The huge dinosaurs called sauropods astound us. So massive! So tall! Such long necks and tiny heads! But more astounding is this: these strange giants rank among Earth’s great success stories, roaming the planet for 140 million years. Today, scientists from many fields have joined in an effort to figure out how they did it. Paleontologists, biologists, botanists, animal nutritionists, and engineers all agree: the world’s largest dinosaurs were extraordinary creatures. The challenge is to discover why.
Size is much more than just a matter of appearances. It affects nearly everything an animal does. Big animals eat more than small animals; small animals breathe faster than big animals. Big animals generally live much longer than small ones.
The centerpiece of our exhibition is Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis. As you explore the website you’ll encounter her both as she looked in life and as she would have looked had scientists been able to peer inside her body.
To figure out how sauropods moved, breathed or ate, paleontologists need fossils. For example, we know a great deal about Mamenchisaurus because of fossils uncovered in China. Dig deep like a real paleontologist.
Have paleontologists already found the world’s largest dinosaur? Look at it this way. Sauropods reigned for 140 million years, and scientists have only been digging for about 150 years. Is it likely they’ve already unearthed the very biggest?
Rotating semiannually, American Museum of Natural History traveling exhibitions will support the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards. Resources for our upcoming exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, as well as information on field trips, are available.