(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to the latest study, it seems that the baby of the biggest dinosaur to ever roam the Earth was as small as a human child. But that didn’t stop it from growing at a considerably large rate, becoming as big as a bus in only twenty years. Titanosaur babies were small but resilient, surviving in the world without any help from their parents.
If you’re in your twenties or thirties, you definitely saw The Land Before Time, a tragic children movie featuring a gang of baby dinosaurs that are struggling to find greener pastures. The main character, Little Foot is a baby sauropod. And even as children, the viewers were struck by the immense difference between the height and weight of the baby sauropod compared to that of its parents.
Little Foot was as big as a Triceratops baby and three or four times larger than a baby Pterodactyl. But it seems that the science of the movie was right in some parts and horribly wrong in others.
For starters, they were right about the size of the baby sauropods. Latest research showed that titanosaur babies were small but resilient. So Little Foot is actually a correct scientific rendering of the reptile.
On the other hand, the writers of the tear-jerking children movie were very wrong with the relations between family members. In the animated film, Little Foot witnesses the death of his mother by the teeth of a T-Rex. The giant sauropod died protecting its child.
But in real life, that never would have happened because according to the scientists, titanosaurs females laid roughly twenty eggs into a nest and then continued to mind their business. The babies that hatched from the eggs were the size of a baby human. Titanosaur babies were small but resilient.
Of course, Little Foot was a brontosaurus, but it’s safe to say that both species of sauropods behaved rather similar.
If they managed not to get eaten in their first weeks of life, they reached the size of a Labrador, weighing somewhere around 70 pounds. Then, in twenty years or so, they grew to reach the size of a modern-day school bus. From that point on the list of their natural predators only got thinner and thinner.
The titanosaur babies were small but resilient, and researchers are still a little bit confused on how those dinosaurs managed to reach gargantuan sizes seeing as they weighed almost as much as a human baby at birth.
Modern day large animals usually give birth to equally large babies that they then proceed to tend to for quite some time. But the titanosaur babies were left to tend to themselves, being forced to take life into their own paws from the second they hatched.
Image source: YouTube