#fossilfriday: the world’s largest known animal finally goes on show!

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This week a fossil which was so recently discovered that it hasn’t been officially named yet went on public display for the first time at a New York museum. The titanosaur, which was unearthed in 2014 in Argentina, is so large (more than 37 metres long!) that it spills out of the gallery hall at one end and just reaches the ceiling (5.7 metres). Estimates put the body mass of the unnamed titanosaur at around 63,500 kg, making it the largest known land animal to have ever lived. The skeleton on display is a cast recreated from the 70% complete fossils discovered in Patagonia, but some of the originals are also on display to the public. The herbivorous titanosaur lived during the Late Cretaceous period (100-95 million years ago), about 30 million years before T. rex and the end of the dinosaur era. Titanosaur finds (by which we mean a variety of closely-related titanosaur species) have been on the up in South America recently, and some think it’s only a matter of time before an even larger specimen could be discovered.

Images courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History.

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