Titanosaurs! Such extraordinary things. Why didn’t I become a paleontologist? I could have been in the Argentina deserts looking for bones. Driving the straight-backed midnight blue Chevy of my dreams. I might have been trekking across a huge sandy plain littered with Titanosaur eggs and shells. I might have been the first to see a fossilized fragment of a baby dinosaur’s skin. But I wouldn’t mind being the 500th or 500,000th.
I could have been dishy Diego Pol curled up next to a femur:
I could have been unraveling the mystery of these incredible creatures.
I love that now we watch ostriches for possible clues. The way their (absurdly cute) babies can walk after an hour and band together for safety. I love that we look to elephants to learn how dinosaurs of such immense mass could ever possibly move across the earth — though the Titanosaur weighed over 70 metric tons. 15 elephants worth. This dinosaur had tendons connecting its femurs to its tail, a swathe of muscle and tissue so the massive swinging weight of its tail could help move those massive legs.
Guess. What. Komodo dragons have those too!
With such legs, such weight, Titanosaurs (and elephants, don’t you know) developed elastic bands of skin around their ankles that work much the same as airplane socks — even with hearts weighing more than four grown men they were vulnerable to blood clots and bad circulation.
But they weren’t as heavy as you might think. Their bones were not solid, they were full of holes, like those of birds to provide strength without weight. Giant sacs helped fill the lungs with air, lessened more weight. This incredible creature…watching this documentary is like staring at the stars, full of wonder and enormity that makes you feel small, fragile, part of a world that is more amazing than you could ever imagine it.
Here’s how these guys compare to other enormous thunderlizards.
I’m quite charmed that someone is probably kicking themselves for having named the dreadnoughtus too early…
What could possibly have fed such creatures? Monkey puzzles! Or something very like. No competition for food way up there. And now I know where those amazing trees come from. Huge forests of them crowning hills, they are amazing. And endangered. I shall love them more now when I see them standing solitary and enigmatic across the English landscape.
I love trees. But enough about them.
So what fed on this enormous Titanosaurus?
Tyrannotitan, that’s fucking what.
To build a model of the dinosaur they found an enormous abandoned wool warehouse…the industrial skeleton of one age to house the reptilian bones of another. 101.6 million years in between.
It is incredible.
And incredibly cheesy that final CGI Titanosaur waving its head over a tiny spotlighted David Attenborough, but I damn well loved it.