Shop Windows to the Universe

Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.
The Sauroposeidon was even larger than this Brontiosaurus!
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Nova Development

What Animal Once Shook the Earth?
News story originally written on November 8, 1999

The answer is.... the Sauroposeidon! This name is probably not familiar, but you surely know of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Bronchiosaurus or Stegasaurus. That's right, Sauroposeidon is the latest dinosaur discovered by scientists from the University of Oklahoma. Scientists estimate the dinosaur stood 60 feet tall and weighed 60 tons! This is large enough to shake the ground. Hence, scientists named it Sauroposeidon, which means "earthquake god lizard".

"It's truly astonishing. It's arguably the largest creature ever to walk the earth,"said paleontologist Richard Cifelli of the University of Oklahoma.

Scientists say the giant lizard was similar to a giraffe, except it was 30 times bigger! It had a very long neck, with bones up to 4 feet in length. Because the bones were so long, they were filled with tiny air sacs to make the neck lighter. Otherwise, the animal wouldn't be able to lift its head to eat.

"No matter how small the dinosaur's brain was, just lifting it up was a challenge," Cifelli said. "It's remarkable how large the bones are."

Scientists say the dinosaur probably ate leaves off of trees and lived in a wet area like the Mississippi Delta. It was one of the last dinosaurs to exist, and most likely did not have any predators because it was so huge.

"By the time this guy comes along, they are dying out in North America. He is pretty much the last of his kind," Cifelli said.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, ranging from evolution, classroom research, and the need for science and math literacy!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more

Planetary Alignment 2002

In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA