New Dinosaur Species Was Largest Animal Ever to Walk the Earth

Science & Tech
Typography

By National Geographic

A newly named species of sauropod is not only the largest known dinosaur, it now also holds the record as the largest animal that has ever walked on land.

That's the conclusion of the first scientific description of an especially large titanosaur, which lumbered across what is now Argentina during the Cretaceous.

Dubbed Patagotitan mayorum, the long-necked behemoth lived about 102 million years ago and was likely more than 120 feet long and weighed 69 tons, or about the same as 12 African elephants (the current largest land dweller).

When paleontologists José Luis Carbadillo and Diego Pol from Egidio Feruglio Paleontology Museum  first saw hints of the fossil on a farm in the Patagonia region of Argentina, they knew it was going to be big.

The team spent over a year painstakingly excavating the fossil. Kenneth Lacovara, a paleontologist at Rowan University and the discoverer of Dreadnoughtus, commiserates with this task.

"I, more than most, I think, can empathize with them over the amount of sweat, toil, frustration, and aggravation experienced when attempting to get bones of this size and quantity out of the ground and safely to a museum."

SIZING UP DINOSAURS

A full model of the huge titanosaur found its way into a major permanent exhibit at the... (Read More)

Sign up via our free email subscription service to receive notifications when new information is available.