“Enormosaurus” Has a Name – Patagotitan
A super-sized dinosaur discovered in southern Argentina in 2014, has finally been given a name. The dinosaur, described as one of the largest land animals to have ever lived has been named Patagotitan mayorum. The name translates as “the Mayo family’s Patagonian titan”, as the fossils were found on the Mayo ranch in Patagonia. When this dinosaur was first described, based on the fossilised remains of at least seven individual animals being excavated from a single site, it was thought that this huge long-necked Sauropod tipped the scales at a massive seventy-seven tonnes. Now that the scientific paper has been published (Proceedings of the Royal Society B), the body mass estimate for this giant has been reduced, but only slightly. The researchers estimate that this monster weighed a staggering sixty-nine tonnes.
A Size Comparison between Patagotitan and an African Elephant
Picture Credit: G. Lio/Everything Dinosaur
No More “Enormosaurus”
At Everything Dinosaur, we have followed the excavation and the preparation of the fossil material very carefully. Colleagues have visited the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio, Trelew in Argentina, many of the palaeontologists who have worked on this huge dinosaur are based at this museum. In 2016, the BBC aired a documentary all about this dinosaur, it was narrated by Sir David Attenborough and it was entitled “Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur”. At the time of the broadcast the Titanosaur had not got a name, so we nick-named it “Enormosaurus”. At around 37 metres long (it may not have been fully grown), Patagotitan was certainly a giant. When working with school children we have explained some of the research that has gone into describing the fossils and we challenged the children to come up with their own names for this new type of dinosaur. The names we received were very imaginative and we enjoyed challenging the various classes to have a go at naming their very own prehistoric animal.
Sir David Attenborough Stands Next to the Huge Thigh Bone of Patagotitan mayorum
Picture Credit: BBC