Most of us have nicknames from our youth we’d rather forget, and we can only hope they don’t follow us into adulthood, but for one unlucky dinosaur 110 million years isn’t long enough.
Recently, specimens from a newly discovered sauropod, dating back to the Early Cretaceous period, were uncovered in Utah. This new addition to the family has been given the name Brontomerus mcintoshi – from the Greek words “bronto“, meaning “thunder”; and “merós“, meaning “thigh”. Thunder thighs?! Charming.
The scientific justification for this unflattering nickname is the unusually large hip bone the creature possesses. Comparatively, it is significantly larger than that of similar species. This bulky bone would have provided anchorage for hefty thigh muscles. Interestingly, the skeletal structure does not seem to provide support for strong muscles on the back of the leg to pull it along, suggesting these muscles were not used for speed, but power.
Paleo-scientists believe ‘Thunder-thighs’ would have been able to administer a strong kick to potential sexual opponents and predators. And at a predicted adult weight of six tonnes, I would not want to provoke this undercover ninja. All together now, “Everybody was kung-fu fighting, huh”…