Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Scientists who reconstructed bones of a new dinosaur specie found in Argentina in 2005 revealed that the animal weighed 65 tons, heavier than a Boeing 737-900 aircraft.
The weight of the so-called Dreadnoughtus makes it the heaviest and perhaps the largest terrestrial animal, according to the study titled “A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina” published Thursday in Nature.com.
Before it was discovered, the largest and heaviest dinosaur was the titanosaur called Elaltitan lilloi, whose bones were also dug up in Argentina. The Elaltitan Iilloi was estimated to weigh 47 tons, according to a study published in 2012.
Paleontologists were able to properly estimate the weight of the Dreadnoughtus because 70 percent of its bones were recovered in the Patagonian hills of Argentina. The bones were preserved because they were buried in quicksand.
Study author and paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara of Drexel University discovered 130 bones of the Dreadnoughtus at the site.
The study described the Dreadnoughtus as a plant-eater, had a muscular, weaponized tail, had a 37-foot-long neck, and lived 77 million years ago. Scientists said it was still growing when it got caught in the quicksand.