In an awesome piece of science history, a new species of dinosaur has been discovered that is even larger than the T. Rex, the past heavyweight champ of the dinosaurs. The Dreadnoughtus, as the new species has been named, was unearthed in Argentina.
Weighing in at 85 feet tall and 65 tons, the Dreadnoughtus is the largest animal body that has ever been discovered on Earth. The skeleton found by the research team is about 70 percent complete. Scientists have previously found small fragments of huge, supermassive dinosaurs like this one, but they had only found pieces too small to tell much about the dinosaur or accurately estimate the weight.
This discovery is proof that super-huge dinosaurs once roamed the Earth, much bigger than T. Rex. The T. Rex could only grow up to 20 feet tall, according to National Geographic. Scientists have named this massive creature Dreadnoughtus schrani. It seems to date back to the Upper Cretaceous period.
The team, led by Professor Kenneth Lacovara of Drexel University, has been working on uncovering the skeleton since 2005.
"Dreadnoughtus schrani was astoundingly huge," said Lacovara. "It weighed as much as a dozen African elephants or more than seven T. rex. Shockingly, skeletal evidence shows that when this 65-ton specimen died, it was not yet full grown. It is by far the best example we have of any of the most giant creatures to ever walk the planet."
The report of the dinosaur's discovery was published today in the journal Scientific Reports. The team found at least 100 bones from the dinosaur. Both of the bones used to estimate mass, the humerus and the femur, were found. The dinosaur's femur was more than 6 feet long, but the bones indicate that the dinosaur was still growing at the time of its death! That means that there may have been adult Dreadnoughtuses that were even more massive. The team also found one complete tooth from the dinosaur.
The team also found a smaller Dreadnoughtus skeleton in the same place, but the skeleton of that was not very complete.
This group of supermassive dinosaurs have been named Titanosaurs, after Greek Titans like Prometheus that once ruled the Earth.
The entire scientific report is available for free viewing online, with more graphics of the dinosaur's skeleton and an artistic rendering of what the complete dinosaur would have looked like.