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The largest creature to walk the Earth may have been unearthed4 min read

February 11, 2021 3 min read

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The largest creature to walk the Earth may have been unearthed4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It may have been larger than a T-rex but for 98 million years finding it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, three weeks ago, scientists in Argentina made a massive discovery. Quite literally.

They discovered what could be the most enormous creature to have ever walked the surface of this planet. They were digging in a well-known archaeological park in southwest Argentina when they unearthed what they thought was just another Sauropod.

largest dinosaur excavation
Image: Science Alert

Deep inside a rock, this group of archaeologists found two dozen vertebrae and some hip bones. Some of these individual bones were in fact as big as a human being!! The scientists quickly knew they were dealing with something historic. While they aren’t certain about the dimensions of the creature, they are sure that it was a titanosaur of considerable size. It was definitely one of the largest creatures on Earth.

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The vertebrae of this enormous dinosaur. Image: Science Alert

Who is this creature though?

Owliver’s Obscure Observation: Sauropods are a group of long-necked large dinosaurs that roamed the earth about a million years ago. They were some of the largest dinosaurs that have a reptile-like hip structure. They had long necks and tails, four thick elephant-like legs, and a huge body. However, funnily enough, their heads are rather tiny. They may sound terrifying as heck but really they were peaceful vegetarians that ambled around like big friendly giants. Some popular sauropods are the diplodocus, apatosaurus, brachiosaurus, and brontosaurus. You probably saw them in the movie Jurassic Park.

The bones that the scientists just found belong to a sauropod that belonged to the Titanosaur family. Titanosaurs are the largest of the sauropods, and in fact, the largest dinosaur known so far is also a Titanosaur called the Patagotitan. Scientists haven’t found enough of the creature to determine its species yet but they hope they’ll find the rest of the giant nearby.

What What Dinosaur Sticker by HOUSE BRAND

Check out this chart to understand the classification of might just be the world’s largest creature.

So far not much is known about the creature. Scientists can’t say what this dinosaur’s exact weight, height or length was as many more bones are yet to be excavated. Since the dinosaur is embedded in rocks it will be a while before the entire fossil is discovered. However, based on the bones that have already been found scientists are fairly certain that this was the largest creature to have walked the planet.

“Everything depends on what happens with the excavations. But regardless of whether it is bigger (than the Patagotitan) or not, the discovery of an intact dinosaur of such dimensions is a novelty.” 

geologist Alberto Garrido, director of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Zapala
main article image
The Excavation Process. Image: Science Direct

When was it alive?

The fossil itself was found in a rock that was about 98 million years old. This means that the creature was alive during the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era. In fact, all Titanosaurs roamed the Earth around that time and then went extinct with all the rest of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago.

Historic eras and periods Image: GabbyDaddy

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Think with Owliver:

How do you excavate a fossil from a rock without damaging the fossil?

What is the point of classifying animals in this complex way?

Lastly, how much more of this fossil will scientists manage to find?

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With Excerpts From: EnchantedLearning.com, New Scientist, The Print, and Livescience

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