Remember when we told you a few days ago (and last year) that the biggest dinosaur in the world was found in Argentina (of course)? While technically that statement is still true, the largest dinosaur in the world is no longer the one from a week ago.
Then again, it could be, it’s hard to know for sure. We’ll play it safe like Clarín and go with a confident “maybe.” What we do know is that researchers have found the fossils of a new dinosaur with the biggest femur found to date, which means it is likely the largest dinosaur as well.
The Notocolossus gonzalezparejasi (let’s call it Notocolossus for short) was found in Malargüe, in the south of Mendoza by a group of Argentine and US researchers led by Bernardo González Riga, of the National University of Cuyo and the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET).
It was found to have a 1.76 meter femur, which is 0.03 meters taller than Teves and 0.06 meters taller than La Pulga (the nickname just keeps getting more relevant).
The fossils of the dinosaur were found in 2009 but it’s discovery was announced this week through an article in Scientific Reports,
The “giant of the south,” which is what Notocolossus’ means, is believed to have been between 25 and 28 meters long and, depending on which headline you read, weighed the equivalence of either 10 elephants or 12 elephants. Once again, it might be best to play it safe and go with Clarín’s evermore scientific measurement of 9 to 13 elephants. By the way, elephants range in weight from around 2,700 to 7,000 kilograms so have fun with that one.
To spare you the trouble: The actual weight of the dinosaur is speculated to be between 40 and 60 tons. Still quite a bit of variation but at least it doesn’t involve converting to elephants.
The Notocolossus is the first Titanosaurus to have been found with a complete foot. Apparently that’s a pretty big deal. The Notocolossus has less phalanges on its foot than other Sauropoda (it’s a dinosaur clade). If that doesn’t excite you, you’re probably not a paleontologists.
For now the Notocolossus might be the largest dinosaur found, but give it another week and Argentina is sure to produce an even bigger one.