Colossal new dinosaur species gets scientific name

Dinosaur found in Argentina could be world's largest

PA TITAN The beast was discovered in Argentina

The 100-million-year-old fossils "represent the largest species described so far and one of the most complete titanosaurs", the paper's authors write, though one of the lead researchers acknowledges the difficulty of determining such a distinction.

As the fossils would have been too heavy to mount, the colossal 122-foot (37.2-meter) cast is made up of 3D fibreglass prints of the bones.

By those numbers, Patagotitan just edges out the previous "largest dinosaur ever", another titanosaur called Dreadnoughtus.

"There was one small part of the family that went insane on size", said study co-author Diego Pol of the Egidio Feruglio paleontology museum in Argentina.

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Analysis showed that Patagotitan had a probable body mass of 69 tons (62 metric tonnes).

But despite their intimidating size, Pol believes the vegetarian P. mayorum was a gentle giant. "Trying to run. It's really challenging for large animals".

Researchers aren't quite clear on how the species became so big, but study co-author José Luis Carballido, from the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio in Argentina, believes part of it had to do with available food. Titanosaurs were herbivores, so certainly they had the food they needed, and plants are directly constrained by the weather.

The skeleton has been on display on the museum's fourth floor, where its head and neck extend out toward the elevator banks, since 2016. The structure was so large that the dinosaur head almost goes into the hallway of the NY museum.

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Titanosaurs feature a wide spectrum of body sizes, but the largest species have all been found in Patagonia, which suggests the region featured a unique combination of vegetation and climate conducive to the evolution of large bodies.

To get a more accurate picture of the real dimensions of the Patagotitan mayorum, the species is believed to make the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex look like a dwarf in comparison, being added that it is like putting a lion near an elephant.

"There could be [bigger], but probably we are pretty close to the size limit", he said.

Paleontologists have found the discovered the biggest creature to have ever walked the Earth.

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