Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Giant dwarf

The other week I was struck with a sudden desire to know the height of the world's tallest dwarf. The feeling passed, and I still haven't found out. But then this story caught my eye - remains of a little-ish dinosaur, Magyarosaurus dacus have been identified as a dwarf sauropod. The actual find was made in Transylvania in 1895, and at the time the discoverer suggested it may have been an 'island dwarf' species. This process is an evolutionary scaling down demonstrated now in many examples - my favourite being a species (or race, possibly) of dwarf mammoth found on Wrangel Island, to the North East of the Russian mainland, that may have only died out around 1700 BC.

For a long time it had been thought the find represented a juvenile, as there were larger 'normal' sized sauropod bones being found at the same site. Recent research, though, suggests the smaller bones were those of an adult animal and so a dwarf sauropod. It's still the size of a decent horse, this thing. It's just small for a sauropod, which usually - Supersaurus, Argentinosaurus, Diplodocus, etc - were big enough to empty a good-sized lake with a belly-flop.

3 comments:

Andrew said...

He Kexin, the notoriously young gymnast, is 1.46 cm tall, so she qualifies. However, if she was lieing about her age she will likely grow out of it. Unlikely to belly flop given training.

Matt Dale said...

1.46cm is tiny. What gymnastic discipline does she specialise in?

Andrew said...

Cheating.