Dreadnoughtus was named after the Dreadnought battleship from the early nineteen hundreds although the word itself goes back to late 17th century.
The name sounds scary, especially since it means “fear nothing,” and at a weight of 65 tons – which is equivalent to 130,000 pounds – the Dreadnoughtus certainly did have nothing to fear. Not even from the T-Rex who weighed a mere 8 tons, nothing in comparison to the staggering weight of Dreadnoughtus, making Dreadnoughtus eight times bigger than T-Rex. In modern terms, this dinosaur was the length of a basketball court and weighed more than an airplane.
And yet, Dreadnoughtus appeared to be a gentle giant. It was sauropod, which is a class of dinosaur noted specifically for their long necks, long tails, small heads (relative to the rest of their body), and four thick, pillar-like legs. They are the largest animals to have ever lived on land, and include such well-known sauropods as the brachiosaurus and the brontosaurus.
But with such an enormous weight to maintain it is believed Dreadnoughtus spent the entire day eating, using his massive 37 foot long neck to help him take down huge quantities of tree leaves, limbs, ferns and shrubs in a very short period of time before stepping a few feet over to begin to eat the next set of tree leaves, ferns and shrubs.
A set of over 100 relatively intact fossils pieces believed to be 77 million years old, landing them squarely in the late cretaceous period, were discovered in Southern Patagonia, Argentina between 2005 and 2009. It appeared the animal’s weight may have been have been the reason for its demise as the remains were found in quicksand. But the most amazing fact scientists discovered about this mammoth dinosaur was that they don’t believe it had yet reached its full size when it died.
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