Paleontologists say the newly discovered beast was the largest creature to ever walk the surface of the earth.
Paleontologists in Argentina have discovered the gargantuan bones of a new breed of dinosaur, believed to be the largest creature ever to walk the surface of the earth. Based on its huge thigh bones, the newly discovered dinosaur was 40m (130ft) long, 20m (65ft) tall and weight a whopping 77 tonnes. To put that into perspective for you – that’s as heavy as 14 full-grown African elephants.
Scientists believe it is a new species of titanosaur – an enormous herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period. The fossils were then excavated by a team of palaeontologists from the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio, led by Dr Jose Luis Carballido and Dr Diego Pol. They unearthed the partial skeletons of seven individuals – about 150 bones in total – all in “remarkable condition”.
“Given the size of these bones, which surpass any of the previously known giant animals, the new dinosaur is the largest animal known that walked on Earth,” the researchers told BBC News, adding “Standing with its neck up, it was about 20m high – equal to a seven-storey building.
The dinosaur doesn’t have a name yet, as the researched explained “It will be named describing its magnificence and in honour to both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery.” A local farm worker first stumbled on the remains in the desert near La Flecha, about 250km (135 miles) west of Trelew, Patagonia.
However, the new discovery does face a little bit of skepticism from the scientific community. Dr Paul Barrett, a dinosaur expert from London’s Natural History Museum, agreed the new species is “a genuinely big critter. But there are a number of similarly sized big sauropod thigh bones out there,” he cautioned.