The biggest dinosaurs were sauropods – a group of dinosaurs famous for their size and long neck. If it comes to the question of what the biggest dinosaur is – there are several candidates. Keep in mind that Paleontologists often find only parts of a dinosaur, like vertebrae, and assume its size based on the size of similar dinosaurs. For instance, paleontologists found a HUGE vertebra in the Morrison Formation, but not the complete skeleton. It belongs to a sauropod, and Paleontologists assume the dinosaur had a length of 48 meters (157 ft). A dinosaur of this size would be the biggest ever known dinosaur, but it’s impossible to verify it without a complete skeleton. Bummer!
What is the biggest dinosaur?
The biggest skeleton ever found was from a dinosaur named Diplodocus. It was between 27 and 35 meters (89–115 feet) and lived 157 – 145 million years ago in North America. It weighed up to 15 tons. However, there are some other HUGE dinosaurs you need to know! Even though Diplodocus is the biggest complete found dinosaur, parts of other sauropods have been found and suggest that much bigger dinosaurs existed.
The anonymous vertebra we just talked about belongs most likely to a sauropod called Barosaurus. If this is true, it means that Barosaurus could reach a size between 25 and 48 meters (82–157 feet) and is, therefore, the biggest dinosaur. If it isn’t, it would still be a pretty big dinosaur, with a length of more than 27 meters.
This dinosaur is not famous at all, even though it could be the biggest dinosaur that ever roamed this earth. There’s just one problem, though. Only one bone was found. It was estimated to have reached a size of 60 meters (200 ft) in length when they discovered the bone. However, new research claims that the bone belongs to an animal of 31 meters (102 ft) in length. Come on, that’s still pretty big!
This dinosaur isn’t famous either because it’s quite a new discovery. Paleontologists found it in 2014, and with a size of 37 meters (121 feet), it is another candidate for the biggest dinosaur.
Argentinosaurus is very famous and often regarded as the biggest dinosaur ever. It was probably 30 – 35 meters long (98–115 feet) long and weighed around 90 tonnes.
Supersaurus is another incomplete found dinosaur – that might be the biggest dinosaur or at least one of the biggest. Paleontologists found two incomplete skeletons, both combined display half of a skeleton. That’s still enough to assume its size to 32–35 meters (105–115 feet).
Sauroposeidon reached a length of 27–34 meters (89–112 ft) and is one of the biggest dinosaurs that ever existed in North America. It gets its name from Greek words that mean ‘lizard’ and ‘earthquake god.’ Unfortunately, like so many other dinosaur fossils, Sauropodseidons’ remains weren’t complete, and their size was estimated by comparing the remains with the skeleton size of other sauropods.
Puertasaurus probably reached a length of 30 meters (98 feet) and was discovered in Argentina.
What about brontosaurus?
Brontosaurus might be one of the most famous sauropods, but it’s with a length of 22 meters (72 feet), not even close to the biggest dinosaur. If paleontologists estimate the size of Barosaurus (based on the biggest preserved vertebra) correct, then brontosaurus was just half as big as the biggest dinosaur.
The same is true for apatosaurus and brachiosaurus.
Then again, even the smallest sauropods were bigger than most other living creatures. So it’s worthwhile to realize how huge these animals were! And who knows, there might be bigger or different dinosaurs waiting to be discovered!