The biggest dinosaur ever has just been discovered, and it's 10 times the size of a T-Rex
Back in 2013, a lone shepherd working out on a farm in Argentina spotted something unusual. Underneath a rock, something was jutting out of the ground, looking out of place in the environment. On closer inspection, it seemed to be the bone of something monumentally big.
Palaeontologists were brought in to study the bone and reveal its origins, but before they even arrived, the shepherd unfortunately passed away. He would never know that he had made potentially the discovery of the decade. The bone he spotted in the earth that day belonged to the largest dinosaur that ever lived. It was a thigh bone that was an astounding eight feet long.
Now, four years later, the research into the life of this dinosaur has come a long way. A team of scientists from the Egidio Feruglio Palaeontology Museum has published an official account of the dinosaur, along with an official name: the Patagotitan Mayorum.
The name comes from a combination of three things; it combines the word titan with the fact it was found in the Patagonia region, and also includes the surname of the family who own the farm it was discovered on. On the same farm, they found over 200 bones from six different Patagotitans, dating back 100 million years.
It took two weeks to unearth the fossil, which they initially believed was from a titanosaur. But when their estimates conceived of the dinosaur being 122 feet long and weighing 69 tons, they believed it must be a new, larger species. The previous record-holder was the Argentinosaurus, but this find is an astonishing 10 percent larger.
John Hutchinson, from the Royal Veterinary College, spoke to The Atlantic:
“We have a decent idea how well the various methods for estimating dinosaur body mass work, and they tend to agree well enough most of the time. Even taking into account the uncertainty of those methods, Patagotitan comes out as a 60- to 80-ton behemoth. And nothing else we know of yet comes very close.”
To put it in perspective, the Tyrannosaurus Rex was only 40 feet long and weighed nine tons, a puny size compared to this new discovery. However, this long-necked vegetarian wasn't nearly as fierce. "I don’t think they were scary at all," co-author of the study Diego Pol told Fox, "They were probably massive big slow-moving animals".
The expedition's leader, Luis Carballido, revealed that the find was successful in many ways:
"The most amazing moment for us was realizing that the dinosaur is not only large, but also more complete than any other titanosaur. Maybe someone can find a bigger one. But I feel like maybe this is the limit."
It seems like not only is this the biggest one we have discovered, but it will likely stay on the top spot. It's mad to think that this creature was so massive and so powerful and yet was still eating leaves off trees. Maybe a more apt nickname for these colossal dinosaurs are "gentle giants".