Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Largest Known Dinosaur In The World Just Got A Name

Largest Known Dinosaur In The World Just Got A Name

While it is part of the titanosaur family, the dino is part of a whole new species and genus, meaning the team had to give it a name.

A cast of the dinosaur's skeleton is on display at the American Museum of National History in NY.

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.

At 69 tonnes, the behemoth was as heavy as a space shuttle.

The fossils, which include vertebrae and rib bones, are from six young adult dinosaurs, and were all found in the same Patagonian quarry in Argentina.

"There was one small part of the family that went insane on size", said Diego Pol of the Egidio Feruglio paleontology museum in Argentina, a co-author of a study which analyzed six fossils of the species, as quoted by AP.

Those numbers make the Tyrannosaurus Rex and other meat-eaters "look like dwarfs when you put them against one of these giant titanosaurs", Pol said. It's so big that the dinosaur's head sticks out into a hallway at the NY museum.

"There was one small part of the family that went insane on size", said Diego Pol of the Egidio Feruglio paleontology museum in Argentina, co-author of the study published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "It's like you're putting an elephant near a lion". "They may be slow moving animals, wake up, walk around, try to run, this is really challenging for the big animals", he said.

"All contenders for the largest dinosaur species were similar sized, within a 10 to 15 percent difference", Pol said, per National Geographic.

"I don't think they were scary at all", he said.

Sauropods were the largest land animals that ever lived, and of this group nothing matched the titanosaurs in size.

Researchers say there was likely "one major event" that allowed this endemic clade to become so big. Researchers are still studying it, but said it probably has to do with an explosion of flowering plants at the time.

The fossil found, was so big that it took two weeks to unearth it.It was a thigh bone, and the largest ever found-eight feet from end to end.

Kristi Curry Rodgers, a paleontologist at Macalester College who wasn't part of the study, praised the work as important.

But the finding turned out to be more than just a big bone.

Prior to the discovery of the P. mayorum, scientists believed the title of world's biggest dinosaur belonged to the Argentinosaurus, another titanosaur.

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