Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT


Argentinosaurus or “silver lizard” is a genus of sauropod dinosaur discovered by Guillermo Heredia in Argentina. It was named for the country in which it was discovered. Argentina is derived from the Latin word argentum, which means “silver”. The dinosaur lived between 96 to 94 million years ago, during the Middle Cretaceous Period. Not much of the specimen has been recovered, but enough was found to make an estimate of the actual size of the animal.

Gregory S Paul reconstructed the Argentinosaurus and estimated it to be between 98 and 110 feet in length and with a weight of 88 to 110 tons. Estimates of other relatively complete titanosaurs have helped estimate the size of Argentinosaurus. Other scientists used different scale models of other specimens and came to the conclusion that the actual length may have been closer to 75-82 feet, and actual weight 66 to 97 tons. Most scientists consider 80 tons to be the most likely size of the animal. This determination could make it the heaviest known sauropod.

The type species A. huinculensis, was described and published by palaeontologists José F. Bonaparte and Rodolfo Coria of Argentina. The fossils were discovered in the Huincul Formation of the Rio Limay Subgroup in Neuquén Province, Argentina. The remains are located and featured prominently in the exhibition Giants of the Mesozoic at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. At 123 feet in length, this skeletal reconstruction of Argentinosaurus is the largest dinosaur mount ever to be assembled.

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