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.
SouthFloridaReporter first reported on this find last year. You can read that story HERE.
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).
By those numbers, Patagotitan just edges out the previous “largest dinosaur ever,” another titanosaur called Dreadnoughtus.
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.”