Scientists have discovered the skeleton of a new supermassive dinosaur species, named Dreadnoughtus in Patagonia in southern Argentina. The new dinosaur belongs to a group of large plant eaters known as titanosaurs. At 85 feet long and weighing about 65 tons in life, Dreadnoughtus is the largest land animal for which a body mass can be accurately calculated.
Its skeleton is exceptionally complete, with over 70 percent of the bones, excluding the head, represented.
Kenneth Lacovara, of Drexel University discovered the Dreadnoughtus fossil skeleton and led the excavation and analysis. He said:
Dreadnoughtus schrani was astoundingly huge. 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.
Lacovara and colleagues published the detailed description of their discoveryin the journal Scientific Reports on September 4.