(CNN) — Recently-unearthed fossils in Argentina suggest that giant dinosaurs roamed the Earth some 30 million years earlier than scientists had previously thought.
Researchers named it "Ingentia prima," from the Latin words huge and first.
Early Triassic sauropodomorphs were small and ran on two legs.
Ingentia prima was about three times bigger and traveled on all fours.
The dinosaur had a bird-like respiratory system and air sacs in its bones that helped keep it cool.
The fossils showed that it had cyclical growth, which means that it would have spurts of rapid growth then stop growing for similar periods of time, much like a tree.
Later sauropodomorphs would grow at a steady rate.
Its large size helped protect it from predators and future dinosaurs evolved to grow even bigger.
"We see in Ingentia prima the origin of gigantism, the first steps so that, more than 100 million years later, sauropods of up to 70 tons could come into existence like those that lived in Patagonia," Apaldetti said.