The discovery of a new dinosaur, measuring approximately 130 feet long and weighing more than 77 metric tons, was unveiled to the world this week. The discovery of the titanic dinosaur bones was made in a desert in Patagonia, the southern Argentine region that has yielded many important dinosaur discoveries.
This latest discovery may prove to be the largest dinosaur to ever walk the earth. Palaeontologists say the dinosaur might be a new species of titanosaur – a huge herbivore of the long-necked sauropod group from the Late Cretaceous period.
Approximately 150 dinosaur bones were excavated this week by a team of palaeontologists from Argentina’s Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio, headed by Dr. Jose Luis Carballido and Dr. Diego Pol. The newly discovered bones are believed to be from seven dinosaur skeletons, 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 to have walked on Earth,” researchers told BBC News. “Standing with its neck up, it was about 20 meters high — equal to a seven-story building.”
Based on the age of the rocks in which the bones were embedded, this massive dinosaur is believed to have lived in the forests of Patagonia between 95 and 100 million years ago.
The newly discovered giant is as of yet unnamed.
“It will be named describing its magnificence and in honor to both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery,” researchers said.
While Argentine researchers say the number of dinosaur bones discovered give them enough material to be confident they have found “the big one”, Dr Paul Barrett, a dinosaur expert from the Natural History Museum in London, cautioned that further research was needed before declaring the discovery to be the world’s biggest dinosaur.
“Without knowing more about this current find it’s difficult to be sure,” Dr. Barrett said. “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.”
He added, “So it’s interesting to hear another really huge sauropod has been discovered, but ideally we’d need much more material of these supersized animals to determine just how big they really got.”
The Argentinosaurus was previously believed to be the world’s largest dinosaur. Discovered in 1987, also in Patagonia, the colossal dinosaur was originally thought to weigh in at 100 metric tons, but later research scaled the beast down to around 70.