Thunder Thighs: The Dinosaur that Shook the Earth

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BrontomerusPhoto: Francisco Gascó

Thunder thighs is the name that has been given to a new dinosaur discovered from the Early Cretaceous period of North America. Imagine coming across that enormous animal with massive thighs to kick you with! Officially called Brontomerus (“thunder thighs” in English; no, really!), mcintoshi is a sauropod, a type of dinosaur whose members were known for their long necks.

All the recovered fossilsPhoto: Mike Taylor

The two individuals found in a quarry in Eastern Utah lived 100 million years ago. One was an adult and one a pony sized juvenile. Sauropods traveled in family groups so finding two together is not that unusual.

BrontomerusPhoto: Francisco Gascó

The complete skeletons were not found, but enough of them to be able to do a partial reconstruction and identify shape and type. The hip bone is enormous and moves forward towards the body, though of course the whole area would have had muscle attached which gave the dinosaur its huge thighs. Scientists aren’t certain as to why the creatures had such chunky legs – perhaps, as suggested in the artistic renderings, to kick, and also possibly in order to get over rough and hilly terrain.

Hopefully even more exciting finds like these will take place – and it looks likely they will as nearly half of all dinosaurs discovered were found in the last 30 years!

 

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