A study proclaims a newly named species the heavyweight champion of all dinosaurs, making the scary Tyrannosaurus rex look like a munchkin.
At 76 tonnes (69 metric tonnes), the plant-eating behemoth was as heavy as a space shuttle.
The dinosaur's fossils were found in southern Argentina in 2012. Researchers who examined and dated them said the long-necked creature was the biggest of a group of large dinosaurs called titanosaurs.
“There was one small part of the family that went crazy on size,” said Diego Pol of the Egidio Feruglio palaeontology museum in Argentina, co-author of the study published on Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The researchers named the dinosaur Patagotitan mayorum after the Patagonia region where it was found and the Greek word titan, which means large. The second name honours a ranch family that hosted the researchers.
Six fossils of the species were studied and dated to about 100 million years ago, based on ash found around them, Pol said. The dinosaur averaged 122 feet long (37 metres) and was nearly 20 feet high (6 metres) at the shoulder.