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The World's Largest Dinosaurs

Updated on June 8, 2012
Plant eater argentinosaurus (named after Argentina, where its remains were found.
Plant eater argentinosaurus (named after Argentina, where its remains were found.
Sauroposeidon. Once thought to be the largest sauropod until paleontologists confirmed it was slightly lighter than the Argentinasaurus
Sauroposeidon. Once thought to be the largest sauropod until paleontologists confirmed it was slightly lighter than the Argentinasaurus

Argentinosaurus

Paleontologists say there have been dinosaurs even bigger than this massive plant eating creature, but the Argentinosaurus is the biggest sauropod backed by physical evidence. It was named after the place where its remains were found, in Argentina. It appropriately is measured at around 120 feet from head to tail. According to paleontologists, this animal may have weighed approximately or more than 100 tons. One vertebra of this sauropod ranges about or over four feet thick.

This dinosaur was first discovered when its remains were found in Argentina by Guillermo Heredia. It lived on the (which back then was an) island-continent of South America. The existence of this sauropod is said to have been around 94-97 million years ago. This was during the late creteceous epoch.

Sauroposeidon

This dinosaur's existence was during the middle cretaceous period, around 110 million years ago. Its physical size was about 100 feet long, from head to tail, and is believed to have weight around or over 60 tons. Just like other sauropods, it was a plant eater. Its most recognizable characteristics were the extremely long neck of this creature, its massive body, and yet it had a very small head for a dinosaur of its sheer size.

The information paleontologist gathered about this sauropod comes from a handful of vertebrae found in Oklahoma during the year of 1999. The size of the Sauroposeidon is beat only by the Argentinasaurus and the Seismosaurus. It is unknown whether or not this dinosaur was about to lift its neck vertically, which would be around 60 feet high in the air, due to beliefs that it would have put enormous stress on the heart. They believe it ate low level vegetation.


Spinosaurus

Spinosaurus, the biggest carnivore
Spinosaurus, the biggest carnivore

There are many theories about this creature. The Spinosaurus is the weirder looking of the prehistoric dinosaurs as it had a long, spiky protuberance from its vertebrae which supported a sail of skin on the back. This dinosaur was estimated to have been between 50-60 feet long from head to tail, and weighed about 7 tons. The sail supports theories that this creature was semi-aquatic, which would explain its food of choice. Not only did it eat the meat of other dead dinosaurs, but also ate fish. It was in the theropod family.

The original fossils of the Spinosaurus are said to have been destroyed during World War II. Those remains were discovered by a German paleontologist named Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach. The fossils were placed in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. These fossils were destroyed in 1944 by an Allied bombing raid. Theories of the Spinosaurus now rely on plaster casts from the original fossils. Despite popular belief, the Spinosaurus was larger and deadlier than the Tyrannosaurus-Rex.

This dinosaur had an unusually long but narrow skull. Its mouth was comprised of short but sharp crocodile-like teeth and it had extremely large and sharp claws on its hands capable of ripping through metal. Paleontologists suggest its closest relatives were the Suchominus and the Irritator dinosaurs. It inhabited the North American shorelines, along with the Sarcosuchus (dubbed the Super Crocodile), which was about 40 feet long and thought to have weighed 10 tons. The Spinosaurus may have walked on all four limbs at some point and time.

Because the Spinosaurus ate both meat and fish, and the fact that it resided on the shorelines of prehistoric North America, paleontologists believe it lived on both the land and underwater like the modern day crocodile. This dinosaur has many similarities to underwater prehistoric creatures and crocodiles of today. The sail may have served multiple functions for the Spinosaurus. It may have been used when the creature was on land for a thermo regulation purpose and for underwater purposes. Other functions of the sail on its back may have been to intimidate other large land dinosaurs, but there is no evidence to support these claims.

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    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      definitely a wonderful hub. Voted up :)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Very interesting info on the large dinosaur Argentinosaurus. I often wondered how they managed to maintain such large weight--even eating all the time, even swallowing everything whole, I would think, because their diet was vegetarian and had little fat, it's still hard to believe they could consume enough calories to keep them going.

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