Imagine an animal so colossal that the first estimates for its size were considered too large to be physically possible. This herbivorous giant was 26 meters in length and weighed nearly as much as a passenger aircraft.

Key Facts

Dreadnoughtus pronunciationDred-Not-Us
What does Dreadnoughtus mean?Fears nothing
Dinosaur typeSauropod
On the menuHerbivorous
Length26 meters (85 feet)
Height5 meters (16 feet 40 inches)
Weight49 tons (about 108,000 lbs)
Life expectancy110 years
Legs used to get aroundQuadrupedal
Estimated top speedUnknown
When they livedLate Cretaceous era 83.6-66 million years ago
Where they have been found?Argentina

When & Where

The remains were discovered in 2005 by paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara in southern Argentina. The bones were so large and their location so remote that it took nearly 4 years for them to be fully excavated and transported. Preparation and closer analysis soon followed.

Size & Weight

The Dreadnoughtus was exceptionally large. Although its exact size is still disputed, scientists agree that they were approximately 26 meters in length with a weight of about 49 tons. The Dreadnoughtus had an abnormally long neck and the largest ilium and scapula of any animal discovered. They also had the biggest mass (that can be calculated with reasonable certainty) of any land animal discovered.

Mobility & Diet

The Dreadnoughtus’ top speed is unknown, but considering their monstrous size they were most likely very pedestrian. Like other sauropods, they were herbivorous, feeding on various Cretaceous plants such as cycad, magnolia and ferns.

Interesting Points

  • Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara, who discovered the remains, named the genus Dreadnoughtus, which literally means “fears nothing”, stating “I think it’s time the herbivores get their due for being the toughest creatures in an environment.”.
  • The species name Dreadnoughtus schrani honors American entrepreneur Adam Schran who financially supported the project.
  • The Dreadnoughtus lived between 66 and 83 million years ago in present-day Argentina.
  • One of the largest vertebrates known, the Dreadnoughtus is a prime candidate for the most massive land animal that has ever existed.