London - Its thigh bone alone was longer than a man. So it’s little wonder scientists believe this newly discovered dinosaur could have swatted away a Tyrannosaurus Rex like a fly.
Towering 65ft high and weighing the same as 14 African elephants, the titanosaur is thought to be the largest creature ever to have walked the earth.
The 130ft long colossus’s bones were found by a farm worker near Patagonia in southern Argentina, where it lived 100 million years ago.
Its calculated 85ton weight would have made it seven tons heavier than the previous record holder, Argentinosaurus. Scientists from Argentina’s Museum of Palaeontology have excavated 150 fossilised bones thought to come from seven individual titanosaurs.
“Given the size of these bones, which surpass any of the previously known giant animals, the new dinosaur is the largest animal known to have walked on Earth,” the researchers told BBC News.
Dr Steve Brusatte, a paleontology expert from Edinburgh University, hailed it as one of the most important dinosaur discoveries of the last two decades. He said: “T-Rex was at most 40ft long. If these scientists are correct, you are talking about something that is maybe double the length of T-Rex. Something of this size – at least the adults – would probably have been almost incapable of being taken down by even the biggest carnivorous dinosaurs.”
The huge herbivore is believed to be part of the long-necked sauropod group that lived in the Late Cretaceous period. Dr Paul Barrett of London’s Natural History Museum, said further research was needed before it could be definitively declared the world’s biggest dinosaur. Argentinosaurus, discovered in Patagonia in 1987, was originally estimated at 110tons but its weight was later revised downwards to 78.
Dr Barrett said: “Ideally we’d need much more material of these supersized animals to determine just how big they really got.”
Height: 65ft (seven storeys)
Weight: 85 tons (14 African elephants)
Length: 130ft (four London buses)
Age: (of fossils) 95-100 million years
Habitat: Forests of Patagonia in southern Argentin - Daily Mail