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As heavy as 14 elephants, as long as 2 tractor trailers: Meet Mr. Titanosaur

By Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 7:52 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Experts piece together seven specimens of titanosaurs
  • They were about 130 feet long, weighed 180,000 pounds, museum says
  • The discovery dates back to about 95 million years ago

(CNN) -- They may be the biggest boys on any block -- any block, ever.

In fact, the dinosaurs unveiled Saturday by Argentina's Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio may be the largest to grace the Earth. At about 130 feet (40 meters) long and 180,000 pounds (80,000 kilograms), it's no wonder, then, that these colossal creatures are dubbed titanosaurs -- titan being a nod to the giants of ancient Greek mythology.

"It's like two trucks with a trailer each, one in front of the other, and the weight of 14 elephants together," said Jose Luis Carballido, a dinosaur specialist at the Argentinian museum who played a big part in the discovery.

And, like your mother might have told you, these dinosaurs grew big and strong eating their vegetables.

These herbivores dated back to about 95 million years ago, in the late Mesozoic Era. In 2011, scientists exploring a remote swath of Argentina's Patagonia some 160 miles (260 kilometers) from the city of Trelew came across a site with 200 fossils -- a find that the museum characterized as "a dinosaur cemetery."

A technician poses next to a dinosaur fossil, thought to be a new species of Titanosaur, and likely to be the largest ever to roam the earth. The discovery was made in remote Chubut, Argentina, about 800 miles south of Buenos Aires. A technician poses next to a dinosaur fossil, thought to be a new species of Titanosaur, and likely to be the largest ever to roam the earth. The discovery was made in remote Chubut, Argentina, about 800 miles south of Buenos Aires.
Giant dinosaur unearthed in Argentina
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Photos: Giant dinosaur unearthed in Argentina Photos: Giant dinosaur unearthed in Argentina
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According to a news release from the museum, these experts were able to piece together seven specimens of titanosaurs out of this. The belief is that they died together there, perhaps from dehydration or being stuck in the mud.

The discovery of more than 60 teeth from large carnivore dinosaurs (albeit no bones of carnivores) suggests what happened next: the titannosaur remains were eaten up.

"Probably, they went to (eat) the herbivores' dead bodies," said Carballido. "But the feast came at a price: The carnivores would lose many of their teeth as they attempted to bite the hard skin and flesh."

Scientists unveil dinosaur dubbed the 'chicken from hell'

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