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Sat, 17 May 2014 14:12:30 +0000
(TRELEW, Argentina) -- Researchers believe they've found fossils of a dinosaur so large that it would have made Tyrannosaurus rex look like a pipsqueak.
Researchers announced they found fossils of a sauropod dinosaur that they estimate was the largest creature to have ever walked the earth.
Dr. Ruben Cueno, director of Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio in Trelew, Argentina, said the dinosaur would have weighed at least 77 tons and grown to triple the size of a T. Rex. The bones were initially discovered by a farmer who spotted something unusual coming out of the ground.
"It looked like a bone, but it was absolutely different from the bones [he recognized like] horse, llamas and sheep," Cuneo told ABC News.
When the farmer alerted local scientists, they started digging and discovered a treasure trove of fossils. Cuneo said there are bones for seven dinosaurs, each the height of a seven-story building and stretching 120 feet from nose to tail.
"[It's] a major, major beast that has been discovered for the first time in Patagonia," said Cuneo. "It was an amazing discovery."
Although scientists have been digging for years, Cuneo told ABC News he expects the dig to take at least two more years before all the bones are removed. Some bones will remain on site for the winter, covered by special plaster. Other early findings have already been brought back to the museum, where a new wing will be created solely to display the new dinosaur species.
The dinosaur does not yet have a name, but Cuneo said since names often refer to a geographic area or a researcher, it's possible that the dinosaur will reflect where it was found.
"Super Patagoniasauraus," Cueno said was one option. "[This] is going to be a major attraction in coming years."
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