“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

Other Animals     2022年09月13日

A new species of titanosaur unearthed in Argentina is the largest animal ever to walk the Earth, palaeontologists say.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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 40m (130ft) long and 20m (65ft) tall.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

Weighing in at 77 tonnes, it was as heavy as 14 African elephants, and seven tonnes heavier than the previous record holder, Argentinosaurus.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

Scientists believe it is a new species of titanosaur an enormous herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

A local farm worker first stumbled on the remains in the desert near La Flecha, about 250km (135 miles) west of Trelew, Patagonia.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

They unearthed the partial skeletons of seven individuals – about 150 bones in total – all in “remarkable condition”.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

A film crew from the BBC Natural History Unit was there to capture the moment the scientists realised exactly how big their discovery was.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

By measuring the length and circumference of the largest femur (thigh bone), they calculated the animal weighed 77 tonnes.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

“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.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

“Its length, from its head to the tip of its tail, was 40m. “Standing with its neck up, it was about 20m high equal to a seven-storey building.”

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

“It will be named describing its magnificence and in honour to both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery,” the researchers said.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

There have been many previous contenders for the title “world’s biggest dinosaur“.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

The most recent pretender to the throne was Argentinosaurus, a similar type of sauropod, also discovered in Patagonia.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

Originally thought to weigh in at 100 tonnes, it was later revised down to about 70 tonnes – just under the 77 tonnes that this new sauropod is thought to have weighed.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

The picture is muddied by the various complicated methods for estimating size and weight, based on skeletons that are usually incomplete.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

Argentinosaurus was estimated from only a few bones. But the researchers here had dozens to work with, making them more confident that they really have found “the big one”.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

“Without knowing more about this current find it’s difficult to be sure. One problem with assessing the weight of both Argentinosaurus

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

“Moreover, several different methods exist for calculating dinosaur weight (some based on overall volume, some on various limb bone measurements) and these don’t always agree with each other, with large measures of uncertainty.

“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

“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.”

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

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“Titanosaurus Fossils” Biggest—ever dinosaur fossils found

Ref: britannica, nationalgeographic, edition.cnn, bbc, bangkokpost

Pic: theguardian, britannica, fieldmuseum, wikipedia, fieldmuseum