Move over T. rex, scientists have discovered in Argentina the bones of the world’s biggest dinosaur, as heavy as 14 African elephants and as tall as a seven-storey building.
The 65-foot-tall new species of titanosaur, 130 feet in length and weighing 77 tonnes, is much heavier than the previous record holder Argentinosaurus, palaeontologists said.
The remains of the enormous herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period were first discovered by a local farm worker in the desert near La Flecha, about 250km west of Patagonia, BBC News reported.
Scientists from the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio, led by Jose Luis Carballido and Diego Pol, excavated the fossilised bones.
The palaeontologists unearthed the partial skeletons of seven individuals — about 150 bones in total — all in “remarkable condition”.
“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,” researchers said.
“Its length, from its head to the tip of its tail, was 40 metres. Standing with its neck up, it was about 20 metres high — equal to a seven-storey building,” they said.
The 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.
However it does not yet have a name.
“It will be named describing its magnificence and in honour of both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery,” researchers said.