Giant dinosaurs find berth in University Circle
Posted June 08, 2015 in Articles
Author: James Ewinger
The largest animals to walk the Earth are in residence in University Circle for the remainder of the year.
These are the biggest of the dinosaurs and an exhibit on them opens today at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
As a group, they are called sauropods. They thrived for 140 million years. The hulking herbivores died out about 66 million years ago, said Michael Ryan, the museum's curator of vertebrate paleontology.
The exhibition, assembled by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, draws on the latest scholarship about how these animals lived, ate, breathed, ran and related to their environment.
Ryan, an internationally recognized expert on horned dinosaurs, said the sauropods were contemporaries of the predatory theropods, which included the dreaded Tyrannosaurus rex. But the sharp-toothed meat eaters posed little threat to adult sauropods, Ryan said, because the predators were half the size of the largest foliage munchers.
"Even if they accidentally stepped on a theropod, they (the sauropods) could do a lot of damage," Ryan said.
The largest could weigh more than 100 tons and be 150 feet in length, he said. The only thing larger that is alive today is the blue whale, which can reach 200 tons, according to some accounts.