Fossils Suggest Earth’s Largest-Ever Land-Dwelling Animal

In 2012, when paleontologists began excavating a massive set of 98-million-year-old fossilized bones located at the Candeleros Formation in Argentina’s Neuquén Province, they didn’t realize how big (literally and figuratively) their discovery would be. The research team now believes that the enormous dinosaur—a long-necked, plant-eating titanosaur—could be larger than the 122-foot-long Patagotitan. So far, mostly vertebrae and some pelvic bones have been uncovered, but once load-bearing bones like the femur are found, researchers will be able to more accurately estimate the creature’s size. That said, there’s firm belief in the scientific community it’s “likely that this is a contender for one of the largest, if not the largest, sauropods that have ever been found,” Paul Barrett, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London says. Find out more at Smithsonian Magazine.

Image courtesy of CTyS-UNLaM Science Outreach Agency / Smithsonian Magazine