Researchers have discovered a 98-million-year-old fossil in southwestern Argentina that they say may belong to the largest dinosaur in history.
Researchers say the fossilized bone fragments of this dinosaur, some of which are about the height of a human, are 10 to 20 percent larger than the fossils attributed to the largest known dinosaur, the Patagotitan mayorum.
Sauropods were very large herbivorous dinosaurs with necks and tails, and researchers refer to them as the largest land creatures in history. The Patagotaitan Mayorum, a fossil found in Argentina weighing about 70 tons and 40 meters long (about the length of four school buses), belonged to the same family of dinosaurs.
By putting together newly discovered fossil fragments that include the pelvic bones and vertebrae of the spine, researchers are looking to identify similarities with other dinosaurs. Excavations are underway to extract more parts, and researchers say the best thing could be to discover the bones of the thighs and arms, which are very helpful in estimating the dinosaur’s body mass.
Archaeologists say the fossil was first discovered in 2012 in Argentina’s Neocon province, but excavations began in 2015 and continue to this day. So far, they have discovered more than half of the tail and many parts of the hip joint. They add that there are more fossils inside the rocks that will take years to dig and extract.
This huge skeleton was discovered in a layer of ancient rock that dates back to 98 million years ago and the Upper Cretaceous period. Researchers note that the fossil is likely to be largely intact.