Filed under: History, Latin America, Science/Technology | Tags: Argentina's Patagonian Desert, Excitement in Paleontology, Largest Creature to Walk the Earth
The fossilized bones of a dinosaur believed to be the largest creature ever to walk the earth have been unearthed in Argentina. It is thought to be as heavy as 14 African elephants. The bones were discovered by a farm worker in a desert area of Patagonia that has yielded many dinosaur discoveries. Based on its huge thigh bones, it was 130 feet long and 65 feet tall, (equal to a seven story building).
Dr. Paul Barrett, a dinosaur expert from London’s Natural History Museum said the new species is a “genuinely big critter,” but urged caution in declaring it the worlds’ biggest.
Argentinosaurus, also a Patagonian find in 1987, was originally estimated at 100 tons, but it’s weight was eventually lowered to around 70 tons—these estimates are based on incomplete skeletons, and paleontologists have different methods for calculating size and weight.
In the same week, paleontologists announced the discovery of the fossilized remains of a small member of the sauropods. This one is thought to be only about 30 feet long and is “a small guy in a lineage of giants.” The sauropods are better-known as diplodocids typified by the well-known Diplodocus which lived in North America. The weight of “the small guy” is assumed to be more like that of an elephant. Paleontologists didn’t think it was possible that diplodocid sauropods reached South America, so the new discovery is exciting.
It is simply hard to grasp the size of a creature with that big a thigh bone. But there may be more fossils yet to be discovered. Simply amazing.