Paleontologists May Have Discovered Largest Land Animal in History

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Paleontologists in Argentina have uncovered dinosaur fossils that may belong to the largest land animal to ever walk the Earth.

A newly published report in Cretaceous Research discusses the remarkably large bones which may have belonged to a massive dinosaur more than 130 feet long and weighing over 100 tons. The type of dinosaur has yet to be determined by researchers, but they believe it to be a particularly large member of the aptly named group known as titanosaurs. These mega-sized dinosaurs all have long tails, impressive weight, and walk around on all fours. Titanosaurs belong to a larger group of dinosaurs known as sauropods, of which the brontosaurus is probably the best known. Titanosaurs dwarfed even these megafauna.

Though they have been found on nearly all continents, titanosaur fossils are particularly prevalent in Patagonia, where this latest specimen was uncovered.

Researchers found quite a few vertebrae and part of the pelvis. Estimating based off of that, they believe there's a possibility that the dinosaur might be larger than the patagotitan, the current record holder for largest land animal. Though they don't yet know if it is a new species, variations in the shape of certain bones have them hopeful that they may have found something entirely new. They will not know until making further excavations and observations.

"It is a huge dinosaur, but we expect to find much more of the skeleton in future field trips, so we'll have the possibility to address with confidence how really big it was," paleontologist Alejandro Otero told CNN.

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