A new species of dinosaur unearthed in Argentina was one of the largest animals ever to walk on this planet. The colossal Titanosaur named Dreadnoughtus Schrani weighed in at 65 tons. That’s not a random guess. Researchers have obtained fossils of 70% of the key bones required to fully describe the animal. It was heavier than the Boeing 737-900, which weighs about 43 tons.
The new species of dinosaur was 85 feet long
Findings of the study appeared in the journal Scientific Reports on Thursday. The 85-foot long dinosaur stood two stories tall at the shoulder. Surprisingly, it was still growing at the time of its death, reveals the skeletal analysis. Its neck was 37-foot long, and its tail measured 29 feet. Kenneth Lacovara of Drexel University in Philadelphia said its well-preserved fossils were the most complete skeleton known of any animal from the Titanosaur family.
The fossils are about 77 million years old. Evidence suggests that the Dreadnoughtus Schrani lived between 66 million and 83 million years ago. The bones are currently in the U.S. for research purpose and will be returned to Argentina next year. The South American nation will display them at a museum in Río Gallegos in Santa Cruz Province.
Scientists say this species of dinosaur died in the aftermath of a river flood. Dr. Lacovara said, “They got sucked down into this quicksand.” Scientists have also made a laser scan of the remains, and they will post the searchable 3D images online. It’s the first time scientists have been able to accurately determine the weight of a long-extinct Titanosaur, mainly because the skeleton was so complete.
Other dinosaur species could have been bulkier
Other species in Titanosaur family such as Argentinosaurus, Supersaurus and Giraffatitan could have been bulkier and longer. Argentinosaurus, whose remains were discovered in South America, could even have tipped the scale at 100 tons. But so far, scientists have not found sufficient bones from these species to accurately calculate their weights and size. That’s why the new species of dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus Schrani, is generating so much excitement.