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Argentinosaurus

'Argentina's lizard'

WWD

Argentinosaurus was most probably the largest land animal ever to walk the planet. Like other sauropod dinosaurs, it had a long neck and long tail. It was the king of all sauropods.

They call it home

Argentinosaurus lived in an arid environment with a wet season.

What big teeth you have

What big teeth you have

Argentinosaurus would probably have had weak jaws with pencil-like teeth for stripping the leaves off conifer trees. Unfortunately, we do not know for sure because no skull has ever been found.

The poop scoop

The poop scoop

Argentinosaurus had an estimated poop volume of 15 litres (26 pints). Their excrement probably covered an impressive area, especially when dropped from a height.

The most fantastic find

The most fantastic find Argentinosaurus fossils were first uncovered by a South American rancher named Guillermo Heredia who discovered a vertebra in 1987. It was so massive (as tall as a person) that he mistook it for a piece of petrified wood. It wasn't until 1993 that José F Bonaparte identified these bones as coming from a dinosaur. Argentinosaurus fossils are national treasures in Argentina so you'll never find this titanosaur's bones anywhere else.

Argentinosaurus features

Argentinosaurus features Height: 8m (26.24ft)
Length: 37m (121.36ft)
Weight: 100 tonnes (112 short tons)
Top speed: 4.9kph (3.04mph)
Vision: Argentinosaurus probably had eyes on either side of its head, like its sauropod relatives.
Skin: Argentinosaurus probably had scaly armour or osteoderms, like modern-day crocodiles and armadillos. These osteoderms would have stored minerals for use in maintaining their huge skeletons and producing large clutches of eggs.
Brain: To compete with the clever Velociraptor, which had a big brain for its body size, Argentinosaurus would have needed an enormous brain. It didn't. This gigantic dinosaur would not have been the most intelligent of dinosaurs.
Prey: Argentinosaurus would have eaten plants including prehistoric conifers. It is thought that this massive dinosaur would have had to ingest 100,000 calories a day to reach its adult size – that's the equivalent of 50 whole chocolate cakes or 2,127 apples.
Nest: Argentinosaurus would have laid eggs about the size of a coconut. Its hatchlings were born weighing just 5kg (11lb) and each one would have taken over 40 years to reach adult size. That's a hell of a childhood!

Argentinosaurus facts and theories

Argentinosaurus facts and theories

  1. Argentinosaurus were probably able to rear up on their hind legs. Imagine a 100-tonne dinosaur smashing back down to Earth with a thud!
  2. Argentinosaurus is one of hundreds of unusual dinosaurs found in Argentina, one of the richest countries in the world for fossil discoveries.
  3. Amazingly, Allosaurus fossils had been preserved for the last 150 million years in the Morrison formation. For palaeontologists, it is a Jurassic playground.
  4. The humongous measurements of Argentinosaurus are estimates calculated by comparing its fragmentary bones to those of relatives known from complete skeletons. Would theropods like Mapusaurus even attempt to prey on an Argentinosaurus? Maybe, but probably only on the young and weak.
  5. An Argentinosaurus' osteoderms would have been the largest ever known – the size of a gym bag!