The iconic Tyrannosaurus rex might come to mind when you think about big dinosaurs. Or maybe Spinosaurus or Siats Meekerorum? But when it comes to the biggest dinosaurs (that we know of), there’s a group of long-necked herbivores that make the T-rex look small: Sauropods.
“Sauropods are dinosaurs that walked on four legs, had long necks and tails and ate plants. A Diplodocus could have been twice the weight of a Spinosaurus but that’s just getting started.
“Meet Supersaurus! This hefty herbivore was double the weight of a Diplodocus and may have maxed out at 36 tonnes, or seven elephants.”
“The colossal crown goes to a group of sauropods called titanosaurs. Introducing Puertasaurus, Patagotitan, and, perhaps the heaviest of them all, Argentinosaurus, weighing in at up to 70 tonnes, as much as 14 elephants.
“What allowed these titanosaurs to grow so big?”
This animation from the Natural History Museum in London shares more about titanosaurs, the largest animals to ever live on land. The video was created for a 31 March 2023 – 7 January 2024 exhibit that showcases the first display of Patagotitan mayorum in Europe. From NHM:
“As well as being a hefty weight, Patagotitan is also potentially the longest dinosaur to have ever lived. This giant is thought to have stood around eight metres tall. One of its leg bones alone was over two metres long – taller than most people!”
“In fact, Patagotitan would have been more than nine times heavier than an African elephant, which is the largest land animal alive today.
“Patagotitan lived around 101 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous.
“Fossils of this prehistoric reptile were found in Chubut Province, Argentina. It’s one of the most complete titanosaurs found so far, so there is more certainty about its size than other dinosaurs that are sometimes claimed be the world’s biggest, such as Puertasaurus and Argentinosaurus.”
Watch this next: Meet the Titanosaur at AMNH.
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