Largest ever dinosaur may have been as long as 7 elephants


Weighing 76 tons, the plant-eating giant is as heavy as a spacecraft.

Since a ranch workman first stumbled on the bones of what would turn out to be at least six individual dinosaurs in the southern Argentine desert, paleontologists have been piecing together not just a representative skeleton of the species, but also a better understanding of its features.

The researchers named the dinosaur after the Patagonia region where it was found and the Greek word titan, which means large. The team chose the second name in honor of a rancher family that housed them during their excavations. Researchers who examined and tested the fossils said this long-necked creature was the largest of a large dinosaur group called titanosaurs.

In a joint study by scientists from Argentina and the US it was found that the full body length of a giant dinosaur reached 35 meters, and its height can reach 6 meters.

Paleontologists believe that Patagotitan Mayorum lived 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. The structure was so large that the dinosaur head almost goes into the hallway of the NY museum.

If you're struggling to picture that, it's about seven elephants, or more than two buses, or half the width of a football pitch, or somewhere between a standard swimming pool and an Olympic pool.

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If you'd like to compare Patagotitan to the famous carnivores that have made residence in the popular imagination, forget about it: Tyrannosaurus rex, for instance, "look like dwarfs when you put them against one of these giant titanosaurs", Pol told Time magazine.

"Scientists have known various titanosaurs, but this is a new species and a new genus, which is a larger group", Pol said. Another titanosaur called Argentinosaurus was previously thought to be the largest.

The big question is how did these dinosaurs get so big, Pol said.

The species has competition for the crown of largest ever land animal.

Despite its impressive size, Carballido believes an even larger dinosaur could have walked the Earth, but it probably wasn't much bigger than the P. mayorum.