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Dinosaur fossil is 'biggest creature to ever walk Earth'

Researchers with the excavated bones of the giant dinosaur. Credit: PA

Scientists have found the fossilised bones of what they believe is the biggest ever dinosaur.

The creature could have been as long as 35 metres from head to tail - more than the length of three buses.

Named Patagotitan mayorum, it is thought to have weighed the same as a Challenger 2 tank - around 62 tonnes.

Artist's impression of the Patagotitan mayorum Credit: G. Lio/PA Wire

The bones, found in Argentina, may have belonged to the biggest creature ever to have walked the Earth.

Discovered in a quarry in Chubut Province in Argentina in 2013, researchers now think the bones belonged to six different individuals that died in a floodplain before being preserved in mud.

The dinosaurs lived 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

It was a sauropod, a long-necked plant-eating relative of the Brontosaurus and Diplodocus.

The giant dinosaur bones were found in this quarry in Chubut Province, Argentina Credit: A.Otero/PA

Findings from researchers at the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio in Argentina suggest the Patagotitan mayorum was 10% bigger than the Argentinosaurus - previously thought to be the biggest land animal ever.

The team, led by Dr Jose Carballido, wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: "The above-mentioned body mass estimates, as well as these vertebral comparisons, places Patagotitan as the largest known dinosaur species."

Here we describe a new giant titanosaur, which not only represents the largest sauropod described so far but also one of the most complete titanosaur taxa recovered to date.

– Researchers in Proceedings of the Royal Society B