Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brontomerus mcintoshi

Brontomerus fights off an attacker!
Genus : Brontomerus
Species : mcintoshi

Length : 46ft (14m)
Weight : 13,500lbs (6,100kg)

Status : Extinct since the Early Cretaceous, approximately 110 million years ago

This animal came across my news radar this morning and I just had to cover it.This new species was actually first discovered in Utah in 1994, but wasn't fully evaluated until 2007. When scientists finally got a good look at it, the realized that this species had a really interesting feature.

Brontomerus mcintoshi has a bony plate that projects from the hip bone. This plate serves as an anchor for the dinosaur's leg muscles. It is between 31% and 55% longer than bone plates in other sauropods. This means that this new dinosaur had substantially powerful hind legs, the most muscular legs of any Sauropod! These legs were so powerful, in fact, that scientists gave it the name Brontomerus, which means "Thunder Thighs." (The species name, mcintoshi, is in honor of John McIntosh, a world authority on Sauropods.)

It is believed that the animals used their powerful legs to move across rough terrain, and that they also used them to kick and stomp at predators!

Bones from two individuals have so far been uncovered, an adult and a much smaller juvenile.

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