Another prehistoric giant Supersaurus means Super Lizard; Vivianae recognises the discoverer of the fossils Vivian Jones of Delta, Colorado, USA. Vivian Jones was one of the couple who found the first carnosaur metatarsal. There was a great deal of surprise surrounding the discovery as they were located in Jurassic rather than the Cretaceous period of the dig, this lead to the beginning of the whole Dry Mesa phenomenon.
Supersaurus Vivianae was uncovered in 1972. However in 1985 Jim Jensen discovered fossils of in the Morrison Formation of Colorado, USA, and he tends to be given recognition for the discovery of Supersaurus Vivianae.
The fossils found by Jensen were given the nickname ‘Jimbo’ by those working at the dig site.
At 100 feet (30 meters) in length this ‘super lizard’ was a plant eater (herbivore). Supersaurus Vivianae is believed to have been rare and walked the earth during the Late Jurassic period. A shoulder bone of this beast measured nearly eight feet long.
Other fossils discovered at the Dry Mesa Quarry in Southern Colorado have also proved to be Supersaurus these included –
- A tail vertebra
- A complete pelvis and sacrum
- An ischium (one of the small bones of the pelvis)
- A section of 12 articulated tail vertebrae.
The Dry Mesa Quarry has given up hundreds of dinosaur bones and digging continues, in time more bones of the Supersaurus Vivianae will hopefully be recovered enabling palaeontologists to piece together more of the history and life of Supersaurus Vivianae .
Given the vast size of these dinosaurs it seems likely they ate almost constantly feasting on leaves and shoots from tress and possibly even ferns and other plants growing in the ground. In order to assist with digestion it is believed the stomachs of the reptiles contained stomach stones called Gastroliths, which would grind down the foliage in the stomach.
These colossal dinosaurs are known to be among the very biggest reptiles which have ever roamed the earth.
In 1996 an entire Supersaurus was unearthed in Douglas, Wyoming, USA, it is hoped that after detailed study more will be discovered about the huge creature, which will provide the answers to some of the outstanding and unusual questions about the original find by Vivian Jones, who’s find seems to be out of place with regards to the period when the Supersaurus Vivianae is believed to have roamed the planet.
Many scientists having studied the fossils of Supersaurus now think that they would have been unable to life their head higher than their shoulders, although the extreme length of the neck would have served well in grazing.
Scientist now also think the extremely long tail may have been used in a whipping or snapping action, which due to its huge size would have made a deafening noise as it hit the ground, which they could have used to scare off predators, or could maybe have been used for communication over long distances.