Argentinosaurus Model Reviewed

Officially the largest dinosaur known to science, Argentinosaurus (Argentinosaurus huinculensis) has captured the imagination of dinosaur model fans as well as palaeontologists; although the discovery of the fragmentary bones of this huge dinosaur have given very few clues as to just what this dinosaur actually looked like.

In 1998, a shepherd called Guillermo Heredia discovered what he thought was a huge piece of fossilised wood on his farm in Patagonia (southern Argentina).  A careful examination led him to believe that this huge permineralised specimen may turn out to be something more important so he asked palaeontologists from the Carmen Funes Municipal Museum nearby, to take a look.  This was no giant piece of fossilised tree trunk but the huge shinbone (tibia) of an enormous Cretaceous-aged dinosaur.  This one specimen and a few other fragments of bone found on the farm led scientists to establish a new genus of Titanosaur – Argentinosaurus.

Although the fossils represented a single individual, they were simply huge.   The one vertebrae found at the site during the early phase of the excavation was removed from a single slab of rock, this one fossilised bone from the backbone of the animal was over 1.6 metres tall.  Scientists estimate that Argentinosaurus weighed perhaps as much as 75 tonnes and measured around 35 metres in length.  It is the biggest, fully described dinosaur known to date.

The Argentinosaurus Dinosaur Model (Collecta Dinosaurs)

Biggest Dinosaur Known to Science

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fortunately, the new Collecta Argentinosaurus is not to scale, a 1/13th scale replica would, for example, measure over 6 feet in length, however, this new model is an excellent replica of a South American Titanosaur.

The model measures twenty-three centimetres long and the head height is approximately eighteen centimetres.  The design team at Collecta have given their Argentinosaurus the wide body and stance which is typical of the Titanosauria.  Although no dermal armour has been found in association with Argentinosaurus fossil remains, palaeontologists know that other South American Titanosaurs had armour plates embedded into their hides, the Collecta team have given their Argentinosaurus a generous amount of scutes (dermal armour).  These lumps and bumps of armour run down the neck and along the back and flanks.

The neck of the model is posed in a swan-like posture.  Scientists remain uncertain as to how high Titanosaurs could lift their necks, but given the sheer size of the animal, being able to crane the head up to feed on tree branches that would have been inaccessible to other, smaller Titanosaurs makes sense, so the posture of the model is very acceptable.

This replica is painted in a sandy brown hue, with nice contrasting thick bands of brown running along the back of the neck to the tip of the tail.  Little is known about Titanosaur skulls.  Argentinosaurus is no exception, as Titanosaur skull elements are exceptionally rare in the fossil record.  However, the model makers at Collecta have given their Argentinosaurus a long, low snout with a raised bump in the middle between the mouth and eyes.  Perhaps this bump showed the animal’s maturity or status within the herd.  In this model, this part of the head is painted bright red.

All in all, an intriguing interpretation of the fossil material, one that will please dinosaur fans and dinosaur model collectors alike.

Dinosaur Models: Collecta Dinosaur Models

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