Dino With "Vacuum Mouth" Revealed

Dino With
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The oddly shaped Nigersaurus taqueti grew to a length of 30 feet (about 9 meters), with a hip height of 8 feet (2.4 meters) and a weight comparable to a modern-day elephant.

The massive sauropod sustained its weight by keeping its featherweight skull low to the ground and was barely able to lift its head above its back, according to new research published today in the journal PLoS ONE.

With that posture, the 110-million-year-old dinosaur moved more like a cow through what is now the southern Sahara region of Africa, chomping on ferns and horsetails.

"The vertebrae are so paper-thin that it is difficult to imagine them coping with the stresses of everyday use," study co-author Jeffrey Wilson of the University of Michigan said in a statement.

"But we know they did it, and they did it well."

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