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Last March of the Breviparopus by Paleo-King Last March of the Breviparopus by Paleo-King
Two Breviparopus, largest of the brachiosaurs, tread on cracked mud in the burning mid-day heat in Early Cretaceous Morocco. What seems like a nonchalant trek to a river or food source is the very struggle for life itself...


On they trudged, through miles of cracked, sunbaked mud. Neither the small carnivores that kept a safe distance, nor the pterosaurs trailing them from above, had any idea where these two titans were headed. And thus it had to be, as no steady water source could be seen even by eyes seventy feet in the air. Two days had already passed in a similar form, and the resilience of these living marvels was feeling the strain.

This pair were some of the last few hundred or so of their kind, or so it appeared… the Breviparopus, colossal and majestic beyond the realm of anything that today walks the earth. They were among the last and largest progeny of the great race of the brachiosaurs, survivors of a devastating extinction that long ago doomed more delicate animals like Diplodocus. Diplodocus was as a child unto these giants. Brachiosaurus, a mere preteen. They are forever shrouded in mystery, having only left their footprints, leaving human minds to wonder if anything could possibly get bigger than this…

Their lives had not always been so dire. Only a few generations before, there were vast herds roaming through plains of ferns, and cracking their way through forests so thick that scarcely did even the insects therein have eyes capable of handling sunlight. These biggest of the Gondwana giants, defied any predator great or meek… yet they were powerless in the face of the global forces reshaping their world. Once, they multiplied in the thousands every year, the males turning a livid green with hormones, boldly taking every female in sight and moving on to the next, not much caring who had already done so, with the females communally caring for all their soft, cat-sized hatchlings, which would easily outweigh an elephant within less than five years. Now the decades of ever- worsening drought made reproduction a luxury of resources, and the few remaining adults, more or less out of necessity, mated for life.

These two are fortunate. They may be over a century old, but even well past that age Breviparopus remain fertile. Yet the wet season has been anything but, and the last two clutches of eggs have already failed to survive. And even these veterans of time are running out of options. Their fat reserves are fast becoming depleted, unsustainable by the last few dying trees visible on the horizon. Your beauty, your fit genes, are a mere waste when you STARVE.

And their bones, long disappeared, spoke not, but the message was already quite clear;
Which one of YOU, who come by this path, shall ever know the desperation
of the greatest leviathans whom all thought invincible, who yet hold out hope for the rain,
the rain which is now only a memory in their small brains…
and what good fortune that they had not bigger ones, for all the sentiments and emotions and crises we “intelligent” animals invent for ourselves, often MORE to our loss,
as if for some masochistic amusement to kill boredom at any cost –
Politics, wars, status, charisma, our dramas, our false lives, our pretense and vanity –
Had no relevance in a world where ALL suffered, and ALL suffered equally.

And NEVER shall we know the WRENCHING pain of having been there
to witness the one’s last breath, and final salty tear,
Nor the other’s bellow of despair as he collapses near her,
not knowing the same fate had already seized him unaware!


- Sergo Tandisi
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:iconmyony:
Myony Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm kinda curious now. "Brachiosaurus nougaredi" and Breviparopus were both found in similar areas, so could they be linked?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
No, because they were from different epochs.

I will admit, it's a tempting theory, but the evidence doesn't support it. There were in all likelihood thousands more species of sauropods than we know about (Tschopp et. al. 2016 discovered like 20 diplodocids, most still unnamed). So between B. nougaredi and Breviparopus there were likely many other brachiosaur species in north Africa in the intervening millions of years.
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:iconmyony:
Myony Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Huh. I see.
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:iconmunkas02:
munkas02 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:scared: *wipes away tear*
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:iconnorthafricandinosaur:
i don't think this giant sauropod have a predator .
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:iconspinocharonychus:
Spinocharonychus Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014
What is the small theropod in the lower right corner?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Good question! Just an unnamed generic small neovenatorid. Of the types that were all over Africa, Eurasia and South America at that time. There is plenty of such material from Morocco, it just hasn't been described, probably because it's not complete or diagnostic enough, or perhaps just not that cool or impressive. (Yes kids, this is how we do science!).
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:iconspinocharonychus:
Spinocharonychus Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014
Also the ther theropod to the other side of the Breviparopus. I am guessing the pterosaurs are Phosphatodraco or Alanqa.
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:iconbealmeister:
Bealmeister Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe Nigel Marven will appear and bring these two back to Prehistoric park.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015
We're gonna need a bigger portal....
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:iconbealmeister:
Bealmeister Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed. :nod:
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015
At least he didn't go to the Morrison, how do you bring back an Amphicoelias?
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:iconbealmeister:
Bealmeister Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
With 20 tanks.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015
Try twice that maybe.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
He will need a lot of water, electrodes, and tons of IV equipment, STAT!
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:iconbealmeister:
Bealmeister Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
He also needs a place to put these two. Maybe another park for extra animals?
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:iconspacezillazon:
spacezillazon Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesomely done on the size of them and well detailed very well made
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:iconloonyowl:
loonyowl Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this! I very nearly cried when reading the description - your writing is so beautiful and evocative!
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:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Magnificent! Funny thing is, I was reading a dinosaur book from the 80's that mentioned Breviparopus! It estimated it at 157ft long and said it dwarfed "Ultrasaurus", which it put at 54ft. I don't know about length, but they were definitely right when it came to height!

IDK why, but because of you, Breviparopus is really the only ichnotaxon I think is valid. Hopefully somebody will find some bones...
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
157 feet (which has been repeated in the Guinness book as the entry for "largest dinosaur") is excessive for Breviparopus. A length of around 130 ft. is a good upper limit for the creature that made the prints. And there were several dinosaurs that would have been more massive than Breviparopus.

"Ultrasaurus", it must be remembered, is actually the small, non-diagnostic Korean sauropod material (not to be confused with Jim Jensen's "Ultrasauros" which is a far larger animal though not bigger than B. altithorax). Jensen was casually calling his finds "Ultrasaurus" but had to change the name's spelling once it turned out that Hang Mook Kim had already used it in a scientific paper for his (far crappier) material. While Jensen's mistakes consisted of making Ultrasauros too big, and throwing in a Supersaurus vertebra as the type specimen (:X), Kim's are even weirder - he actually claimed that the humerus he dug up was a radius (which is typically a good bit shorter than the humerus in sauropods), and thus assumed a pretty modest-sized sauropod humerus to be the radius of a mind-boggling giant. One would think he should know how to identify the pectoral crest, but judging by the fact that Kim apparently never published another paper, he wasn't even competent in the field. All the same, it's impossible to put the length of Kim's find at 54 ft. or any other number because the material is so fragmentary and badly eroded. It's not even certain what type of sauropod it is, so the proportions aren't clear at all.
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:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, I thought it was probably excessive. The only dinosaur I know that approached that was Amphicoelias.

By "Ultrasaurus", I think they meant "Ultrasauros" and put it at 54 ft in height.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Ok that makes sense. The "Ultrasauros" shoulder blade actually DOES appear to be a different animal than Brachiosaurus (Jensen also found a vertebra and ilium he assigned to "Brachiosaurus sp." which may actually belong to this other animal. He also found a very big femur head from Recapture Creek which is unique in shape and may also belong to this mysterious new brachiosaur).

Problem is we can't actually call this beast "Ultrasauros" because unfortunately the type specimen wasn't one of these brachiosaur bones - it was actually a vertebra that turned out to be from Supersaurus, a diplodocid! Which would officially make Ultrasauros a junior synonym of Supersaurus (albeit one that's never used that way). The brachiosaur material referred to "Ultrasauros" needs a new name, as it's clearly a new genus and not Brachiosaurus itself (different torso proportions).

Maybe "Jensensaurus" or something of the sort would do.
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:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Jensensaurus, I like that. :D

By the way, do you know how large the possible Hughenden brachiosaur is? I've heard estimates around 50ft in length, but I'm not too sure.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I have never seen any photos of the material, so your guess is as good as mine. I've been wondering about that species for a while actually. I've heard estimates of 20m thrown around, which is 66 ft. Apparently the only material is a partial neck vertebra which resembles those of Giraffatitan (just like what you have with Angloposeidon, except that genus is actually photographed and you can tell what the bone looks like!)
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:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, I see. I was planning a drawing of the Hughenden sauropod and wanted to know dimensions before I drew it.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I've wanted to draw it too.... problem is I've never seen any photos or figures of the fossil evidence. At least with Breviparopus there are some photos and drawings of the footprints.
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(1 Reply)
:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
By 54ft, I mean height. :P I guess I should have mentioned that.
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:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Haunting...

Has there been a definative dating of the Haut-Atlas tracksite to the EK?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I believe so, in Dutuit and Ouazzou's original paper. Ishigaki (1989) also. There's been just one very brief paper of dubious authorship which attributes an MJ age to the site only briefly in passing, and that paper for the most part isn't even about dinosaurs.
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:iconmare-of-the-sea:
Mare-Of-The-Sea Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010  Hobbyist
I really do hope they find the skeletons someday, just imagining the size of these giants is mind boggling for me.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Have to agree with you there ;) I've always wanted to see Breviparopus bones. The problem is that the deposits that yield footprints usually do not yield bones since for bones to get fossilized the sediment had to be a lot less viscous and cover the whole animal (or what was left un-scavenged of it) at some point. In such watery sediment footprints would not last very long.

However a mysterious giant sacrum from Algeria labeled "Brachiosaurus" nougaredi is possibly big enough to be from a similar sized animal - not the exact same species since they are from different epochs in the Early Cretaceous, but something very similar. The sacrum is 130cm long, and it's missing most of the first sacral vertebra and much of the right side material. When complete it would have been roughly 145-150cm long. The sacral columns for the type specimens of Brachiosaurus altithorax and Giraffatitan brancai are 95 cm and 1m long, respectively. So the Algerian giant brachiosaur was probably around 50% longer than either of them. And if it was built like its North American contemporary Sauroposeidon, it would be even longer than that.
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:iconameyukikaze:
ameyukikaze Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Aw, those poor creatures.

I remember reading about the discovery of the breviparopus footprints when I was in the fifth grade back in 1988. Have they then found the skeleton? It was a brachiosaur?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Only the footprints have been found. They were discovered in the late 70's if I remember correctly, by Dutuit and Ouazzou, who oddly enough aren't widely cited in the scientific literature apart from this one discovery.

I'd love to see a skeleton, but the big problem is connecting a skeleton to a set of prints... related species can have very similar tracks. There is a huge sacrum from Algeria labeled "Brachiosaurus nougaredi" which may be the same animal, but nearly no research has been done on it. The tracks do look like those of a brachiosaur, short thumb claw prints are present (though faint) which disqualifies diplodocids, camasaraurs, and "euhelopodids" - and the prints are pretty narrow-gauge which means they can't be from a titanosaur. The hindfoot prints are 90cm wide (almost a meter) which would make the animal easily 110feet (33m) long or more, depending on whether its proportions were more like Giraffatitan or Sauroposeidon.

Wikipedia claims that the prints are only 50cm wide (smaller than Diplodocus' feet) and hence alleges that the creature was not all that large, but in reality this claim is BOGUS, and stems from a clumsy misunderstanding of comments on SV-POW [link]

Ishigaki (1989) drew the only (to my knowledge) scale diagram of the prints in existence, which clearly showed the hindfeet were 90cm wide on the inner margin of the prints and well over 1m on the outer margin. Greg Paul (1988) lists the measurement at 90cm (900mm) as well, which unsurprisingly is exactly what Dutuit & Oazzou originally said back in 1980. This creature was a giant, WAY bigger than Diplodocus and also bigger than Giraffatitan and possibly even Sauroposeidon.
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:iconalgoroth:
Algoroth Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Professional General Artist
If I interpret what I read about Big B nougaredi correctly, then it likely was as big as Breviparopus. Some of these monsters were so effing huge, they defy logic, but they DID exist. Unlike Amphocoelias fragillimus, nougaredi's bones are at least somewhat available. Bruhathkayosaurus? Hard to believe in, if what you've claimed is correct. If these bones exist and are dino bones, how come no more papers? I don't think of Bruhathkayosaurs when I think of the largest titans, and I also leave out A. frgillimus because of having no bones to pick...through...

Not that I disbelieve Cope and not that I think his measurements were inaccurate, but having the bones would be nice!

I am willing to think that what we have of Puertasaurus, Paralatitan, Argen-tiny-o-saurus, Alamosaurus, Argyrosaurus and so on are very unlikely to be the largest of their kind. Alamosaurus proves that by itself, with the new discoveries. Alamosaurus, if the reconstructions are close to correct, seems to have been a most elegant and impressive animal.

I can easily imagine that if the remains of a hundred foot long titan are found, the largest specimens were probably a 120 to a 140 feet long. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I saw a pic of what looks to me like the anterior portion of a titanosaur sacrum.... ilium???...that part closest to the posterior ribs... The thing is so large, it's hard to believe. There's a man standing in back of it, close to the object, but I don't know how tall he is. I'll see if I can find it again and link you to it.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Cool. Yeah thanks, send me a link or post the image up. The sacrum and ilium are both good indicators of a sauropod's size.

The specimen of B. nougaredi isn't well-researched. In fact I have no clue where it's kept, and there have been no follow-up papers on the thing. But at least we KNOW it's real, I have the paper, it describes it in detail and also includes two photographs. Although crude, they do appear genuine and he description text definitely fits the bill for a brachiosaurid, especially when detailing the shape of the sacral ribs.
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:iconalgoroth:
Algoroth Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Professional General Artist
U hazz bin linked...it was that Futalognkosaurus sacrum...HUGE!!!!
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:iconsaphira-123:
Saphira-123 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really like this picture, but the animal's hips and akles turned out too hard and edgy, if you get my meaning... making them smoother and more curvy would be better I think...
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the comments 8-).

Perhaps things could be a bit more curvy... but also consider that this is an abnormally lean dry season and on top of that, both animals are starving... plus the forms of big sauropods were actually a lot more angular than most artists draw them. The old super-bulky rounded paintings of sauropods don't really hold up to scientific scrutiny, as the limb bones show only enough attachment surfaces for light, simple (and often nearly straight-edged) muscles.

The ankles don't look all that edgy IMO. You mean the heels of the hindfeet? They are pretty similar to elephant heels, so there is a living model, so to speak.
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:iconbran-artworks:
Bran-Artworks Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Student General Artist
So giant sauropods weren that ´´round´´ at all? Excelent drawing by the way
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:iconztwarmstrong:
ztwarmstrong Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2009   Traditional Artist
Very nice, Nima, you did a very good job on the perspective here (especially the one on the left, I really like that one) :)
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks, the perspective was hard but fun, especially on the tail. I had a bit of practice with rear perspective in the Portuguese Disaster, but of course doing it with sauropods was even better :)
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:iconbrokenmachine86:
BrokenMachine86 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, that magnificent drawing is really evokative, the perfect ilustration for such beautiful words.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks man! Hopefully I can get more poetry for future images. I'm actually surprised how good this one turned out, considering I didn't even bother with scales or patterns.
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