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The Biggest - Puertasaurus reuili by Paleo-King The Biggest - Puertasaurus reuili by Paleo-King
Scale diagram of Puertasaurus reuili, the largest of the titanosaurs and possibly the most massive dinosaur yet known. This image is a collaborative work [link] between myself and the incredibly talented Chris Masna: [link]

Based on my revised Puertasaurus schematic. Check out the original here: [link] . I also provided advice, source info and the phylogeny. Dr. Fernando Novas and colleagues described the actual dinosaur :XD:
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Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This thing is huge, bigger than Agentinosaurus right? But even Argentinosaurus had enemies like Giganotosaurus, how is this with Puertasaurus? Giganotosaurus was already gone and Tyrannosaurus didn't exist yet (or at least didn't live in the same place). What could 've been the opponement of him?
TheOtherTheropod Featured By Owner May 13, 2014
Yes, Argentinosaurus tips the length scale at ~33m (Carpenter and Kenneth 2006). Nova (2004b) reports of a large, unamed tetanuran dinosaur from the Pari Aike Formation.
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah okay, thanks a lot for the information :)
TheReawakeningSeries Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013
Great stuff here! I'm such a big fan of your work Nima, keep it up!

However something has always itched at me. How valid is Amphicoelias? And wasn't it the largest specimen so far, being only based on a vertabrae? Tell me your thoughts, please.
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Amphicoelias is totally valid - in the sense of it being a valid genus with valid type material. However the type material (Amphicoelias altus) is from an animal no bigger than Diplodocus.

Amphicoelias fragillimus, the near-mythical giant vertebra that got lost, was only about 40% of the vertebra (if the published drawing can be believed) but based on that a 2m+ tall reconstruction has been drawn for the full bone by both Cope and Ken Carpenter.

For being a bone that no longer exists, it's definitely extremely popular. But the fact is, this isn't the biggest dinosaur we have currently existing fossil proof for. If more bones are ever found, it may actually need its own genus separate from Amphicoelias, the proportions are a bit different from A. altus, but not enough to definitively erect a new genus. The problem with this animal is not so much its validity (the bone is no longer around to analyze) but the fact that it's so poorly documentes (a single paper from Cope, and it isn't even the main focus of the paper). Cope could have made a scaling error, or a typo. The discovery was so obscure that for nearly a century nobody paid it any attention in major paleo-journals. So the real issue is that it wasn't really a big deal until the 1990s (and until the 1980s even PhDs thought there was nothing bigger than Brachiosaurus, despite larger and more massive sauropods (some still as yet undescribed) being known from Argentina since the 1920s (and possibly even since the late 1800s).

That said, there are some footprints scattered around the planet that could have been made by an A. fragillimus-sized creature. None of them are in the Morrison, but that doesn't rule out their discovery. But when you scale off of footprints, you really run into some serious problems. Unless you can scale a bigger animal from the same family off of bones, I'd avoid scaling from footprints, just don't do it! There's too much margin of error either way, either from splaying of the heel pads, or conversely from prints with caved-in edges that are too eroded to tell if they caved in. (for Breviparopus, I kept in mind that "Brachiosaurus" nougaredi can actually be scaled to a larger size based on a pretty huge partial sacrum, so Breviparopus is not a record-breaker even in Brachiosauridae - or even if you put it in another family.)
TheReawakeningSeries Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Thanks for the answer!
MartinSilvertant Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Very nice texturing of the skin. It's interesting how the blue whale is still so much larger in total mass, and yet this Puertasaurus reuili is so much more impressive to me, simply because it's a land creature. Quite possible just because I'm not familiar with such a large land creature; it's nice to fantasize about.

I've always wondered two things which somewhat relate to your illustration. Perhaps you can answer my questions. Firstly, with so many creatures of the same species and millions of years of evolution and intermediate fossils, how is it possible that we manage to complete such few skeletons? Shouldn't these skeletons be scattered all over? Are they not preserved, unreachable or simply just not discovered yet? I also wondered how the blue whale can be the biggest creature that has ever lived, even compared to an era in which most of the creatures were a lot bigger than they are now. I'm not questioning the validity of that statement, but I do wonder why the blue whale got to grow to this size now and not millions of years ago. Do you think it has to do with carnivorous sea creatures being a lot bigger back then? Because the only natural animals of blue whales are killer whales.
The average blue whale is less than 65 tonnes in mass, it's not larger at all than Puertasaurus.


Blue whales were nowhere near the actual largest animal that ever lived title.

The problem is that people commonly take the largest specimens as the only figures while ignoring the plethora of more average specimens.
MartinSilvertant Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh I failed to take into consideration that the numbers I saw on the blue whale are on the high end of the scale, while the numbers on Puertasaurus are probably more like averages. Still, according to the sources I've read the blue whale is still the largest animal to have ever lived. Apparently a blue whale can be up to 170 tonnes, which is about 60 tonnes more than the largest dinosaurs I've read about. In terms of length or height certainly there are "bigger" animals, but in terms of weight I haven't encountered anything more massive than the blue whale. I do thank you for alerting me to the fact that it's obviously not right to compare an average animal with an unusually big one as I did though. I'm not saying there wouldn't have been more massive Puertasauruses than blue whales, but I'm not aware of statistics to properly compare the blue whale to the genuinely biggest dinosaur. The blue whale still seems to be huge, even compared to other dinosaurs though. That fact alone leaves me with several questions, like why gigantism doesn't seem as prominent now as it was, and if the blue whale can be considered to be the maximum size for marine animals. Because I don't think I've encountered larger or comparable marine animals.
Then these will surprise you:

There was a ~45-cm wide ichthyosaur vertebra found. It was lost, but at least it's size was recorded. In comparison, Shastasaurus' vertebra are ~22 cm wide. Scaling would result in a gigantic ~40-meter ichthyosaur that dwarfs the blue whale.

Also, scaling Amphicoelias fragillimus(known from a ~2.7-meter tall D9/10 vertebra) would put it at the size of the largest blue whales or even larger.
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