Baby dino bones give insight on ancient species

Relative size of baby titanosaur
A new specimen of a baby Rapetosaurus krausei sheds light on early life in the smallest stage of one of the largest dinosaurs. Here, the relative height of the baby sauropod compared to an adult woman.
Courtesy of Macalester Colllege

Baby dinosaur bones are giving scientists new understanding of a species that lived 67 million years ago.

Macalester paleontologist Kristi Curry Rogers
Macalester paleontologist Kristi Curry Rogers displays a leg bone (fibula) discovered on a dig in Madagascar from a baby Rapetosaurus, a 67-million year old dinosaur.
Tom Crann | MPR News

The rare find was led by Kristi Curry Rogers of St. Paul's Macalester College. It was published this week in the journal Science.

The bones come from a baby titanosaur, or Rapetosaurus. They were huge dinosaurs that grew to over 50 feet long.

After studying the baby bones, scientists discovered that this dinosaur's bones grow isometrically, which indicates that the species didn't need much parental care when young.

The fossilized fibula bone
The fossilized fibula bone of a baby Rapetosaurus. Paleontologist Kristi Curry Rogers says the rare find sheds light on the early life of the tiny titanosaur.
Tom Crann | MPR News

For some scale, the baby's shin bone was about as long as a pencil. An adult's shin bone would've been about five feet long.

Curry Rogers joined All Things Considered host Tom Crann to discuss the findings.

Use the audio player above to hear their conversation.

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