Titanosaur Dinosaur Pictures and Profiles

01
of 54

Meet the Titanosaur Dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era

argentinosaurus
Sameer Prehistorica

Titanosaurs--the large, lightly armored, elephant-legged dinosaurs that succeeded the sauropods--roamed every continent on earth during the later Mesozoic Era. On the following slides, you'll find pictures and detailed profiles of over 50 titanosaurs, ranging from Aeolosaurus to Wintonotitan.

02
of 54

Adamantisaurus

adamantisaurus
Adamantisaurus. Eduardo Camarga

Name:

Adamantisaurus (Greek for "Adamantina lizard"); pronounced ADD-ah-MANT-ih-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

Up to 100 feet long and 100 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; long neck and tail; probably armor

 

Just how many titanosaurs--the lightly armored descendants of the sauropods--have been discovered in South America? Well, so heavy is the backlog that the scattered fossils of Adamantisaurus were discovered nearly half a century before anyone got around to describing and naming this huge dinosaur in 2006. While Adamantisaurus was certainly gigantic, measuring up to 100 feet from head to tail and weighing in the neighborhood of 100 tons, no one is putting this poorly understood herbivore in the record books until more fossils are found. For the record, Adamantisaurus seems to have been closely related to Aeolosaurus, and it was discovered in the same fossil beds that yielded the relatively petite Gondwanatitan.

03
of 54

Aegyptosaurus

aegyptosaurus
Aegyptosaurus. Getty Images

Name:

Aegyptosaurus (Greek for "Egyptian lizard"); pronounced ay-JIP-toe-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of northern Africa

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (100-95 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 12 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long neck and tail; relatively long legs

 

As is the case with many dinosaurs, the only fossil specimen of Aegyptosaurus was destroyed in an Allied air raid on Munich toward the end of World War II (meaning that paleontologists only had a dozen years to study this dinosaur's "type fossil", which was unearthed in Egypt in 1932). Although the original specimen is no longer available, we know that Aegyptosaurus was one of the bigger Cretaceous titanosaurs (an offshoot of the sauropods of the earlier Jurassic period), and that it, or at least its juveniles, may have figured on the lunch menu of the equally gigantic carnivore Spinosaurus.

04
of 54

Aeolosaurus

aeolosaurus
Aeolosaurus. Getty Images

Name:

Aeolosaurus (Greek for "Aeolus lizard"); pronounced AY-oh-low-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Features:

Large size; forward-pointing spines on tail bones

 

A huge number of titanosaurs--the lightly armored descendants of the sauropods--have been discovered in South America, but most of them are known from frustratingly incomplete fossil remains. Aeolosaurus is comparatively well-represented in the fossil record, with near-complete spine and leg bones and scattered "scutes" (the tough pieces of skin used for armor plating). Most intriguingly, the spines on Aeolosaurus' tail vertebrae point forward, a hint that this 10-ton herbivore may have been capable of rearing up on its hind legs to nibble on the tops of tall trees. (By the way, the name Aeolosaurus derives from Aeolus, the ancient Greek "keeper of the winds," in reference to the windy conditions in South America's Patagonia region.)

05
of 54

Agustinia

agustinia
Agustinia. Nobu Tamura

Name:

Agustinia (after paleontologist Agustin Martinelli); pronounced ah-gus-TIN-ee-ah

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Early-Middle Cretaceous (115-100 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10-20 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; spines jutting out from vertebrae

 

Although this titanosaur, or armored sauropod, was named after Agustin Martinelli (the student who discovered the "type fossil"), the driving force behind the identification of Agustinia was the famous South American paleontologist Jose F. Bonaparte. This large herbivorous dinosaur is known only by very fragmentary remains, which are sufficient nonetheless to establish that Agustinia had a series of spines along its back, which likely evolved for display purposes rather than a means of defense against predators. In this respect, Agustinia resembled another famous South American titanosaur, the earlier Amargasaurus.

06
of 54

Alamosaurus

alamosaurus
Alamosaurus. Dmitri Bogdanov

It's an odd fact that Alamosaurus wasn't named after the Alamo in Texas, but the Ojo Alamo sandstone formation in New Mexico. This titanosaur already had its name when numerous (but incomplete) fossil specimens were discovered in the Lone Star State. See an in-depth profile of Alamosaurus

07
of 54

Ampelosaurus

ampelosaurus
Ampelosaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Ampelosaurus (Greek for "vineyard lizard"); pronounced AMP-ell-oh-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of Europe

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 15-20 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Spiky armor on back, neck and tail

 

Along with the South American Saltasaurus, the European Ampelosaurus is the best-known of the armored titanosaurs (an offshoot of the sauropods that prospered during the late Cretaceous period). Unusually for a titanosaur, Ampelosaurus is represented by several more-or-less complete fossil remains, all from a single river bed, that have allowed paleontologists to reconstruct it in detail.

As titanosaurs go, Ampelosaurus didn't possess an impressively long neck or tail, though otherwise it adhered to the basic sauropod body plan. What really set this plant-eater apart was the armor along its back, which wasn't nearly as intimidating as what you'd have seen on a contemporary Ankylosaurus, but still is the most distinctive yet to be found on any sauropod. Why was Ampelosaurus covered with such thick armor plating? No doubt, as a means of defense against the voracious raptors and tyrannosaurs of the late Cretaceous period.

08
of 54

Andesaurus

andesaurus
Andesaurus. Sameer Prehistorica

Name:

Andesaurus (Greek for "Andes lizard"); pronounced AHN-day-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (100-95 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 130 feet long; weight unknown

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long neck and tail; relatively long legs

 

As is the case with many titanosaurs--the huge, sometimes lightly armored sauropods that dominated the Cretaceous period--all we know of Andesaurus comes from a few fossilized bones, including parts of the backbone and scattered ribs. From these limited remains, though, paleontologists have been able to reproduce (with a high degree of accuracy) what this herbivore must have looked like--and it may well have been huge enough (over 100 feet from head to tail) to rival another South American sauropod, Argentinosaurus (which some paleontologists classify as a "basal," or primitive, titanosaur itself).

09
of 54

Angolatitan

angolatitan
Angolatitan. University of Lisbon

Name:

Angolatitan (Greek for "Angola giant"); prounced ang-OH-la-tie-tan

Habitat:

Deserts of Africa

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (90 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

Unknown

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long neck and tail; probably light armor

 

Its name--Greek for "Angola giant"--pretty much sums up everything that's currently known about Angolatitan, the first dinosaur ever to be discovered in this war-torn African nation. Identified by the fossilized remains of its right forelimb, Angolatitan was clearly a type of titanosaur--the lightly armored, late Cretaceous descendants of the giant sauropods of the Jurassic period--and it seems to have lived in a parched desert habitat. Because the "type specimen" of Angolatitan was found in deposits that have also yielded the fossils of prehistoric sharks, it has been speculated that this individual met its doom when it blundered into shark-infested waters, though we'll probably never know for sure.

10
of 54

Antarctosaurus

antarctosaurus
Antarctosaurus. Eduardo Camarga

Name:

Antarctosaurus (Greek for "southern lizard"); pronounced ann-TARK-toe-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (80-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 60 feet to 100 feet long and 50 to 100 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Square, blunt head with peg-shaped teeth

 

The "type fossil" of the titanosaur Antarctosaurus was discovered on the southernmost tip of South America; despite its name, it's unclear if this dinosaur actually lived in nearby Antarctica (which, during the Cretaceous period, had a much warmer climate). It's also unclear if the handful of species discovered so far belong to this genus: one specimen of Antarctosaurus measures about 60 feet from head to tail, but the other, at over 100 feet, rivals Argentinosaurus in size. In fact, Antarctosaurus is such a jigsaw puzzle that scattered remains found in India and Africa may (or may not) wind up being assigned to this genus!

11
of 54

Argentinosaurus

argentinosaurus
Argentinosaurus (Wikimedia Commons).

Argentinosaurus wasn't only the biggest titanosaur that ever lived; it may well have been the biggest dinosaur, and the biggest terrestrial animal, of all time, outweighed only by some sharks and whales (which can support their weight thanks to the buoyancy of water). See 10 Facts About Argentinosaurus

12
of 54

Argyrosaurus

argyrosaurus
Argyrosaurus. Eduardo Camarga

Name:

Argyrosaurus (Greek for "silver lizard"); pronounced ARE-guy-roe-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (80 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50-60 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; long neck and tail

 

As is the case with many titanosaurs--the lightly armored descendants of the giant sauropods of the late Jurassic period--all we know about Argyrosaurus is based on a fossil fragment, in this case a single forelimb. Prowling the woodlands of South America a few million years before truly gigantic titanosaurs like Argentinosaurus and Futalognkosaurus, Argyrosaurus (the "silver lizard") wasn't quite in these dinosaurs' weight class, though it was still a sizable herbivore, measuring 50 to 60 feet from head to tail and weighing in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 tons.

13
of 54

Austrosaurus

austrosaurus
Austrosaurus. Government of Australia

Name:

Austrosaurus (Greek for "southern lizard"); pronounced AW-stro-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of Australia

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (110-100 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50-60 feet long and 15-20 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; long neck and tail

 

The story of Austrosaurus' discovery sounds like something out of a screwball comedy of the 1930's: a passenger on an Australian train noticed some strange fossils along the tracks, then notified the nearest stationmaster, who ensured that the specimen wound up in the nearby Queensland Museum. At the time, the appropriately named Austrosaurus ("southern lizard") was only the second sauropod (specifically, a titanosaur) to be discovered in Australia, after the much earlier Rhoetosaurus of the middle Jurassic period. Since this dinosaur's remains were found in an area rich in plesiosaur fossils, Austrosaurus was once assumed to have spent most of its life underwater, using its long neck to breath like a snorkel!

14
of 54

Bonitasaura

bonitasaura
Bonitasaura. fundacionazara.org.ar

Name:

Bonitasaura (Greek for "La Bonita lizard"); pronounced bo-NEAT-ah-SORE-ah

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 30 feet long and 10 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Square jaw with blade-shaped teeth

 

Generally, paleontologists have a frustrating time locating the skulls of titanosaurs, an offshoot of sauropods that flourished in the late Cretaceous period (this is because of a quirk in sauropod anatomy, whereby the skulls of dead individuals are easily detached from the rest of their skeletons). Bonitasaura is one of the rare titanosaurs to be represented by the fossil of a lower jaw, which shows an unusually square, blunt head and, more strikingly, blade-shaped structures in the back designed to shear off vegetation.

As for the rest of Bonitasaura, this titanosaur appears to have looked like your average four-legged plant eater, with its long neck and tail, thick, pillar-like legs, and bulky trunk. Paleontologists have noted a strong resemblance to Diplodocus, which implies that Bonitasaura rushed to occupy the niche left vacant by Diplodocus (and related sauropods) when that genus went extinct millions of years earlier.

15
of 54

Bruhathkayosaurus

bruhathkayosaurus
Bruhathkayosaurus. Vladimir Nikolov

The fossil fragments of Bruthathkayosaurus don't quite convincingly "add up" to a complete titanosaur; this dinosaur is only classified as one because of its size. If Bruhathkayosaurus was a titanosaur, though, it may have been bigger than Argentinosaurus! See an in-depth profile of Bruhathkayosaurus

16
of 54

Chubutisaurus

chubutisaurus
Chubutisaurus. Ezequiel Vera

Name:

Chubutisaurus (Greek for "Chubut lizard"); pronounced CHOO-boo-tih-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (110-100 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 60 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; long neck and tail

 

There's not a whole lot one can say about the early Cretaceous Chubutisaurus, except that it seems to have been a fairly typical South American titanosaur: a large, lightly armored, four-legged plant-eater with a long neck and tail. What gives this dinosaur an added twist is that its scattered remains were found near those of the fearsomely named Tyrannotitan, a 40-foot-long theropod closely related to Allosaurus. We don't know for sure if packs of Tyrannotitan took down full-grown Chubutisaurus adults, but it certainly makes for an arresting image!

17
of 54

Diamantinasaurus

diamantinasaurus
Diamantinasaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Diamantinasaurus (Greek for "Diamantina River lizard"); pronounced dee-ah-man-TEEN-ah-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of Australia

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (100 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; probable armor along back

 

Titanosaurs, the armored descendants of the sauropods, could be found all over the world during the Cretaceous period. The latest example from Australia is Diamantinasaurus, which is represented by a fairly complete, albeit headless, fossil specimen. Aside from its basic body shape, no one knows exactly what Diamantinasaurus looked like, although (like other titanosaurs) its back was probably lined with scaly armor plating. If its scientific name (which means "Diamantina River lizard") is too much of a mouthful, you may want to call this dinosaur by its Australian nickname, Matilda.

18
of 54

Dreadnoughtus

dreadnoughtus
Dreadnoughtus. Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Name

Dreadnoughtus (after the battleships known as "dreadnoughts"); pronounced dred-NAW-tuss

Habitat

Plains of South America

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (77 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 85 feet long and 60 tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Enormous size; long neck and tail

 

Don't let the headlines fool you; Dreadnoughtus isn't the biggest dinosaur ever to be discovered, not by a long shot. It is, however, the largest dinosaur--specifically, a titanosaur--for which we have indisputable fossil evidence of its length and weight, the bones of two separate individuals allowing researchers to piece together 70 percent of its "type fossil." (Other titanosaur genera that lived in the same region of late Cretaceous Argentina, such as Argentinosaurus and Futalognkosaurus, were indisputably bigger than Dreadnoughtus, but their restored skeletons are far less complete.) You have to admit, though, that this dinosaur has been given an impressive name, after the gigantic, armored "dreadnought" battleships of the early 20th century.

19
of 54

Epachthosaurus

epachthosaurus
Epachthosaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Epachthosaurus (Greek for "heavy lizard"); pronounced eh-PACK-tho-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 60 feet long and 25-30 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Strong back and rear; lack of armor

 

Not all the dinosaurs that flourished at the end of the Cretaceous period (right before the K/T Extinction) represented the pinnacle of evolution. A good example is Epachthosaurus, which paleontologists classify as a titanosaur, even though it appears to have lacked the armor plating that usually characterized these late, geographically widespread sauropods. The basal Epachthosaurus seems to have been a "throwback" to earlier sauropod anatomy, especially as concerned the primitive structure of its vertebrae, yet it still somehow managed to coexist alongside more advanced members of the breed.

20
of 54

Erketu

erketu
Erketu. American Museum of Natural History

Name:

Erketu (after a Mongolian deity); pronounced ur-KEH-too

Habitat:

Woodlands of central Asia

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (120 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and five tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Moderate size; extremely long neck

 

All but a handful of sauropods--as well as their lightly armored descendants of the Cretaceous period, the titanosaurs--possessed extremely long necks, and Erketu was no exception: the neck of this Mongolian titanosaur was about 25 feet long, which may not seem all that unusual until you consider that Erketu itself measured only 50 feet from head to tail! In fact, Erketu is the current record holder for neck/body-length ratio, outclassing even the extremely long-necked (but much bigger) Mamenchisaurus. As you may have guessed from its anatomy, Erketu probably spent most of its time browsing the leaves of high trees, grub that would have been left untouched by shorter-necked herbivores.

21
of 54

Futalognkosaurus

futalognkosaurus
Futalognkosaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Futalognkosaurus has been hailed, correctly or otherwise, as "the most complete giant dinosaur known so far." (Other titanosaurs appear to have been even bigger, but are represented by much less complete fossil remains.) See an in-depth profile of Futalognkosaurus

22
of 54

Gondwanatitan

gondwanatitan
Gondwanatitan. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Gondwanatitan (Greek for "Gondwana giant"); pronounced gone-DWAN-ah-tie-tan

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 25 feet long and five tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Relatively small size; advanced skeletal features

 

Gondwanatitan is one of those dinosaurs that wasn't quite as big as its name implies: "Gondwana" was the huge southern continent that dominated the earth during the Cretaceous period, and "titan" is Greek for "giant." Put them together, though, and you have a relatively small titanosaur, only about 25 feet long (compared to lengths of 100 feet or more for other South American sauropods like Argentinosaurus and Futalognkosaurus). Other than its modest size, Gondwanatitan is notable for possessing certain anatomical features (especially involving its tail and tibia) that appear to be more "evolved" than those of other titanosaurs of its time, especially the contemporary (and comparatively primitive) Epachthosaurus from South America.

23
of 54

Huabeisaurus

huabeisaurus
Huabeisaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Huabeisaurus (Greek for "Huabei lizard"); pronounced HWA-bay-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50-60 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; extremely long neck

 

Paleontologists are still trying to figure out the evolutionary relationships of the numerous sauropods and titanosaurs of the later Mesozoic Era. Discovered in northern China in 2000, Huabeisaurus won't allay any of the confusion: the paleontologists who described this dinosaur maintain that it belongs to an entirely new family of titanosaurs, while other experts note its similarity to controversial sauropods like Opisthocoelicaudia. However it winds up being classified, Huabeisaurus was clearly one of the bigger dinosaurs of late Cretaceous Asia, which probably used its extra-long neck to nibble the high leaves of trees.

24
of 54

Huanghetitan

huanghetitan
Huanghetitan (Wikimedia Commons).

Name

Huanghetitan (Chinese/Greek for "Yellow River titan"); pronounced WONG-heh-tie-tan

Habitat

Plains of eastern Asia

Historical Period

Middle Cretaceous (100-95 million years ago)

Size and Weight

Up to 100 feet long and 100 tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Enormous size; long neck and tail

 

Discovered near the Yellow River in China in 2004, and described two years later, Huanghetitan was a classic titanosaur: the enormous, lightly armored, quadrupedal dinosaurs that had a worldwide distribution throughout the Cretaceous period. To judge by this plant-eater's ten-foot-long ribs, Huanghetitan possessed one of the deepest body cavities of any titanosaur yet identified, and this (combined with its length) has led some paleontologists to nominate it as one of the largest dinosaurs that ever lived. We don't quite know that for sure, but we do know that Huanghetitan was closely related to another Asian colossus, Daxiatitan.

25
of 54

Hypselosaurus

hypselosaurus
Hypselosaurus. Nobu Tamura

Name:

Hypselosaurus (Greek for "high-ridged lizard"); pronounced HIP-sell-oh-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of Western Europe

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 30 feet long and 10-20 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long neck and tail; unusually thick legs

 

As an example of how scattered and fragmentary the remains of some titanosaurs are, paleontologists have identified 10 separate specimens of Hypselosaurus, yet they've still only been able to roughly reconstruct what this dinosaur looked like. It's unclear if Hypselosaurus had armor (a feature shared by most other titanosaurs), but its legs were clearly thicker than those of most of its breed, and it had relatively small and weak teeth. Its odd anatomical quirks aside, Hypselosaurus is most famous for its fossilized eggs, which measure a full foot in diameter. Fittingly for this dinosaur, though, even the provenance of these eggs is subject to dispute; some experts think they actually belong to the huge, prehistoric, flightless bird Gargantuavis.

26
of 54

Isisaurus

isisaurus
Isisaurus. Nobu Tamura

Name:

Isisaurus (acronym for "Indian Statistical Institute lizard"); pronounced EYE-sis-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 55 feet long and 15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Short, horizontally oriented neck; strong forelimbs

 

When its bones were dug up in 1997, Isisaurus was identified as a species of Titanosaurus; only after further analysis was this titanosaur assigned its own genus, named after the Indian Statistical Institute (which houses many dinosaur fossils). Reconstructions are necessarily fanciful, but by some accounts Isisaurus may have looked like a giant hyena, with long, powerful front limbs and a relatively short neck held parallel to the ground. Also, analysis of this dinosaur's coprolites has revealed fungal remains from several varieties of plants, giving us good insight into Isisaurus' diet.

27
of 54

Jainosaurus

jainosaurus
Jainosaurus. Patreon

Name

Jainosaurus (after Indian paleontologist Sohan Lal Jain); pronounced JANE-oh-SORE-us

Habitat

Woodlands of central Asia

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 50 feet long and 15-20 tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Long neck and tail; light body armor

 

It's rather unusual for a paleontologist who has had a dinosaur named after him to insist that the genus is a nomen dubium--but that's the case with Jainosaurus, whose honoree, Indian paleontologist Sohan Lal Jain, believes this dinosaur should actually be classified as a species (or specimen) of Titanosaurus. Initially assigned to Antarctosaurus, a dozen years after its type fossil was discovered in India in 1920, Jainosaurus was a typical titanosaur, a medium-sized ("only" about 20 ton) plant eater covered with light body armor. It was probably closely related to another Indian titanosaur of the late Cretaceous period, Isisaurus.

28
of 54

Magyarosaurus

magyarosaurus
Magyarosaurus. Getty Images

Name:

Magyarosaurus (Greek for "Magyar lizard"); pronounced MAG-yar-oh-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of central Europe

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 20 feet long and one ton

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Unusually small size; long neck and tail

 

Named after the Magyars--one of the ancient tribes that settled modern-day Hungary--Magyarosaurus is a striking example of what biologists call "insular dwarfism": the tendency of animals confined to isolated ecosystems to grow to smaller sizes than their relatives elsewhere. Whereas most titanosaurs of the late Cretaceous period were truly enormous beasts (measuring anywhere from 50 to 100 feet long and weighing 15 to 100 tons), Magyarosaurus was a mere 20 feet long from head to tail and weighed one or two tons, tops. It's possible that this elephant-sized titanosaur spent most of its time in low-lying swamps, dipping its head beneath the water to find tasty vegetation.

29
of 54

Malawisaurus

malawisaurus
Malawisaurus. Royal Ontario Museum

Name:

Malawisaurus (Greek for "Malawi lizard"); pronounced mah-LAH-wee-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of Africa

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (125-115 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 40 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; armor plating on back

 

More so than the still-mysterious Titanosaurus, Malawisaurus can arguably be considered the "type specimen" for titanosaurs, the lightly armored descendants of the giant sauropods of the Jurassic period. Malawisaurus is one of the few titanosaurs for which we have direct evidence of a skull (albeit only a partial one that includes most of the upper and lower jaw), and fossilized scutes have been found in the vicinity of its remains, evidence of the armor plating that once lined this herbivore's neck and back. Incidentally, Malawisaurus was once considered a species of the now-invalid genus Gigantosaurus--not to be confused with Giganotosaurus (note that extra "o"), which wasn't a titanosaur at all but a large theropod.

30
of 54

Maxakilisaurus

maxakalisaurus
Maxakalisaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Maxakalisaurus (Greek for "Maxakali lizard"); pronounced MAX-ah-KAL-ee-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (80 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50-60 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long neck and tail; ridged teeth

 

New genera of titanosaurs--the lightly armored descendants of the sauropods--are being discovered in South America all the time; Maxakilisaurus is special in that it's one of the largest members of this populous breed to be discovered in Brazil. This herbivore was notable for its relatively long neck (even for a titanosaur) and its distinctive, ridged teeth, doubtless an adaptation to the type of foliage it subsisted on. Maxakalisaurus shared its habitat with--and was probably closely related to--two other titanosaurs of late Cretaceous South America, Adamantinasaurus and Gondwanatitan.

31
of 54

Mendozasaurus

mendozasaurus
Mendozasaurus. Nobu Tamura

Name:

Maxakalisaurus (Greek for "Maxakali lizard"); pronounced MAX-ah-KAL-ee-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (80 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50-60 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long neck and tail; ridged teeth

 

New species of titanosaurs--the lightly armored descendants of the sauropods--are being discovered in South America all the time; Maxakilisaurus is special in that it's one of the largest members of this populous breed to be discovered in Brazil. This herbivore was notable for its relatively long neck (even for a titanosaur) and its distinctive, ridged teeth, doubtless an adaptation to the type of foliage it subsisted on. Maxakalisaurus shared its habitat with--and was probably closely related to--two other titanosaurs of late Cretaceous South America, Adamantinasaurus and Gondwanatitan.

32
of 54

Nemegtosaurus

nemegtosaurus
Nemegtosaurus (Wikimedia Commons).

Name:

Nemegtosaurus (Greek for "Nemegt Formation lizard"); pronounced neh-MEG-toe-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (80-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 40 feet long and 20 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long, narrow skull with peg-shaped teeth

 

Nemegtosaurus is a bit of an anomaly: whereas most skeletons of titanosaurs (the sauropods of the late Cretaceous period) are missing their skulls, this genus has been reconstructed from a single partial skull and part of the neck. The head of Nemegtosaurus has been likened to that of Diplodocus: it's small and relatively narrow, with small teeth and an unimpressive lower jaw. Aside from its noggin, though, Nemegtosaurus appears to have been similar to other Asian titanosaurs, such as Aegyptosaurus and Rapetosaurus. It's an entirely different dinosaur from the similarly named Nemegtomaia, a feathered dino-bird.

33
of 54

Neuquensaurus

neuquensaurus
Neuquensaurus. Getty Images

Name:

Neuquensaurus (Greek for "Neuquen lizard"); pronounced NOY-kwen-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long neck and tail; light armor plating

 

One of the innumerable titanosaurs--the lightly armored descendants of the sauropods--to be discovered in South America, Neuquensaurus was a medium-sized member of the breed, "only" weighing 10 to 15 tons or so. Like most titanosaurs, Neuquensaurus had light armor coating its neck, back and tail--to the extent that it was initially misidentified as a genus of ankylosaur--and it was also once classified as a species of the mysterious Titanosaurus. It may yet turn out that Neuquensaurus was the same dinosaur as the slightly earlier Saltasaurus, in which case the latter name would take precedence.

34
of 54

Opisthocoelicaudia

opisthocoelicaudia
Opisthocoelicaudia. Getty Images

Name:

Opisthocoelicaudia (Greek for "rear-facing tail socket"); pronounced OH-pis-tho-SEE-lih-CAW-dee-ah

Habitat:

Woodlands of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (80-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 40 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Light armor; long neck and tail; oddly shaped tail vertebrae

 

If you've never heard of Opisthocoelicaudia, you can thank the literal-minded paleontologist who named this dinosaur in 1977 after an obscure feature of its tail vertebrae (long story short, the "socket" part of these bones pointed backward, rather than forward as in most sauropods discovered up to that time). Its unpronounceable name aside, Opisthocoelicaudia was a small- to medium-sized, lightly armored titanosaur of late Cretaceous central Asia, which may yet turn out to have been a species of the better-known Nemegtosaurus. As is the case with most sauropods and titanosaurs, no fossil evidence exists of this dinosaur's head.

35
of 54

Ornithopsis

ornithopsis
Ornithopsis. Getty Images

Name

Ornithopsis (Greek for "bird face"); pronounced OR-nih-THOP-sis

Habitat

Woodlands of western Europe

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (125 million years ago)

Size and Weight

Unknown

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Moderate size; long neck and tail; possibly armor

 

It's amazing how many waves a single fossilized vertebra can make. When it was first discovered in the Isle of Wight, in the mid-19th century, Ornithopsis was identified by the British paleontologist Harry Seeley as an obscure "missing link" between birds, dinosaurs and pterosaurs (hence its name, "bird face," even though the type fossil lacked a skull). A few years later, Richard Owen threw his own brand of murk on the situation by assigning Ornithopsis to Iguanodon, Bothriospondylus and an obscure sauropod named Chondrosteosaurus. Today, all we know about the original type fossil of Ornithoposis is that it belonged to a titanosaur, which may (or may not) have been closely related to fellow English genera like Cetiosaurus.

36
of 54

Overosaurus

overosaurus
Overosaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name

Overosaurus ("Cerro Overo lizard"); pronounced OH-veh-roe-SORE-us

Habitat

Plains of South America

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (80 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 30 feet long and 5 tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Small size; long neck and tail

 

If you had a dollar for every titanosaur discovered in modern-day South America, you'd have enough for a very nice birthday present. What makes Overosaurus (announced to the world in 2013) unique is that it seems to have been a "dwarf" titanosaur, measuring 30 feet from head to tail and only weighing in the neighborhood of five tons (by comparison, the much more famous Argentinosaurus weighed anywhere from 50 to 100 tons). An examination of its scattered remains reveals Overosaurus to be closely related to two other, larger South American titanosaurs, Gondwanatitan and Aeolosaurus.

37
of 54

Panamericansaurus

panamericansaurus
The femur of Panamericansaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name

Panamericansaurus (after the Pan American Energy Co.); pronounced PAN-ah-MEH-rih-can-SORE-us

Habitat

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (75-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 30 feet long and five tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Relatively small size; long neck and tail

 

Panamericansaurus is one of those dinosaurs whose name length is inversely proportional it its body length: this late Cretaceous titanosaur "only" measured about 30 feet from head to tail and weighed in the vicinity of five tons, making it a true shrimp compared to truly massive titanosaurs like Argentinosaurus. A close relative of Aeolosaurus, Panamericansaurus was named not after the now-defunct airline but the Pan American Energy Co. of South America, which sponsored the Argentine dig where this dinosaur's remains were discovered.

38
of 54

Paralititan

paralititan
Paralititan. Dmitri Bogdanov

Name:

Paralititan (Greek for "tidal giant"); pronounced pah-RA-lih-tie-tan

Habitat:

Swamps of northern Africa

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (95 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 100 feet long and 70 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Enormous size; long neck and tail

 

Paralititan is a recent addition to the list of enormous titanosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous period. The remains of this giant plant-eater (notably an upper arm bone over five feet long) were discovered in Egypt in 2001; paleontologists believe that it may have been the second-largest sauropod in history, behind the truly humongous Argentinosaurus.

One odd thing about Paralititan is that it prospered during a period (the middle Cretaceous) when other titanosaur genera were slowly going extinct, and giving way to the better-armored members of the breed that succeeded them. It seems that the climate of northern Africa, where Paralititan lived, was particularly productive of lush vegetation, tons of which this giant dinosaur needed to eat every day.

39
of 54

Phuwiangosaurus

phuwiangosaurus
Phuwiangosaurus. Government of Thailand

Name:

Phuwiangosaurus (Greek for "Phu Wiang lizard"); pronounced FOO-wee-ANG-oh-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of eastern Asia

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (130-120 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 75 feet long and 50 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Narrow teeth; long neck; oddly shaped vertebrae

 

Titanosaurs--the lightly armored descendants of the sauropods--were astonishingly widespread during the Cretaceous period, to the extent that just about every country on earth can lay claim to its own titanosaur genus. Thailand's entry in the titanosaur sweepstakes is Phuwiangosaurus, which in some ways (long neck, light armor) was a typical member of the breed, but in others (narrow teeth, strangely shaped vertebrae) stood apart from the pack. One possible explanation for the distinctive anatomy of Phuwiangosaurus is that this dinosaur lived in a part of southeast Asia that was separated from the bulk of Eurasia during the early Cretaceous period; its closest relative seems to have been Nemegtosaurus.

40
of 54

Puertasaurus

puertasaurus
Puertasaurus. Eduardo Camarga

Name:

Puertasaurus (Greek for "Puerta's lizard"); pronounced PWER-tah-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

Up to 130 feet long and 100 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Enormous size; long neck and tail

 

Although Argentinosaurus is the best-attested giant titanosaur of late Cretaceous South America, it was far from the only one of its kind--and it may well have been eclipsed in size by Puertasaurus, the huge vertebrae of which hint at a dinosaur that measured over 100 feet long from head to tail and weighed as much as 100 tons. (Another South American titanosaur in this size class was Futalognkosaurus, and an Indian genus, Bruhathkayosaurus, may have been even bigger.) Since titanosaurs are known from frustratingly scattered and incomplete fossil remains, though, the true title-holder for "world's biggest dinosaur" remains undecided.

41
of 54

Quaesitosaurus

quaesitosaurus
Quaesitosaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Quaesitosaurus (Greek for "extraordinary lizard"); pronounced KWAY-sit-oh-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of Central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (85-70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 75 feet long and 50-60 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small head with large ear openings

 

Like another titanosaur of central Asia, Nemegtosaurus, most of what we know about Quaesitosaurus has been reconstructed from a single, incomplete skull (the rest of this dinosaur's body has been deduced from the more complete fossils of other sauropods). In many ways, Quaesitosaurus appears to have been a typical titanosaur, with its elongated neck and tail and bulky body (which may or may not have sported rudimentary armor). Based on analysis of the skull--which has unusually large ear openings--Quaesitosaurus may have had sharp hearing, though it's unclear if this differentiated it from other titanosaurs of the late Cretaceous period.

42
of 54

Rapetosaurus

rapetosaurus
Rapetosaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Seventy million years ago, when Rapetosaurus lived, the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar had only recently separated from continental Africa, so it's likely that this titanosaur evolved from African sauropods that lived a few million years earlier. See an in-depth profile of Rapetosaurus

43
of 54

Rinconsaurus

rinconsaurus
Rinconsaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name

Rinconsaurus ("Rincon lizard"); pronounced RINK-on-SORE-us

Habitat

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (95-90 million years ago)

Size

About 35 feet long and five tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Small size; long neck and tail; light armor plating

 

Not all titanosaurs were equally titanic. A case in point is Rinconsaurus, which measured only 35 feet from head to tail and weighed about five tons--in stark contrast to the 100-ton weights achieved by other South American titanosaurs (notably Argentinosaurus, which was also lived in Argentina during the middle to late Cretaceous period). Clearly, the shrimpy Rinconsaurus evolved to feed on a particular type of low-to-the-ground vegetation, which it stripped with its numerous, chisel-like teeth; its closest relatives appear to have been Aeolosaurus and Gondwanatitan.

44
of 54

Saltasaurus

saltasaurus
Saltasaurus. Alain Beneteau

What set Saltasaurus apart from other titanosaurs was the unusually thick, bony armor lining its back--an adaptation that caused paleontologists to initially mistake this dinosaur's remains for those of the entirely unrelated Ankylosaurus. See an in-depth profile of Saltasaurus

45
of 54

Savannasaurus

savannasaurus
Savannasaurus. T. Tischler

Name

Savannasaurus ("Savannah lizard"); pronounced sah-VAN-oh-SORE-us

Habitat

Woodlands of Australia

Historical Period

Middle Cretaceous (95 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 50 feet long and 10 tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Moderate size; quadrupedal posture

 

It's funny how the discovery of a new genus of titanosaur--the giant, lightly armored dinosaurs that spread around the globe during the Cretaceous period--invariably generates breathless "biggest dinosaur ever!" newspaper headlines. It's even funnier in the case of Savannasaurus, since this Australian titanosaur was modestly sized at best: only about 50 feet from head to tail and 10 tons, making it almost an order of magnitude less hefty than truly gigantic plant-eaters like the South American Argentinosaurus and Futalognkosaurus.

All kidding aside, the important thing about Savannasaurus isn't its size, but its evolutionary kinship with other titanosaurs. An analysis of Savannasaurus and its closely related cousin Diamantinasaurus leads to the conclusion that, between 105 and 100 million years ago, titanosaurs migrated from South America to Australia, by way of Antarctica. What's more, since we know that titanosaurs lived in South America well before the middle Cretaceous period, there must have been some physical barrier preventing their migrating any earlier--perhaps a river or mountain range that bisected the megacontinent Gondwana, or a too-frigid climate in this landmass' polar regions in which no dinosaur, however large, could hope to survive. 

46
of 54

Sulaimanisaurus

sulaimanisaurus
Sulaimanisaurus. Xenoglyph

Name

Sulaimanisaurus ("Solomon's lizard"); pronounced SOO-lay-man-ih-SORE-us

Habitat

Woodlands of central Asia

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight

Undisclosed

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Long neck and tail; quadrupedal posture; light armor plating

 

Historically, Pakistan hasn't yielded much in the way of dinosaurs (but, thanks to the vagaries of geology, this country is rich in prehistoric whales). The late Cretaceous titanosaur Sulaimanisaurus was "diagnosed" by Pakistani paleontologist Sadiq Malkani from limited remains; Malkani has also named the titanosaur genera Khetranisaurus, Pakisaurus, Balochisaurus and Marisaurus, on the basis of equally fragmentary evidence. Whether these titanosaurs--or Malkani's proposed family for them, the "pakisauridae"--gain any traction will depend on future fossil discoveries; for now, most are considered dubious.

47
of 54

Tangvayosaurus

tangvayosaurus
Tangvayosaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name

Tangvayosaurus ("Tang Vay lizard"); pronounced TANG-vay-oh-SORE-us

Habitat

Plains of Asia

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (110 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 50 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Long neck and tail; quadrupedal posture; light armor plating

 

One of the few dinosaurs ever to be discovered in Laos, Tangvayosaurus was a medium-sized, lightly armored titanosaur--the family of lightly armored sauropods that achieved a worldwide distribution by the end of the Mesozoic Era. Like its close and slightly earlier relative Phuwiangosaurus (which was discovered in nearby Thailand), Tangvayosaurus lived at a time when the very first titanosaurs were beginning to evolve from their sauropod ancestors, and had yet to attain the gigantic sizes of later genera like the South American Argentinosaurus.

48
of 54

Tapuiasaurus

tapuiasaurus
Tapuiasaurus (Nobu Tamura).

Name

Tapuiasaurus (Greek for "Tapuia lizard"); pronounced TAP-wee-ah-SORE-us

Habitat

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (120 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 40 feet long and 8-10 tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Moderate size; long neck and tail

 

It was during the early Cretaceous period that sauropods started evolving the thick, knobby armor that characterized the first titanosaurs. Dating to about 120 million years ago, the South American Tapuiasaurus was probably only recently sprung from its sauropod ancestors, hence this titanosaur's modest size (only about 40 feet from head to tail) and presumably rudimentary armor. Tapuiasaurus is one of the few titanosaurs to be represented in the fossil record by a near-complete skull (discovered recently in Brazil), and it was a distant forebear of the better-known Asian titanosaur Nemegtosaurus.

49
of 54

Tastavinsaurus

tastavinsaurus
Tastavinsaurus. Nobu Tamura

Name:

Tastavinsaurus (Greek for "Rio Tastavins lizard"); pronounced TASS-tah-vin-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of western Europe

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (125 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Moderate size; quadrupedal posture; long neck and tail

 

Pretty much every continent on earth witnessed its share of titanosaurs--the large, lightly armored descendants of the sauropods--during the Cretaceous period. Along with Aragosaurus, Tastavinsaurus was one of the few titanosaurs known to have lived in Spain; this 50-foot-long, 10-ton plant-eater had some anatomical characteristics in common with Pleurocoelus, the obscure state dinosaur of Texas, but otherwise it remains poorly understood thanks to limited fossil remains. (As to why these dinosaurs evolved their armor in the first place, that was doubtless a reaction to the evolutionary pressure of pack-hunting tyrannosaurs and raptors.)

50
of 54

Titanosaurus

titanosaurus
A Titanosaurus egg. Wikimedia Commons

As often happens with eponymous dinosaurs, we know much less about Titanosaurus than the family of titanosaurs to which it gave its name--though we can say for sure that this huge plant-eater laid equally huge, bowling-ball-sized eggs. See an in-depth profile of Titanosaurus

51
of 54

Uberabatitan

uberabatitan
Uberabatitan. Dinosaurs of Brazil

Name:

Uberabatitan (Greek for "Uberaba lizard"); pronounced OO-beh-RAH-bah-tie-tan

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

Undetermined, but large

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; long neck and tail

 

Unusually for a titanosaur--the large, lightly armored descendants of the giant sauropods of the Jurassic period--Uberabatitan is represented by three separate fossil specimens of different sizes, all found in the Brazilian geological formation known as the Bauru Group. What makes this cacaphonously named dinosaur special is that it's the youngest titanosaur yet to be discovered in this region, "only" about 70 to 65 million years old (and thus may have still been roaming around when the dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period).

52
of 54

Vahiny

vahiny
Vahiny. Getty Images

Name

Vahiny (Malagasy for "traveler"); pronounced VIE-in-nee

Habitat

Woodlands of Madagascar

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight

Undisclosed

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Long, muscular neck; quadrupedal posture

 

For years, Rapetosaurus (the "mischievous lizard") was the only titanosaur known to have lived on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar--and it was a pretty well-attested dinosaur at that, represented by thousands of scattered fossils dating to the late Cretaceous period. In 2014, though, researchers announced the existence of a second, rarer genus of titanosaur, which was closely related not to Rapetosaurus but to the Indian titanosaurs Jainosaurus and Isisaurus. There's still a lot we don't know about Vahiny (Malagasy for "traveler"), a situation that should hopefully change as more of its fossils are identified.

53
of 54

Wintonotitan

wintonotitan
Wintonotitan. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Wintonotitan (Greek for "Winton giant"); pronounced win-TONE-oh-tie-tan

Habitat:

Woodlands of Australia

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (100 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10 tons

Diet:

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; quadrupedal posture; probably armor plating on back

 

For the last 75 years or so, Australia has been a relative wasteland when it comes to sauropod discoveries. That all changed in 2009, with the announcement of not one, but two new sauropod genera: Diamantinasaurus and Wintonititan, comparably sized titanosaurs represented by sparse fossil remains. Like most titanosaurs, Wintonititan probably had a rudimentary layer of armored skin along its back, the better to deter the large, hungry theropods of its Australian ecosystem. (As to how titanosaurs wound up in Australia in the first place, tens of millions of years ago, this continent was part of the giant landmass Pangaea.)

54
of 54

Yongjinglong

yongjinglong
Yongjinglong (Wikimedia Commons).

Name

Yongjinglong (Chinese for "Yongjing dragon"); pronounced yon-jing-LONG

Habitat

Woodlands of eastern Asia

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (130-125 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 50-60 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet

Plants

Distinguishing Characteristics

Long neck and tail; light armor plating

 

Next to ceratopsians--the horned, frilled dinosaurs native to North America and Eurasia--titanosaurs count among some the most common fossil discoveries. Yongjinglong is typical of its breed in that it was "diagnosed" on the basis of a partial skeleton (amounting to a single shoulder blade, some of the ribs and a handful of vertebrae), and its head is entirely missing except for a few teeth. Like other titanosaurs, Yongjinglong was an early Cretaceous offshoot of the giant sauropods of the late Jurassic period, lumbering its 10-ton bulk across the swampy expanses of Asia in search of tasty vegetation.