A group of researchers announced the discovery in southern Argentina of the most complete fossilized skeleton of what is considered the largest dinosaur that inhabited the Earth.
Scientists at Drexel University – in Philadelphia, United States – said Thursday that they possess 70% of the key bones to accurately describe the anatomy and biomechanics of the creature known as Dreadnoughtus schraniwhich measured approximately 25 meters from head to tail and weighed about 65 tons, the equivalent of a dozen African elephants.
«the Dreadnoughtus schrani it was unbelievably huge,» said Kenneth Lacovara, an associate professor in Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences, who discovered the fossil skeleton in southern Patagonia in Argentina and led the excavation and study.
«It weighed as much as more than seven Tyrannosaurus rexes,» added Lacovara, who also explained that bone evidence shows that when the dinosaur died it was not fully developed.
The dinosaur belongs to a group of large herbivores known as titanosaurs, a dubious genus of sauropod dinosaurs, which lived in the late Cretaceous period approximately 70 million years ago.
The Patagonian rocks from which the fossil was taken suggest that the young animal’s life ended abruptly due to a catastrophic flood.
Lacovara told the BBC that the enormous size of the dinosaur intimidated anyone.
For that reason, it was given the name that recalls the massive battle that revolutionized naval combat at the beginning of the 20th century.
«Dreadnoughtus was giant and there couldn’t have been anything in its environment that would make it prey, it was pretty impervious to attack,» Lacovara said.
«That evokes in my mind the naval battles of the turn of the century, the first of steel ships that were also impervious to attacks from other ships that existed at the time. So what better name than ‘he who did not fear nothing'».
The detailed description of the fossils was published in the journal Scientific Reports.