WHICH DINO IS THE BIGGEST? THERE’S A NEW CONTENDER
Weighing nearly 70 tons, heavier than 10 adult African elephants, this dinosaur was the largest animal to ever walk on Earth, according to some scientists.
This plant-eating beast first made headlines in 2014, after a rancher from Patagonia in Argentina discovered a fossil bone. Last year, the American Museum of Natural History in New York added a cast of the 122-foot-long dinosaur to its exhibit. Its neck and head are so long that they extend outside the gallery.
Despite its fame, the dinosaur did not have an official scientific name — until now.
A report, published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B., calls it Patagotitan mayorum. “Patagotitan” can be interpreted as “giant from Patagonia,” and “mayorum” is a tribute to the rancher family that hosted a team of paleontologists, geologists, students and volunteers as they excavated dozens of fossils from the area.
More than 150 Patagotitan fossils have been unearthed there in a few years. Finding a significant number of fossils belonging to the same species is not rare, dinosaur specialist José Luis Carballido said. But for such a big animal, it is.
These discoveries have allowed scientists to create the most complete anatomic reconstruction of any large terrestrial herbivore in the planet’s history, according to the Egidio Feruglio Paleontology Museum in Trelew, Argentina.
Patagotitan, which lived about 100 million years ago during the late Cretaceous Period, is considered a titanosaur, a diverse lineage of plant-eating, long-necked dinosaurs with long tails that walked on four legs. The study revealed that most of the giant titanosaurs discovered in Patagonia belonged to a single lineage, according to the museum. — The Washington Post
A reconstructed Patagotitan mayorum, a 70-ton dinosaur discovered in Argentina.