The news: A group of paleontologists in Argentina have discovered the remains of a dinosaur that makes Godzilla look like a bit of a wimp. The researchers found the fossilized bones of what's believed to be the largest creature to have ever walked the Earth.
Based on the length and circumference of the dinosaur's femur (thigh bone), the crew calculated the animal weighed 77 metric tons, seven more than the previous largest dinosaur record holder, the Argentinosaurus. The creature would have been roughly 130 feet long and 65 feet tall and is believed to have been a species titanosaur — an enormous herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period (about 100 to 60 million years ago) notable for their small heads, long necks and long tails. The team believes this creature likely 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.
"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.
Image Credit: BBC
The discovery: A local farmer accidentally stumbled upon the remains in the desert, and a team of palaeontologists from Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, led by Dr. Jose Luis Carballido and Dr. Diego Pol, then excavated the site. All told, the team found approximately 150 bones, all in "remarkable condition."
Dr. Ruben Cueno, director of Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio in Trelew, Argentina, told ABC News that scientists have been digging at this site for years to carefully unearth the bones, but the team will likely need at least two more years to remove all of them.
The dinosaur doesn't have a name yet, but according to the researchers, "it will be named describing its magnificence and in honour to both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery."
Insaneous-Giganormous Argentisaurus anyone?