Have you ever wondered what is the largest dinosaur that ever lived? Determining the size of the largest is difficult. Paleontologists have to guess its figure based on incomplete fossil records. And part of the problem is that many of the largest dinosaur skeletons are incomplete.
Incomplete fossils, evolving techniques, and paleontological concern with huge dinosaurs have all contributed to the constant quest to find the largest creature to ever walk the planet.
And while there were many and varied large dinosaurs, the largest belonged to a group called sauropods . These quadrupedal herbivores are most recognizable by their tiny heads, teeth designed to feed on grasses, long necks, stocky bodies, and sharp tails (like Brontosaurus and Diplodocus). But even these creatures were not the largest of all.
With almost 36 and a half meters in length, Patagotitan mayorum was the largest dinosaur we have had a record of since 2017, when the skeleton of this dinosaur that roamed the Earth 100 million years ago was reconstructed. It was quadrupedal and herbivorous, so it was not necessarily noted for its hunting abilities. On the contrary, they were distinguished by being peaceful animals.
Supersaurus, the winner
The fossil records of other species such as Argentinosaurus, Patagotitan and Australotitan had not been enough to determine which was the largest dinosaur among all. At the end of 2021, the paleontologist of the Arizona Museum of Natural History, Brian Curtice, presented, based on the new measurements, Supersaurus as the largest animal that the Earth has seen with more than 39 meters in length (it could have reached 42 meters long) and a weight of around 70 tons. According to the study, it is estimated that it lived 150 million years ago at the end of the Jurassic.
Even its “shortest” size breaks records ; the lowest estimate states that it would have been longer than another contender: Diplodocus, which could reach lengths of 33 meters long, according to a 2006 study of a specimen known as Seismosaurus in the Bulletin of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science .
Argentinosaurus, the heaviest
Although it is the largest animal that has stepped on our planet, it is not the heaviest dinosaur that has ever existed; that honor goes to Argentinosaurus. This 33-37 meter long beast weighed between 50,000 and 100,000 kilograms (averaging 90 tons, according to the Natural History Museum in London). It lived during the Upper Cretaceous period in what is now Argentina. Precisely, the name of this genus was conceived due to the country where it was found -Argentina-.
As a curiosity, the longest recorded animal is not a dinosaur, but a 45 meter long siphonophore, a translucent and fibrous creature that lives in an underwater canyon off the coast of Australia.
Referencia: Herne, Matthew C. and Spencer G. Lucas. “SEISMOSAURUS HALLORUM: OSTEOLOGICAL RECONSTRUCTION FROM THE HOLOTYPE.” (2006).
Morphology of a specimen of Supersaurus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Morrison Formation of Wyoming, and a re-evaluation of diplodocid phylogeny (2008) David M. Lovelace , Scott A. Hartman , William R. Wahl . Arq. Mus. Nac. Rio J
Museo de Historia Natural de Arizona