Researchers from the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio in Argentina unveiled the discovery of seven dinosaurs' remains this week in a series of photos that show off the substantial size of each of the ancient creatures' fossilized bones. The researchers uncovered more than 200 fossils in southern Argentina's province of Chubut.
Dubbed Titanosaurs, the specimens belong to a distinct group of sauropod dinosaurs that were characterized by their enormous stature and long necks and tails, and lived around 95 million years ago during the late Mesozoic Era. The fossil finds included bones from the dinosaurs' neck and back, along with pieces of the tail and legs.
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Paleontologists work at the site where the bones of a sauropod dinosaur were unearthed, near Trelew, Argentina. (AP Photo/Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio)
Spanish paleontologist Jose Ignacio Canudo lies alongside a sauropod dinosaur femur in Trelew, Argentina. (AP Photo/Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio)
"Given the size of these bones, which surpass any of the previously known giant animals, the new dinosaur is the largest animal known that walked on Earth," museum researchers told BBC News.
Based on the remains, the team estimates that the herbivore measured 40 meters (131 feet) from head to tail, stood 20 meters tall (65 feet) and weighed 77 metric tons (about 170,000 pounds).
"It's like two trucks with a trailer each, one in front of the other, and the weight of 14 elephants together," dinosaur specialist Jose Luis Carballido said, according to The Guardian.
The head of the museum's technical laboratory, Pablo Puerta, lies alongside a sauropod dinosaur femur in Trelew, Argentina. (AP Photo/Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio, Jose Maria Farfaglia)
Discovered near a graveyard of carnivore teeth, researchers said that other predators may have preyed on the giant herbivores' remains, but struggled to pierce their armored flesh, losing teeth in the process.
The ancient fossils were first spotted by a rural worker in 2011, NBC News notes. An excavation of the site did not begin until 2013, and only about one-fifth of the area has been explored so there may be more discoveries to come.