National Geographic. "Uncovering Patagonia’s Lost World."

Article by James Shreeve

Summary by Deependra Chhabra


This article deals with the recent discovery of dinosaurs bones buried in South America. Many paleontologists around the world have begun traveling to, Patagonia, which is a geographic location consisting of steppe and stone at the remote southern part of Argentina. Here paleontologists are beginning to unraveled mysteries about dinosaurs beginning in the Jurassic, 180 million years ago.

Before the discoveries at Patagonia, North America and Asia were considered the primary source of dinosaur information that people are familiar about. However, the discovery of Giganotosaurus found in 1993, in the town of El Chocon, 30 miles southeast of Plaza Huincul, Argentina was monumental. Paleontologists concluded that the Giganotosaurus might be the largest predatory dinosaur ever found anywhere. Researchers estimate that the Giganotosaurus weighed between six and eight tons, its length at about 42 feet. With this in mind, this new dinosaur takes over Tyrannosaurus’ reign as the largest predator ever to prowl the earth by a few feet in length.

In addition, a new dinosaur was found in Morocco in 1995 by Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago, is about the same size as the South American Giganotosaurus. This new specimen is named Carcharodontosaurus which means "shark-toothed reptile." Beside sharing enormity in size, both giants have a similar skull and backbone suggesting that they are closely related. More importantly, the gradual fragmentation of the world’s landmasses explains why African and South American predators are similar because these two landmasses where once united. Still Patagonia is considered the "true lost world of the dinosaurs." The revelation of more dinosaur fossils in South America continues to transform our understanding of dinosaurs and evolution.


Shreeve, J. (1997, December). Uncovering Patagonia’s lost world. National Geographic,

pp. 120-137.

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