so to assume I did (plus assuming all that other extra nonsense) before asking is idiotic at best.
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:iconchristina1969:
christina1969 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2017
I didn't expect you to be that pissed over this.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm laughing all the way to the bank.
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:iconchristina1969:
I thought you go by the "make it as big as possible" rule based on your Puertasaurus (currently 38 m), your Ruyangosaurus (currently 36 m) and on your earlier claim about Patagotitan being over 100 tonnes in weight, but now I know you don't go by that rule, as randomdinos (the "Chronical Dinosaur Downsizer") barely made it smaller, who would've surely downsized it more if it wasn'zt against the evidenvce/comparison with relatives. Btw, I see you use metric and then convert it to imperial when it comes to length, but you use imperial as a starting point when it comes to weight? Why? I don't mind using metric as a starting point  and then converting it to imperial, but the use of imperial as a starting point "gives me soul cancer". It just makes a lot of confusion. Metric is also more logical, easier and more precise. I have read varios strong argements for metric, but only weak ones against it. No wonder why the majority of scientists use metric only even in the USA, and why slowly more and more people suggests to go metric. Based on your name, I guess you didn't born in the USA, but maybe you live there long ago, but science is not a place for patriotism.

www.metric4us.com/whynot.html

www.vox.com/2014/5/29/5758542/…

www.gometricusa.org

www.us-metric.org/going-metric…

m.hpj.com/opinion/time-to-go-m…

woodworking.formeremortals.net…

www.philly.com/philly/blogs/he…

www.modernhealthcare.com/artic…

m.huffpost.com/us/entry/752040…

www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/01/its…

www.actforlibraries.org/why-we…

www.google.hu/amp/s/milebehind…

teachersinstitute.yale.edu/cur…

alessandrorossini.org/we-can-p…

joshuarigsby.com/2015/08/22/ro…

www.actforlibraries.org/why-we…

www.wnyc.org/story/could-the-u…

blogs.scientificamerican.com/p…

www.scienceabc.com/social-scie…

www.independent.co.uk/news/wor…

www.businessinsider.com/pokemo…

i.imgur.com/4kpGw1k.jpg
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:iconmajestic-colossus:
In this case, that is not true. I don't know about Scott, but randomdinos' Argentinosaurus will be bigger than his Puertasaurus and Patagotitan, as he mentioned that it would be 75 tonnes, while his Puerta is ~60t and Patago is ~55t. His Argentinosaurus will possibly be about the same size as Nima's, but maybe with different proportions.
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Edited Oct 12, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice skeletal.
Those sacra and illia are crazy wide , which is surprising because Argentinosaurus is not even as wide proportionally as Puertasaurus and Futalognkosaurus. How wide would you suggest Argentinosaurus was at the widest point in the ribcage, especially if it reached 90 tonnes like here in this skeletal? 
And how would Puertasaurus and Patagotitan compare to this? Randomdinos put the ribcage of Puertasaurus at ~3.6 m.

(which skeletals do you have in the works, by the way?)
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Argentinosaurus has wide hips but notice how the ilia (which are partially based on Rukwatitan, especially the ventral view) are not flared out to the same extreme as in Futa.  So the belly's width was probably more conservative in proportions. I would estimate the torso was about as wide as it was deep, more of a round barrel cross-section rather than an oil tanker like the lognkosaurs.

Currently a revised Ruyangosaurus is in the works. It's looking even stranger than the first recon.
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am looking forward to the new Ruyangosaurus
Is it a basal somphospondyl now?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
No. It's merely looking like a basal lognkosaur rather than a derived one. It's very similar to Patagotitan.

But that didn't stop Lu, et. al. from plastering the missing parts to look like a basal somphospondyl... because apparently every giant sauropod in China must be either a euhelopodid or a mamenchisaur. But once you look past the plaster parts in the 2014 paper, it becomes clear that the actual fossils are from a basal (somewhere between Patagotitan-grade and Traukutitan-grade) lognkosaur, perhaps close to where malawisaurs split off from true lognkosaurs. The hips look very Malawisaurus-like, but perhaps they would look less so if we had good hips for more lognkosaurs... the neck design indicates this animal was more likely a lognkosaur, not a malawisaur.
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:iconmajestic-colossus:
I know it's not my business, but he told me it would be roughly as wide as the belly is tall. If Mk.I was over 4m wide (ribcage), this one is even wider. He also said somewhere that this very long neck would create the illusion that the torso is smaller than the previous version, something like that. As for the mass, well he said tons, not tonnes (metric ton), so perhaps he means 90 short tons, which would result in ~81 tonnes (81630kg) for Mk.II. It's not that far from randomdinos' estimate of around ~75 tonnes.
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Tons, tonnes, and metric ton(ne)s. UGH everybody go metric already :x (Mad) The confusion it makes....
(the metric ton can occasionally be spelled as tonne IIRC, so I have no clue which one Paleo-King is using)
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:iconmajestic-colossus:
Majestic-Colossus Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2017
The answer is up to him. But it's possible that he's not using the metric ton as a unit, if that was the case, he would have to say "90 tonnes".
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
nvm, I just found out which one he uses. (Short tonnes)
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:iconandreof-gallery:
AndreOF-Gallery Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, that explain some stuff...
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:iconmark0731:
mark0731 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2017
Definitely better when it comes to body proportions, but WTF! I expected it to be smaller than the previous version, not bigger!
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:iconpaleo-reptiles:
Paleo-reptiles Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2017
I like your skeleton model. I imagine it is the first skeleton version about this animal. Therefore, your work is valuable. I hope Paleontologists can discover the more bones about these dinosaurs in Argentinean! 
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:iconcarcharodontotitan:
It seems to have a very Lognkosaurian-like neck now, with the shape of the vertebrae and the overall massive size, especially when compared to the rest of the body.
Also, the torso seems rather small proportionally.
Is the old skull/head you used for your first reconstruction now more inaccurate, since you changed it?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
The neck is not quite lognkosaurian, but there is some resemblance because Malawisaurus was used as the secondary neck filler. The thing is, not just lognkosaurs had these "shark fin" neural spines in the neck. You also find them in argyrosaurids, malawisaurids, antarctosaurids, and some saltasaurids too.  There isn't a log of god neck material from basal titanosaurs, but they may have also had them on a smaller scale, since even euhelopodids are starting to show the beginnings of the shark fin shape.

The torso looks smaller but it's actually  bigger than the old version in terms of raw dimensions. The big neck can cause this effect. The old head was hand-drawn. This one is based on photos of an undescribed skull, as well as skulls of other titanosaurs and titanosauriforms. So this one is better, but they really don't look that different.
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:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2017
Are Malawisaurids transitional between Argentinosaurids/Andesaurids and Lognkosaurs?
Also, is the neck so ridiculously massive and not proportional in most or even all large Titanosaurs?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
1. Yes

2. If you think this neck is crazy, you should look at mamenchisaurs and euhelopodids. And Rapetosaurus for that matter, which isn't so big. Some giant titanosaurs like Ruyangosaurus had a crazy long neck approaching those proportions. Others like Alamosaurus and Futalognkosaurus had a more moderate neck. But it's unlikely to see a short neck like Saltasaurus in any of the really huge titanosaurs... unless perhaps Antarctosaurus or Elaltitan got substantially bigger than their type specimens.
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:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017
Is Epachthosaurus a Malawisaurid then?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Doubtful. Epachthosaurus is so strange it probably needs its own family. It has some basal traits and some derived ones. It's got hypantra and hyposphenes like Andesaurus and Argentinosaurus (and more pronounced than Argentinosaurus). It's got huge front-heavy ilia like a saltasaur. It's got anterior caudals that are heavily procoelous and have a backswept neural spine like Futalognkosaurus. It's got wide and low dorsal neural arches like Trigonosaurus.... and so on. Plus it has proportionally the biggest tibia-to-femur ratio of any titanosaur, almost equal lengths - which doesn't fit well with any known family. Its sacrospinal ligament is heavy, similar to some MCT sacrals which may be unnamed trigonosaurs. But most derived titanosaurs don't have an ossified sacrospinal ligament, and Trigonosaurus itself certainly doesn't. Malawisaurus has it but Futalognkosaurus doesn't... and for Argentinosaurus and Ruwatitan there simply isn't enough sacrum left to know.

So is Epachthosaurus a lithostrotian that re-evolved hyposphenes as a throwback? Or is it a basal titanosaur imitating the hip and dorsal morphs of lithostrotians?
Where does it belong on the tree? GOOD QUESTION. It's the everytitanosaur.
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:iconcarcharodontotitan:
Carcharodontotitan Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2017
Huh, sounds to me like it's the most mysterious titanosaurid then?
I thought you implied before that it may be transitional between basal titanosaurs and lognkosaurs?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
It might be, or not. It's hard to tell, though it does have a few Malawisaurus-grade features (ossified sacrospinal ligament, rough similarities in ilium proportions though not in angle... tibia looks basal too). And there are hyposphenes so that's basal. But otherwise it looks like a lithostrotian. Maybe this is just a weird outgroup of titanosaurs close to the malawisaurids that evolved derived proportions but retained basal details. At this point it's tough to tell. But it's not likely to be a "missing link" between two groups. Patagotitan is a far better fit for that.
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(1 Reply)
:iconsteveoc86:
Steveoc86 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 9, 2017
Looks awesome! Titanosaurs really took the piss when it came to size. ;) Any plans to do Rukwatitan?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, and it will be relatively simple now that this is done.
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:iconpaleo-reptiles:
Paleo-reptiles Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2017
Thank you!
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October 7, 2017
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