Argentine scientists involved in the actual dig describe one of modern paleontology’s most titanic discoveries.
“Excuse me,” says a Patagonian gaucho, stopping to view a dinosaur exhibit on a visit to town. “I found a bone just like that one on my ranch. But it’s much bigger than that one.” And so it is, as investigating paleontologist José (lead author Carballido) demonstrates in a memorable, money-shot illustration by Gigena, by lying down beside a 7-foot, 10-inch fossil femur—the largest of over 180 bones to be excavated, carefully preserved, hauled away from their remote site, and copied so that an exact replica of the humongous new species, Patagotitan mayorum, could be assembled. Running sidebar definitions and explanations of, for instance, how scientists can estimate a dinosaur’s body mass by measuring its arm and leg bones and what a single fossil tooth can tell scientists about a dinosaur’s eating habits enhance the third-person account, as does the mix of photos and painted views of women and (mostly unshaven) men at work in the field and lab. The story and pictures culminate in a jaw-dropping double-page–spread portrait of the finished dino model. “It’s the biggest dinosaur ever found,” concludes José’s partner Diego (co-author Pol). “For now,” replies José.
Everyone who reads this case study in paleontology’s methods and awesome rewards will want to grow up to be a dinosaur scientist. (jacket poster) (Informational picture book. 6-9)