A few more pieces of information have been trickling out about the new giant titanosaur found in Chubut province, Argentina. While it may be anyone's guess when the paper will be out (and I would rather they take their time and get it right, instead of rush the process and end up with wrong measurements or figures) there are some important things we can already tell from the existing pictures.
First of all, the pictures are not comprehensive of the whole find. The news reports mentioned the discovery of up to 8 individuals at the site. The pictures that have so far appeared show at most the remains of two or three. However there is more of the site that was excavated, a portion that barely shows in any of the pictures.
But first, a few new looks.
This appears similar in many aspects (the position of the cracks mainly) to the huge femur that Pablo Puerta posed (or planked) next to on those pallets in the last post. But it just looks too small to be the same one. Nobody here looks unusually tall, yet the bone looks a bit more modest than the one with Puerta in the picture. That said, this thing is still definitely "family sized". *Lucky kids. I never got to be that close to a dinosaur at their age.*
But there's more to decipher at the site.
|The same femur and pubis from a different angle. Most of the other remains here were plastered and ready for removal by this point.|
|The field at its densest point. Shoulder, hip, rib, femur and spinal material is all present here.|
|Another view of the bone bed. Notice the scapula, femur, and one of the thickest ribs are easily visible.|
But then of course someone has to make a map. A field map of the site may yield further clues, but for now we have to settle for color-coding what's there. Color coded maps are probably the most convenient for easily identifying parts of the same individual, as in this one of Bonitasaura:
So based on the photos of the Chubut finds, we come up with this (forgive the psychadelic craziness of the neon colors, there aren't that many other ways to get bones to stand out in heavy shaded angles and similar-colored rock):
Red = ribs, blue = scapula, turquoise = coracoid, orange = vertebrae, yellow = probable vertebrae , light green = femora, deep green = humerus, magenta = pubes, purple = ilia (?)
|The same femur and pubes. Note the humerus (green) in the background.|
Keep in mind this is just what I could identify from the photos. There may be other bones in some of the jagged lumps of rock around the site, which I have not marked. It's tempting to see bones everywhere you look, but until you know for sure what you are looking at, it's better NOT to interpret everything as an organic structure let alone part of the animal.
In any case this may make it a bit easier for artists. I wonder if they found any skull material or osteoderms at the site...