In a news release on Monday, Argentina's Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio announced that in 2011, farmers discovered a "dinosaur cemetery" in a remote region of Argentina's Patagonia some 160 miles from the city of Trelew. The site contained 200 fossils, and in particular, the fossilized remains of perhaps, the largest dinosaur to ever roam the earth.
The plant-eating creatures, dubbed Titanosaurs, were about130 feet long and weighed in at an astounding 180,000 pounds. Imagine two tractor-trailer trucks in length, and fill them with 14 adult elephants. Get the picture? The enormous size of these dinosaurs helped scientists to come up with a name, honoring the giants of ancient Greek mythology.
The scientists were able to piece together the remains of seven of the huge herbivores. It is believed the giants died of dehydration together, perhaps being stuck in a mud bog. The team also found over 60 teeth from large carnivores, but no bones, suggesting the stricken Titanosaurs were eaten.
"Probably, they went to (eat) the herbivores' dead bodies. But the feast came at a price: The carnivores would lose many of their teeth as they attempted to bite the hard skin and flesh," said Jose Luis Carballido, a dinosaur specialist at the Argentinian museum.
These herbivores date back to about 95 million years ago, in the late Mesozoic Era. The Mesozoic Era is a segment of geological time taking place between 252 to 66 million years ago. It is also called the "Age of the Dinosaurs." Mesozoic comes to us from the Greek, meaning "middle life animal." This helps us to understand the time period because scientists have denoted three geological periods. The first era is called the Paleozoic ("ancient life") Era, the second or middle, the Mesozoic Era, and lastly, the Cenozoic ("new life") Era.
Not to confuse anyone further, the Mesozoic Era is divided into three periods, the Triassic (252.2 to 201.3 million years ago), Jurassic (201.3 to 145 million years ago), and Cretaceous (145 to 66 million years ago). So the scientists are telling us that Titanosaurs lived during the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic Era. It is believed that during the late-Cretaceous period, volcanic eruptions contributed to an extinction event where 50 percent of all life, including all non-avian dinosaurs disappeared.