Monday, September 27, 2010

Bruhathkayosaurus (brew-HATH-kah-yo-SORE-us, meaning "huge bodied lizard") might have been the biggest dinosaur ever lived.

The accuracy of this claim, however, has been mired in controversy and debate: all the estimates are based on Yadagiri and Ayyasami's 1989 paper, which announced the find. Their technical description is so poor that the authors originally confidential the dinosaur as a theropod, a member a large group of bipedal, carnivorous dinosaurs that includes the Tyrannosaurus; but a review of their data in 1995 exposed that the remains actually belonged to a sauropod (specifically, a titanosaurid), a member of a very dissimilar group of quadrupedal, herbivorous dinosaurs with lengthy necks and tails, like the Brachiosaurus.
The Bruhathkayosaurus genus has only one known species, the Bruhathkayosaurus matleyi. The species is represented by the holotype specimen GSI PAL/SR/20, which was described by Yadagiri and Ayyasami in 1989 (not 1987, as some sources indicate).

It was initially classified as a carnosaur (like the Allosaurus) of an unidentified (incertae sedis) family, which is a collection of theropods. In 1995 Chatterjee reclassified it as a titanosaur. The reclassification was based on the enormous size of the limbs, and the structure of the pelvis.

The original magazine described little in the way of diagnostic characteristics, and was only supported by a few line drawings. This has led to conjecture that the bones might actually be petrified wood, akin to the way the unique discoverers of the Sauroposeidon initially supposed their find to be fossilized tree trunks.

The name chose, Bruhathkayosaurus, is derived from the Hindi bruhath (huge or heavy) and kaya (body); and the Greek sauros (lizard).

The Bruhathkayosaurus was establishing near the southern tip of India, specifically in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu, to the northeast of Kallamedu village. It was improved from the rocks of the Kallemedu Formation, which are dated to the Maastrichtian faunal stage of the late Cretaceous period. It lived in the direction of the end of Mesozoic era, about 70 million years ago.

The fossilized remains include hip bones (the ilium and ischium), part of a leg bone (femur), a shin bone (tibia), a forearm (radius), and a tail bone (a vertebrae, specifically a platycoelous caudal centrum).
Read more interesting topic about dinosaur fossils.


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