Meet Dreadnoughtus scrani, one of the largest creatures to ever walk the earth.
The dinosaur, which belongs to a species of gigantic herbivores called Titanosauruses, was discovered by Dr. Kenneth Lacovara on an expeditionary trip to southern Patagonia in Argentina in 2005.
Lacovara, an associate professor at Drexel University's College of Arts and Sciences told The Wire that his team discovered the six foot tall femur of the colossal animal on the first day of their exploratory dig. He published the results of his discovery in a comprehensive paper released in Scientific Reports on Thursday.
The dinosaur was named after 100-foot-long British battleships from the early 20th century called "Dreadnoughts," which means "fearing nothing" in Old English.
The tailbones are gargantuan with huge muscle scars, that show us that it essentially had a weaponized tail that was 30 feet long... this incredibly large and muscled individual that would have feared nothing in its landscape."
The Dreadnoughtus, which lived over 77 million years ago during the Mesozoic era, weighed approximately 65-tons was 30 feet tall, and stretched 85 feet in length. That's the equivalent of seven Tyrannosaurus Rex, or 12 African Elephants, or 20 H2 Hummers.
What's more, Dreadnoughtus was likely still growing at the time of its death, according to "multiple lines" of skeletal evidence that are detailed in the paper.
After uncovering 145 bones on four separate trips to Patagonia, the 16 tons of fossils were shipped to Pennsylvania on an ocean trader provided by the Argentinian government. There was so much material it had to be divided between three labs in the state, where it was organized and studied.
The 145 bones account for over 45 percent of the Dreadnoughtus' skeletal remains, making it the most complete specimen of a Titanosaur to ever be discovered.
In the below video released by Drexel, Lacovara explains his historic discovery.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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