Monday, August 15, 2016

Are Mapusaurus and Giganotosaurus the same?

Welcome everybody! Now it's time to "remake" my second "theory". There are some dinosaur species that still keep paleontologists divided wether they are the same or different species. The most famous pair is Tyrannosaurus and Nanotyrannus and although most of the people think they are the same there are a few who say they are different. I guess from the title you allready know wich two dinosaurs will be in the center of this let's begin

Mapusaurus roseae by T-PEKC

Giganotosaurus and Mapusaurus seems to be two differetnt species if we judge about appearance and the supposed time they lived in. But let's not forget that we only have a few, incomplete fossils to work with. In case of Giganotosaurus we have two specimen: MUCPv-Ch1 (it is the smaller but more complete one) and MUCPv-95 ( we only have a fragment of the lower jaw, based on it it was the bigger one), as for Mapusaurus we have at least five but as you'll see in the picture they're not just fragmentary...

Mapusaurus fossils from Planet Dinosaur
but if the silhouettes show the size of the specimen most of them come from the younger ones. If i'm correct than the current reconstruction of Mapusaurus is based on juveniles. Why this might be bad? We don't know how much each species of Dinosaurs changed while growing up. Tyrannosaurus is the best example in case of theropods, it shows perfectly how much a Theropod's appearance can change.
What if the growth of the Mapusaurus was like that too? And here comes Giganotosaurus in the picture: we "know"(okay, we can only guess) how a Juvenile Mapusaurus looked like but we don't know how an adult looked like, the opposite applies for Giganotosaurus.

Giganotosaurus vs tank by Rodrigo Vega
Next up is the Timeline: Giganotosaurus lived around 98mya while Mapusaurus lived around 95mya. Some people says that this time difference is enough to say they were different.It certainly is, but what we don't know exactly is when the species appeared. Between the two there are only 3million years, many of the dinosaurs roamed the earth for at least this amound of time. And if we look at the 98mya as the appearance of the species than 95mya is not that far.

Carcharodontosauridae(Carcharodontosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Mapusaurus, Acrocanthosaurus, Eocarcharia and Concavenator) by Vitor-Silva

So to sum it up: We have two predators, the adults were around if not the same sized, we know(well it's better to say guess) how the adult of one species looked like while we don't how the juveniles looked like and the opposite goes for the other one. They both lived in the same place only with 2-3my time difference. I think it's more than possible that the two were the same. As long as we find more fossils we'll never know for sure. It's your descission to think i'm right or wrong, only time will tell this.

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