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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 87 Ma
Futalognkosaurus Royal Ontario Museum.jpg
Mounted replica skeleton, Royal Ontario Museum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Clade: Titanosauria
Clade: Lithostrotia
Clade: Lognkosauria
Genus: Futalognkosaurus
Calvo et al., 2007
Type species
Futalognkosaurus dukei
Calvo et al., 2007

Futalognkosaurus (/ˌftəˌlɒŋkˈsɔːrəs/ FOO-tə-long-ko-SAW-rəs;[1] meaning "giant chief lizard") is a genus of titanosaurian dinosaur. The herbivorous[2] Futalognkosaurus lived approximately 87 million years ago in the Portezuelo Formation, in what is now Argentina, of the Coniacian stage of the late Cretaceous Period. The fish and fossilized leaf debris on the site, together with other dinosaur remains, suggest a warm tropical climate in Patagonia during this period.


Size comparison

The holotype of the type species, Futalognkosaurus dukei, was originally estimated at 32–34 metres (105–112 ft) in length.[3] In 2008 this was down-sized to 26 metres (85 ft).[4] Holtz estimated it at 28 metres (92 ft).[5] An estimate by Gregory S. Paul was that Futalognkosaurus had a maximum length of 30 metres (98 ft).[6] Its weight has been estimated between 38.1–50 tonnes (42.0–55.1 short tons).[7][8][6] Its long neck contained 14 vertebrae, and was over a meter deep in places, due to its extremely tall neural spines which had a distinctive "shark-fin" shape. The hips were also extremely large and bulky, reaching a width of nearly 3 metres (9.8 ft).[9] The alternate early spelling "Futalongkosaurus" may be found in some press reports and on websites.


Its fossils were found in the Neuquén province of Argentina in 2000, and were scientifically described in 2007. The genus name is derived from the local indigenous language Mapudungun and is pronounced foo-ta-logn-koh-sohr-us: "futa" means "giant" and "lognko" means "chief".[3] It is based on three fossil specimens, yielding an estimated 70% of the skeleton in total. The fossil team described the find as "the most complete giant dinosaur known so far".


In their phylogenetic analysis, Calvo and colleagues found Futalognkosaurus to be a member of the Titanosauridae (or Lithostrotia, depending on the definitions being used), and most closely related to Mendozasaurus. They defined a new clade for the group containing both Futalognkosaurus and Mendozasaurus, their common ancestor, and all descendants, which they named the Lognkosauria.[3] The authors found Malawisaurus to be the sister group of this new clade. Another, much later member of Lognkosauria is the colossal Puertasaurus,[10] which may be the biggest dinosaur so far known. Besides Futalognkosaurus, other fauna was discovered in the Futalognko site, including two further undescribed sauropod taxa, specimens of Megaraptor, Unenlagia and some pleurodiran turtles.


The following cladogram shows the placement of Futalognkosaurus among Titanosauria:[3]















Loma Lindero sp.










  1. ^ AP Pronunciation Guide D–K[dead link]
  2. ^ Pellim, Roberto (2007-10-19). "Nieuwe dinosoort". Metro (in Dutch). p. 7.
  3. ^ a b c d Calvo, J.O., Porfiri, J.D., González-Riga, B.J., and Kellner, A.W. (2007) "A new Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem from Gondwana with the description of a new sauropod dinosaur". Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 79(3): 529-41.[1]
  4. ^ Calvo, J.O.; Juárez Valieri, R.D. & Porfiri, J.D. 2008. Re-sizing giants: estimation of body length of Futalognkosaurus dukei and implications for giant titanosaurian sauropods. 3° Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontología de Vertebrados. Neuquén, Argentina.
  5. ^ Holtz, Thomas R. Jr. (2008) Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages Supplementary Information
  6. ^ a b Paul, G.S., 2016, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, 2nd Edn, p. 233, Princeton University Press
  7. ^ González Riga, Bernardo J.; Lamanna, Matthew C.; Ortiz David, Leonardo D.; Calvo, Jorge O.; Coria, Juan P. (2016). "A gigantic new dinosaur from Argentina and the evolution of the sauropod hind foot". Scientific Reports. 6: 19165. Bibcode:2016NatSR...619165G. doi:10.1038/srep19165. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 4725985. PMID 26777391.
  8. ^ Benson, R. B. J.; Campione, N. S. E.; Carrano, M. T.; Mannion, P. D.; Sullivan, C.; Upchurch, P.; Evans, D. C. (2014). "Rates of Dinosaur Body Mass Evolution Indicate 170 Million Years of Sustained Ecological Innovation on the Avian Stem Lineage". PLoS Biology. 12 (5): e1001853. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001853. PMC 4011683. PMID 24802911.
  9. ^ "Futalognkosaurus was one big-ass sauropod". 2009-10-20.
  10. ^ Calvo, J. O.; Porfiri, J. D.; González Riga, B. J.; Kellner, A. W. A. (2007). "Anatomy of Futalognkosaurus dukei Calvo, Porfiri, González Riga, & Kellner, 2007 (Dinosauria, Titanosauridae) from the Neuquen Group, Late Cretaceous, Patagonia, Argentina". Arquivos do Museu Nacional. 65 (4): 511–526.

External links

  • Dinosaur Mailing List entry which discusses the genus
  • Fósiles hallados en el Centro Paleontológico Lago Barreales - contains images of Futalognkosaurus (in Spanish)
  • BBC Report of Monday, 15 October 2007 - includes a photo of some of the dinosaur's bones, attributed to National Museum of Brazil.
  • Illustration of Futalognkosaurus by paleoartist Julius T. Csotonyi
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