Back in 2013, scientists discovered in Argentina the fossils of what has now come to be known as the biggest dinosaur in the world. Now, the species also received a name and also a place in the dinosaur family tree.
The largest known dinosaur was named the Patagotitan mayorum and is believed to have been part of a group of extra-large titanosaurs, ones that lived some 100 million years ago.
Largest Known Dinosaur Finally Gets a Name
A farmer discovered the P. mayorum on the La Flecha Farm in the Argentinian Chubut Province. The huge fossil bone that hinted at the existence of more bones. It also soon revealed itself to belong to a new species of dinosaurs.
The discovered fossil was a femur which measured 7.8 feet in length, the biggest ever found till now. In total, the science team that excavated the site found more than 200 bones. These helped paint an accurate picture of what this largest known dinosaur might have looked like.
They also helped reconstruct its features and gain further insight into the species and the animal itself.
Details about the P. mayorum
This specimen is believed to have measured 46 feet in height and another 121 feet in length. It might have also weighed around 69 to a maximum of 77 tons.
Study results found the P. mayorum was some 10 percent bigger than the previous record holder, the Argentinosaurus. The two species were also determined to be part of the same family, the titanosaurs. This group also included the Patagotitan.
Titanosaurs also present significant variations in body size. So, this latest member might help fill in some of the evolutionary gaps.
When asked if there might be even larger dinosaurs still undiscovered, Jose Luis Carballido, the study author, stated that “Of course every group of animal will have its own limits, but in the case of dinosaurs they had a group of adaptations that allowed them to reach such giant sizes.”
He added that, although bigger specimens might be out there, this latest discovery is very likely close to the size limit.
This largest known dinosaur was determined to have been endemic to Patagonia and the middle of the Early Cretaceous period.
Study results and details on the species are available in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences of the Royal Society.
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