Jul
15
2007

A butterfly flaps its wings, everything comes together: Asia’s fattest dinosaur.

Some dinosaurs are just bigger than others: And it's nothing to be ashamed of.    (Image by red5standingby on Flickr.com)
Some dinosaurs are just bigger than others: And it's nothing to be ashamed of. (Image by red5standingby on Flickr.com)
Do you remember MDR’s post about the people of Henan, China, who had been grinding up dinosaur bones to be used in traditional medicine? I do. It was neat, and he made the cool picture of the stewed skeletons, And do you remember the story Thor covered , about heavy kids becoming stigmatized because of their weight? Of course you do. It’s just down the page.

Well, just this last week, the butterfly of fortune flapped its little wings, adding to a tiny gust of wind, which disturbed a droplet of sweat above the eye of a bull, which charged and scared those two stories so badly that they ran into each other in their panic. The collision was so severe that MDR’s article broke its leg, Thor’s article got a concussion, and a third story, an amalgam article, was spontaneously created.

It seems that some of the bones being soupified in the Henan province (which, interestingly, was not previously thought to have sediment old enough to contain dinosaur fossils) belonged to an undiscovered species of dinosaur, a dinosaur that looks to be the heaviest on record in all of Asia.

There doesn’t seem to be too much information available on the find right now, but paleontologists figure that the dinosaur was a robustly boned sauropod (four legs, herbivore, long neck and tail) that measured at least 59 feet. They also think that it had an unusually large coelom (“the body cavity that contains the digestive tract”), making it a very heavy, big-bellied creature.

Compared to the dinosaurs of Africa and the Americas, many of the dinosaurs of Asia were relatively small, and scientists believe that this creature very probably suffered merciless ridicule from its sleek and agile neighbors. It likely wore dark or vertically striped clothing (although fossil evidence for this is still very sketchy), and often told the other dinosaurs that it was simply big-boned (which was a wholly accurate, if rarely accepted, explanation).

Upon hearing that it had been made into soup, the new dinosaur began rolling over in its grave, which has severely hindered excavation efforts.

A couple of quite similar articles:
ScienceDaily
Xinhua

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