Amphicoelias fragillimus (pronounced AM-fi-koil-i-as fra-GIL-i-mus, and meaning "very fragile double cavities") may be the major dinosaur ever discovered. If it truly existed, it would be the longest vertebrate by a substantial margin, and it would have a mass that rivals the heaviest animal known, the blue whale. However, because the only fossil evidence for its existence is lost, proof survives only in drawings, and doubt has been expressed about their veracity.
The Bone Wars
The Bone Wars, considered as a significant period in the history of paleontology. The two pre-eminent paleontologists of the time, Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope, were rivals to see who could find the most, and most sensational, new species.This competition was marred by bribery, accusations of robbery, spying, politics, and strong personal attacks. Amphicoelias is since found in New Mexico Museum of Natural History.
Marsh discovered a total of 86 new species during their decades-long rivalry, due in part to his detection of the Como Bluff site, near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, one of the richest sources of fossils ever uncovered. Cope only discovered 56; many of the fossils he unearthed were of species that had already been named, or were of unsure origin, so he was not credited with their discovery. As a result, Marsh's name is attached to many of the most famous dinosaurs, such as Triceratops, Allosaurus,Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus, while even Cope's most well-known discoveries, such as Dimetrodon (not actually a dinosaur), Camarasaurus, Coelophysis, and Monoclonius are more difficult to understand. So while there is no evidence of fabrication, the circumstances surrounding Amphicoelias do raise some doubt about the authenticity of the find.
The crumbling giant
The dorsal vertebra of a. fragillimus deliberates 2.4 m (7.8 ft) long.Comparing it with known species of diplodocid (a family of very long and slender sauropods), various estimates of the animal's length and mass were found which include:
A length of 56–62 m (185–200 ft.), and a weight of 125–170
t (140–185 tons)
A length of 50 m (165 ft.), and a weight of 120–150 t (130–165 tons).
A length of 45 m (150 ft.), and a weight of 100–150 t (110–165 tons).
A length of 45–60 m (150–195 ft.).
By comparison, the blue whale, which is the biggest living creature, only measured 30–33 m (100–110 ft.) in length and the Supersaurus were predicted to be about 40 m (130 ft.)long.
While A. fragillimus was relatively thin, its huge size still makes it very massive. The heaviest blue whale on record weighed about 175 t (195 tons), which is just slightly larger than the higher range of estimates for Amphicoelias. Amphicoelias would still be lighter than Bruhathkayosaurus, which is predictable to weight 175–220 t (190–240 tons) (based on a poor description of a partial fossil).
The Classification of Amphicoelias Dinosaurs
Edward Drinker Cope described his locate an 1878 issue of the American Naturalist, and named it A. fragillimus. He classified it as a diplodocid, specifically a new species in the genus Amphicoelias. McIntosh as simply a large specimen of A. latus reclassified the species in 1998.
MEASUREMENTS FOR DQ(Dana Quarry)-S(Brontodiplodocus)
Measurements taken from sufficiently exposed skull elements are as follows: Approximate length of skull - 360 mm
Length from laterally exposed edge of the left maxilla to sagital nuchal crest – 331 mm
Length of preantorbital fenestra – 29.3 mm
Length antorbital fenestra - 80 mm
Greatest width of orbit - 119.8 mm
Dorsal ventral height of orbit - 82.3 m
Length of lateraltemporal fenestra – 123 mm
Length of left lower jaw – 269. 8 mm
|Name:||Amphicoelias fragillimus ("very fragile double cavities")|
|Size:||7.8 feet long|
|Main Facts:||Amphicoelias fragillimus was relatively thin where its huge size still makes it very massive.|