But this dinosaur, scientists say, was definitely the biggest. “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,” researchers told the BBC. “Its length, from its head to the tip of its tail, was [130 feet.] Standing with its neck up, it was about [65 feet] high — equal to a seven-story building.”
The remains were found near the central Argentine town of El Sombrero. Initially stumbled upon by a local farmer, they hint at a dinosaur that weighed 80 tons — 10 tons heavier than the previous record holder, the Argentinosaurus. Belonging to a sauropod subgroup called Titanosaur, it stalked the Earth nearly 100 million years ago, its long serpentine neck swaying to and fro, munching on the vegetation of Patagonia.
“It’s like two semi trucks, one after another, and the equivalent of more than 14 African elephants together weight,” says José Luis Carballido, who led a team of researchers from Argentina’s Museum of Palaeontology. According to a museum’s press release, he added: “It’s a real paleontological treasure. There were many and they were intact, which does not happen often.”
It’s possible the same could happen with this excavation. “Without knowing more about this current find it’s difficult to be sure,” says Paul Barrett of London’s Natural History Museum. “One problem with assessing the weight of both Argentinosaurus and this new discovery is that they’re both based on very fragmentary specimens — no complete skeleton is known, which means the animal’s proportions and overall shape are conjectural.”
So for now the researchers are holding off on naming the dino. “It will be named describing its magnificence and in honor to both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery,” one of the researchers said.
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