Local News

Dinosaur in Argentina Large in Mass, Short on Fear

Artistic rendering of sauropod dinosaurs.
Artistic rendering of sauropod dinosaurs.

(KCPW News) A dinosaur discovered in Argentina weighed as much as seven elephants when it roamed the earth 75 million years ago.

Researchers have named the colossal quadruped Dreadnoughtus, which roughly means “fearless dinosaur.” And at 85 feet long and 65 tons, the ancient creature was likely an imposing sight to behold.

Some scientists are speculating that this dinosaur could have the largest calculable size ever verified. But Salt Lake-based science writer Brian Switek says it’s likely that even bigger dinosaurs existed—we just don’t have the evidence to prove it.

“That’s the irony of these biggest dinosaurs,” Switek says. “The bigger they were, the less there was to be preserved. You’d think they’d be these big sturdy things that wouldn’t break down, but they’re so huge that it takes so much sediment to cover them, and they’re usually ripped apart by scavengers before they can be buried.”

While Utah is known for its wealth of dinosaur fossils, our state lacks the monster sauropods of Argentina. But Switek says Utah can stake claim to a similar beast of archeological significance: Dystrophaeus.

“It was the oldest sauropod dinosaur that we know of in North America, so it kind of sets the body plan for some of the giants that came shortly thereafter,” he says. “We might not have the biggest of the big, but we still have some pretty remarkable sauropods in our own state.”

Dreadnoughtus’ herbivore lifestyle and hefty dimensions are chronicled in research journal Scientific Reports.

    Music Song