Paleontologists have just unearthed the fossilised bones of a gigantic dinosaur that's never been seen before. They believe it's an entirely new species — and based on the size of its bones, it's way bigger than what we thought was the biggest dinosaur ever. Meet the new number one among earthly creatures.
Based on the size of the thigh bone found at the dig site in Argentina, paleontologists estimate this dinosaur was 39.6m long and 19.8m tall, and weighed in at a whopping 77 tons. That's seven tons heavier than what we used to think was the biggest dinosaur, Argentinosaurus. In other words, this jumbo-dino weighed as much as 14 African elephants, and with its neck held high the herbivore was seven stories tall. That's positively massive.
The bones were first discovered in the desert near La Flecha, roughly 140 miles from Trelew, Patagonia, by a local farmer. Paleontologists from the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio, led by Dr Jose Luis Carballido and Dr Diego Pol, have since uncovered some 150 bones belonging to seven individual skeletons.
"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," the researchers told BBC News.
The next step is naming this newly-discovered juggernaut in a way that pays tribute to the place where it was discovered, the people who discovered it, and its towering size and ground-shaking heft. Or, they could just ignore all of that and call it Godzilla. I vote for the latter. [BBC News]