Move over T-Rex and Argentinosaurus.. The remains of the largest EVER terrestrial land animal have been found and it weighed in at over 65 tons! A totally new genus and species of dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus (which means “fear nothing”), was over 85 feet long, including a 37 foot neck and a ‘muscular, weaponized’ 29 foot tail!
Just for some perspective, Dreadnoughtus weighed more than 7 bull elephants and also more than a Boeing 747 (which weighs in around 50 tons).
The fossil specimen was found in the Patagonia region of Argentina in 2005 and is thought to be between 75 and 77 million years old. According to the Washington Post, who broke the story today, the remains were “remarkably complete and well-preserved for a titanosaur.”
While there was no skull found, the remains are about 70% complete, enabling the researchers to create computerized 3D reconstructions of the bones, and physical models to understand how the giant creature would have moved and functioned.
Presumably it wouldn’t have had to walk much, using the length of that 37-foot long neck to feed. Its only downfall (literally) would be falling over: Its ribs would most likely be crushed, unable to withstand 65 tons on top of them.
Researchers did not comment about the suspected cause of death, only that it was still growing at the time of death!
And don’t worry, there would be no need to be frightened if you were to run into Dreadnoughtous today… He was a plant eater. 🙂
The new dinosaur is a type of sauropod similar to Argentinosaurus, illustrated here by: Jennifer Hall
The original study was published online on Thursday in Scientific Reports.
Images credits: BBC News
Illustration: Jennifer Hall