Drexel Researchers Find Skeleton of Largest Dinosaur Species EverBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Drexel University researchers have discovered a new dinosaur species that is seven times the size of T.Rex.
Dreadnoughtus schrani, the new supermassive dinosaur species with the complete skeleton, is 85 feet long and weighs about 65 tons. In comparison, the gigantic, long-necked dinosaur is as big as a two-storey house and weighs as much as 12 elephants.
The dinosaur species roamed the earth some 77 million years ago in what is now Argentina. The new dinosaur belongs to a group of large plant eaters known as titanosaurs.
"Dreadnoughtus schrani was astoundingly huge," said Kenneth Lacovara, an associate professor in Drexel University's College of Arts and Sciences, in a press release. "It weighed as much as a dozen African elephants or more than seven T. rex. Shockingly, skeletal evidence shows that when this 65-ton specimen died, it was not yet full grown. It is by far the best example we have of any of the most giant creatures to ever walk the planet."
Dreadnoughtus fossil skeleton was discovered in southern Patagonia in Argentina over four field seasons from 2005 through 2009. The skeleton of the largest land animal is remarkably complete with over 70 percent of the bones. Previously discovered super-massive dinosaurs have been identified from relatively fragmentary remains.
"It turned into a 6-foot-plus-long femur, which was nice, but I kind of figured that this was going to be an isolated bone," Lacovara said. "And then we uncovered the tibia, and then we uncovered the fibula. By the end of the day, we had 10 bones exposed. And four years later, we had 145 bones exposed," Fox News reports.
The researchers named the dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus, after steel warships created in early 20th century. The species name, schrani, honors Adam Schran, an Internet entrepreneur and financial supporter of the project.
"I thought that Dreadnoughtus would be a good name for these dinosaurs, which does two things: It means 'fears nothing,' and this dinosaur would have had nothing to fear. It also connotes something big like a battleship," Lacovara said.
The finding is published in the journal Scientific Reports from the Nature Publishing Group.