Dino-might! Scientists Uncover Second-Largest Dinosaur

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Removing of the final pieces of the Paralititan in Bahariya

Digging for archaeological paydirt in what is now the Sahara Desert, scientists have unearthed the fossilized bones of the second-largest dinosaur ever to walk the earth. Dubbed Paralititan stromeri (the first name means "tidal giant"; the second refers to Ernst Stromer, a geologist who found dinosaur fossils in the area in the 1930s and took them to Germany, only to have them destroyed by Allied bombing in WWII) this long-necked, plodding sauropod munched on lush ferns and trees in an area that 90 million years ago was, according to discoverer Joshua B. Smith "dinosaur heaven."

Smith, a scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, says this particular skeleton was probably torn apart by sharp-toothed predators as it lay on the beach of a warm tropical sea. He found only a few bones, but they were enough to calculate the dinosaur's gargantuan size at 80 to 100 feet long and weighing 60-70 tons. The find solves another mystery: what those previously discovered predators — three different kinds, each (at 50 feet) bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex — were dining on during their prehistoric stay on the old North African coast. Said Smith: "Now we've found a 90-ton steak that they were eating."