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How Big Was the Largest Known Land Animal?

The new heavyweight champion of the world has just been crowned. While its bones were found in southern Argentina in 2012, the significance of Patagotitan mayorum, a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that lived 102 million years ago, was finally unveiled in research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B in 2017. The dinosaur weighed about 76 tons (69 metric tons), was likely 120 feet (37 m) long, and nearly 20 feet (6 m) high at the shoulder. The archeological find included a femur, or thigh bone, that measures 8 feet (2.4 m) in length. Patagotitan mayorum is a new species in a diverse group of prehistoric creatures called titanosaurs. It is the largest land animal yet to have been discovered.

Big news from the prehistoric world:

  • Another titanosaur, dubbed Argentinosaurus, was previously thought to be the largest land animal that has ever lived on Earth.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex “look like dwarfs when you put them against one of these giant titanosaurs,” said researcher Diego Pol. “They were probably massive, slow-moving animals.”
  • A full-scale model of the lumbering titanosaur can be seen at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Discussion Comments
By anon998872 — On Sep 10, 2017

76 tons = 152000 pounds. At 120 feet long, that equals 1266 pounds per foot. Is that correct? And they know all of this information from a femur?

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