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Fossils in Spain provide links to last giant dinosaurs

Fossils in Spain provide links to last giant dinosaurs

Toledo, Spain: Fossils discovered in the central Spanish province of Cuenca have enabled experts to reconstruct the dermal armour of the titanosaurs, the last of the giant dinosaurs, for the first time.

Paleontologists Jose Luis Sanz and Daniel Vidal at the Autonomous University of Madrid and Francisco Ortega of the National Distance Education University completed the reconstruction and published their study this week in the online scientific journal "PLoS ONE".

Titanosaurs, which were among the largest animals ever to walk the Earth, had extremely large bones embedded within their skin, Ortega told Efe.

These bones known as osteoderms, only between 30 and 40 of which have been discovered worldwide, a score of them at the Lo Hueco site in Cuenca, have given paleontologists fresh insight into these dinosaurs' external appearance.

The purpose of this body armour remains unclear, however, since "these animals were immense and would not have needed it" for protection, Ortega said.

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