Just as Godzilla hits theaters and puts viewers on the edge of their seats, the biggest real-life animal ever to roam the earth has been discovered. On Saturday, scientists announced the finding of the largest dinosaur bones that have been unearthed from a rural area in Argentina.
The bones that were recently unearthed belong to the Titanosaur species with an estimated weight of 77 tonnes. The new species has not yet been named. Scientists are able to estimate the weight based on measurements of the femur and humerus bones, which, in this case, happen to be in tact. The large measurements indicate how much weight the bones would have been capable of carrying.
It is described as a long-necked, long-tailed, plant-eating sauropod with a relatively small head. It walked on all fours and measured 65 feet tall and 130 feet long. It was equal in length to two semi trailers from head to tail and as tall as a seven-story building.
Paleontologist Jose Luis Carballido from the Egidio Feruglio Museum said it “weighed the equivalent of more than 14 African elephants.” He also called the finding a “true paleontological treasure.”
Museum director Ruben Cuneo confirmed that the dinosaur bones unearthed from Argentina are from the largest dinosaur to ever roam the Earth. If there was a bigger dinosaur, it has not yet been found. He said it is the most complete find of this type of dinosaur in the world. Titanosaur fossils are not common, and when they are found, they are generally not in good condition. More often than not, it is only bone fragments that are uncovered. The recent findings of the largest dinosaur bones ever, however, are very much in tact, making them a rare discovery.
The largest dinosaur bones were originally found in Patagonia, a remote area of Argentina. Farmers accidentally stumbled upon the bones in the province of Chubut in 2011. The evacuation did not begin until 2013, however. Still, they have only worked on excavating from one firth of the site, meaning there is much work yet to be done and most likely, more discoveries to be made. So far, they have uncovered seven dinosaur bodies and 200 fossils, including bones from the neck, legs, back and tail, as well as broken teeth from carnivores.
The newly discovered Titanosaur is measuring bigger than both the both the T-Rex and the Argentinosaur. It walked the Earth over 95 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period. The fossils show that the long-necked sauropods, which were previously thought to have gone extinct earlier, did survive into the Jurassic period. This is proven by the fact that they made it to South America. Before this recent discovery, they were thought to only exist in North America. It offers new evidence for scientists to consider when piecing together the evolutionary time-line and figuring out when each species of dinosaur died out.
Though the species does not have a name yet, paleontologists suspect that the largest dinosaur that ever lived will be named according to its mammoth size and in recognition of the farmers who initially unearthed the creatures bones in Argentina.
By Tracy Rose