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Puertasaurus reuili

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FORGOTTEN GIANTS: Species #1 - Puertasaurus reuili

©2009 Paleo-King

The recently discovered mega-titanosaur Puertasaurus reuili, a giant to dwarf the giants - in high-fidelity TRIPLE axial view, for the very first time!

NOTE: this image is outdated. The corrected, revised version of my Puertasaurus can be found here: [link]

This is the very first high-fidelity reconstruction of Puertasaurus ever done, and was featured on the awesome sauropod blog SV-POW: [link]

This ground-breaking reconstruction also inspired T-PEKC's excellent painting [link] , Teratophoneus's drawing of Puertasaurus [link] , as well as Rexisto's titanosaur silhouettes [link] on Mesozoico.com.

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About Puertasaurus:

Taxonomy: Sauropoda; Macronaria; Titanosauria; Lognkosauria

Known only from a lower neck vertebra, a front dorsal, and two as-of-yet unpublished tail vertebrae, this creature was colossal, and could easily have been 130 feet (40m) long, perhaps longer depending on the size of its tail. In that respect, this reconstruction is actually pretty conservative.

Dr. Fernando Novas described and named this king of the titans in 2005, and quickly it became clear that even Argentinosaurus was no match for it in the lineup for "biggest dinosaur".

Puertasaurus is a very late-evolving member of Lognkosauria, a strange family of intermediate titanosaurs with extremely massive vertebrae with massive processes, and super-wide hips and rib cages.

I would even go so far as to say this was probably the widest and most voluminous rib cage of any animal known to science - although the ribs are missing, the huge width of the wing-like diapophyses of the dorsal indicates an unusually wide rib cage, perhaps as wide as 7 meters. When alive, the whole animal probably weighed well over 100 tons.

A particularly odd feature of this species is its unusual neck shape - wider than it is deep, and with very squat centra, this design made possible a downright insane range of vertical motion, even perhaps leaning the head back past vertical, but also likely limited horizontal/lateral neck motion to some degree.

Puertasaurus appeared in Argentina some 69 million years ago, long after the first Lognkosaurians, which date back to the mid-Cretaceous - in fact, it's one of the last sauropods to have lived, and certainly the last of the truly gigantic ones.

As with most dinosaurs known from so few remains, any reconstruction is largely speculative. Still, what you see here is the first truly high-fidelity restoration of Puertasaurus and the only one done from multiple views to really give a sense of the animal's 3D form.

Giganotosaurus (though it lived earlier) is included for scale as it was the largest meat-eater.

Pencil on paper, 11x17" 2009.
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narcosaurus's avatar

This is extremly outdated