Fossilised bones of a dinosaur believed to be the largest creature ever to walk the Earth have been unearthed in Argentina, palaeontologists say. Based on its huge thigh bones, it was 130ft. long and 65ft. tall. Weighing in at 169,000 lb., it was as heavy as 14 African elephants.
Scientists believe it is a new species of titanosaur – an enormous herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period.
A local farm worker first stumbled on the remains in the desert near La Flecha, about 135 miles west of Trelew, Patagonia. 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”.
By measuring the length and circumference of the largest femur (thigh bone), they calculated the animal’s weight. “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 have said. “Its length, from its head to the tip of its tail, was 130 ft.
“Standing with its neck up, it was about 65 ft. high, equal to a seven-story building.”
This giant herbivore lived in the forests of Patagonia between 95 and 100 million years ago, based on the age of the rocks in which its bones were found. But despite its magnitude, it does not yet have a name. “It will be named describing its magnificence and in honor to both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery,” the researchers said.