Fossilized bones of what has been called the largest creature ever to walk the Earth have been discovered in Argentina, paleontologists have said.
A local farmer first stumbled on the remains in the desert near La Flecha, about 250km west of Trelew, Patagonia. The fossils were then excavated by a team from the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio, led by Dr Jose luis Carballido and Dr Diego Pol, according to news sources.
They unearthed the partial skeletons of seven individuals – about 150 bones in total – in good condition, the BBC reported.
Scientists believe that it is a new species of titanosaur, a massive herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period.
By measuring the length and circumference of the largest femur (thigh bone), scientist calculated the total weight of the creature to be about 77 tonnes – equal to the weight of 14 African elephants.
"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," the researchers told the news channel.
"Its length, from its head to the tip of its tail, was 40m. Standing with its neck up, it was about 20m high- equal to a seven-storey building."
The giant beast is thought to have lived in the forests of Patagonia between 95 to 100 million years ago.
"It will be named describing its magnificence and in honour to both the region and farm owners who alerted us about the discovery," the researchers said.
Until now, the world's biggest dinosaur was thought to be Argentinosaurus – a similar type of creature which was discovered in Patagonia. Scientists had said that it weighed in at 70 tonnes.