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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Holy crap - look at the size of this bone: Biggest dinosaur ever discovered (update: more photos of big dino bones)

It's time to revise all of those dinosaur books once again - scientists in Argentina have uncovered the bones of a creature believed to be the world’s biggest dinosaur.

Based on its huge thigh bones, it was 130ft long and 65ft tall. Scientists believe it is a new species of titanosaur - an enormous herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period.

Fossilised bones of a dinosaur believed to be the largest creature ever to walk the Earth have been unearthed in Argentina, palaeontologists say.
The bones were initially discovered a year ago by a local farm worker in the desert near La Flecha, about 135 miles west of the Patagonian town of Trelew, and were this week excavated by a team of paleontologists. They unearthed the partial skeletons of seven individuals - about 150 bones in total - all in "remarkable condition".

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. 

Weighing in at 77 tons, it was as heavy as 14 African elephants, and 7 tons heavier than the previous record holder, Argentinosaurus, a similar type of sauropod, also discovered in Patagonia.

There have been many previous contenders for the mantle of the world’s largest dinosaur and some scientists say it is difficult to determine with any certainty which is the winner.

The Argentine researchers say the number of bones discovered give them enough material to be confident they have found “the big one”. This video describes how the creature's size and mass are calculated from the existing bones:

But while Dr. Paul Barrett, a dinosaur expert from London’s Natural History Museum, agreed the new species is “a genuinely big critter”, he cautioned that further research was needed before declaring the find the world’s biggest dinosaur.

Standing with its neck up, it was about 65ft high - equal to a 7 story building.

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