Scientists have found a giant among giants in Argentina. A team of paleontologists have unearthed the remains of what could very well be the largest creature to have ever walked the Earth.
A team of scientists from the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglioin (MEF) in Argentina have found what seems to be a new species of titanosaur. Titansaurs are some of the largest herbivores to have ever existed, and judging by the recently unearthed fossils, this currently unnamed giant may weigh in at around 77 tonnes.
"It's like two semi trucks, one after another, and the equivalent of more than 14 African elephants together in terms of weight," said MEF Dinosaur specialist José Luis Carballido.
The giant sized bones were first found by a worker employed by a local farm in Patagonia. The find was made in the southern part of Argentina, an area well known for many previous dinosaur related discoveries. Soon after the bones were found and reported, a team from the MEF came over to survey the find. A single thighbone from this newly discovered species is larger than the average human and scientists estimate that the entire animal would have been around 65 feet in height and may have grown up to 130 feet in length.
"It's a real paleontological treasure," Carballido said. "There were many specimens and they were practically intact, which does not happen often. In fact, the remains of giant titanosaurs are usually fragmented. "
Titanosaurs roamed the vast lands of the supercontinent Gondwana during the late Mesozoic Era approximately 95 million years ago. Back then, South America, Argentina included, was still part of Gondwana. All in all, the MEF paleontologists were able to gather fossils from seven individual titanosaurs. Due to the proximity of the remains, the scientists believe the group died together. Current theories indicate that they either perished due to getting trapped in the mud or due to dehydration.
Aside from the Titanosaur bones, the paleontologists also found numerous teeth from a number of carnivores. It is believed that these carnivores proceeded to the site to devour the stricken Titansaurs. However, the carnivores paid for the meal with their teeth since tearing through the thick titanosaur flesh may have caused the meat eaters to lose some of their teeth. All in all, the team found over 200 fossils on the site. The sheer number of dino remains has led the researchers to refer to the site as a "dinosaur cemetery."