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Argentine dinosaur may shed light on huge beasts

Thursday, September 4, 2014
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Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara works in a lab near vertebrae from a Dreadnaughtus schrani at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara works in a lab near vertebrae from a Dreadnaughtus schrani at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

— Researchers studying the remains of an enormous dinosaur have given it an equally colossal name: Dreadnoughtus (dred-NAW'-tuss), which means "fearing nothing."

Scientists hope its unusually well-preserved bones will help reveal secrets about some of the largest animals ever to walk the Earth.

When the four-legged beast roamed in Argentina, it stretched about 85 feet long and weighed about 65 tons. That's more than seven times the weight of even a plus-size male African elephant. It probably lived about 75 million to 77 million years ago.

The creature, which ate plants, is described in a study released by the journal Scientific Reports.

 
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