Time of the Titans - Which Was the Biggest Dinosaur of All Time?

Giants Amongst the Dinosaurs - Which was the Biggest Dinosaur of All Time?

One of the most interesting facets of dinosaurs for children is learning all about how diverse this number of reptiles actually were. Like, to date there were over 1,000 different species formally named and described. A good many of these known species were quite small, the proven fact that all dinosaurs were huge is just a bit of a misnomer, and museums which love to really have a huge and spectacular dinosaur display often give the wrong impression. As dinosaurs evolved, they filled practically every niche in the foodstuff chain, in the same way terrestrial mammals do today. If land mammals can range in dimensions from the shrew to an African elephant, then it is not surprising to find out that dinosaurs varied in dimensions too.


But what about the really big dinosaurs? Children love to master facts and figures about these prehistoric animals and amongst their favourite questions would be to enquire which was the biggest dinosaur of all time? To identify the giants one of the dinosaurs is just a not too difficult task. There's one particular group that grew much greater than every other known type of dinosaur - indeed a few of the members of this group were undoubtedly the biggest, the longest and the heaviest land animals that have ever roamed planet Earth.


A well-known dinosaur such as for example Triceratops (Triceratops horridus) was big. The biggest species of Triceratops is estimated to own been around nine metres in total and it would have weighed around seven tonnes. If this species of dinosaur were around today it will be classed as the biggest land living animal, with only the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) to rival it. However, Triceratops could have been dwarfed by most of the members of the Sauropoda, a group of long-necked, long-tailed, lizard-hipped dinosaurs, representatives of that may claim to be the biggest land living animals recognized to science.

Introducing the Sauropods

To put it differently, the Sauropods (the name means "lizard foot") were Saurischian, that's belonging to the lizard-hipped clade of dinosaurs that also included the mainly carnivorous Theropods. These plant-eating dinosaurs had small heads, long necks and tails with massive bodies. Their weight was supported by four trunk-like legs and these animals were slow-moving, ponderous creatures. Some of these kind evolved dermal armour and 1 or 2 unusual genera even had tail clubs and spikes, like the armoured dinosaurs like the Stegosaurs and the Ankylosaurs. These dinosaurs can be found in the fossil record in Upper Triassic strata and they survived right up until the finish of age dinosaurs. Sauropods could have been familiar to the kind of Triceratops and Tyrannosaurids such as Tyrannosaurus rex.It had been the Victorians who first marvelled at the size of these dinosaurs. The very first really big dinosaur fossil bones being placed on display during the reign of Queen Victoria and it is from this point onwards that the debate as to which was the biggest dinosaur really got going.

Defining the Biggest Dinosaurs

There are numerous issues with trying to identify which was the biggest of the Sauropods. For a start, most of these colossal creatures are known from only some fragmentary and not even close to complete skeletons. Although the size of a dinosaur may be deferred from a few bones like the femur (thigh bone) using a procedure linked to comparative anatomy it is not precise. The other problem is, new species are now being discovered all the time and this could cause changes in dimensions estimations. Indeed, once a new dinosaur is named and described the resulting press publicity can lead to some inaccurate size estimates becoming highlighted in the media. It appears that adults and children too are thinking about record breakers. We recall focusing on some papers linked to the fossilised track method of a big Sauropod within Upper Jurassic aged rocks in France. The tracks consisted of several metres of clearly defined and very large footprints, some greater than a metre in diameter. By the time the press agencies had got hold of the story and seen a few of the photographs, there was speculation that the dinosaur that walked within the soft mud that preserved their tracks was one of the biggest of most time. This is not easy to confirm if you have only got the footprints to go on. The soft mud could have been easily compacted by the animal's weight and the tracks distorted somewhat as a result. The fossilisation process would likewise have distorted the prints, and perhaps their size was overestimated in the press pictures as only the biggest, clearest prints were photographed.

The Biggest Dinosaurs of All Time - The Contenders

Let us begin with the existing record holder, the dinosaur officially described as the biggest recognized to science, at least for the time being. This honour goes to the South American Sauropod Argentinosaurus (Argentinosaurus huinculensis). This huge dinosaur was formally named and described in 1993. It is only known from a few fragmentary bones, including a femur and some vertebrae, (backbones). The fossils were within Argentina, hence the name what dinosaur has 500 teeth. The tallest vertebrae are over 1.2 metres high. In comparisons with better known Sauropods size estimates because of this dinosaur have been made. These estimates vary considerably, with some scientists suggesting this dinosaur could have been over forty-five metres long and weighing something near seventy tonnes. Other more conservative estimates as to the size of this animal have been made, with an amount of a little over a hundred feet being agreed upon by some palaeontologists. It is certainly, true this Cretaceous giant was an enormous animal, but until more fossils are located the real size of this dinosaur can only be estimated. A number of museums have capitalised on the popularity of the biggest dinosaurs and prepared mounted replicas of this specific giant. The biggest of these museum exhibits measures over thirty-five metres in total, but here again, without more fossil evidence this display is largely speculative.

Other South American Contenders

There are other fragmentary remains of really big, South American Sauropods (Titanosaurs like Argentinosaurus), to consider. A femur (thigh bone) ascribed to a dinosaur referred to as Antarctosaurus measures over 2.3 metres in total, suggesting a dinosaur with a size in excess of forty metres. Other South American giants, such as a contemporary of Argentinosaurus, referred to as Andesaurus (Andesaurus delgadoi) is known from a few very large tail bones. Again size estimates put this specific dinosaur in the over forty metre bracket.

"Bruhathkayosaurus" - The Controversy

Fragmentary remains of a really huge Titanosaurid Sauropod were discovered in southern India during the 1980s. At first scientists thought that the fossils were from an enormous meat-eating dinosaur. However, in 1995 the fossils were reclassified as belonging to a Sauropod, mainly because no other animal was considered to be so big. A tibia (lower leg bone), ascribed to this dinosaur was more than 1.25 times the size of the equivalent bone ascribed to Argentinosaurus. Predicated on scaling up applying this single bone as evidence, the dinosaur from India referred to as Bruhathkayosaurus (Bruhathkayosaurus matleyi) is the largest dinosaur recognized to science. However, the fragmentary nature of the fossils found to date are keeping this specific specimen out of the record books.

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