RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) – The skeleton of what is believed to be a new dinosaur species – a 105-foot plant-eater that is among the largest dinosaurs ever found – has been uncovered in Argentina, scientists said Monday.

Scientists from Argentina and Brazil said the Patagonian dinosaur appears to represent a previously unknown species of Titanosaur because of the unique structure of its neck. They named it Futalognkosaurus (FOO-ta-long-koh-SOHR-us) dukei after the Mapuche Indian words for “giant” and “chief,” and for Duke Energy Argentina, which helped fund the skeleton’s excavation.

“This is one of the biggest in the world and one of the most complete of these giants that exist,” said Jorge Calvo, director of the paleontology center at the National University of Comahue, Argentina.

Scientists said the giant herbivore walked the Earth some 88 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.

Since the first bones were found on the banks of Lake Barreales in 2000, paleontologists have dug up the dinosaur’s neck, back region, hips and the first vertebra of its tail.

Calvo said the neck alone must have been 56 feet long, and by studying the vertebrae, they figured the tail probably measured 49 feet. The dinosaur reached over 43 feet tall, and the spinal column weighed about 9 tons.

Patagonia also was home to the other two largest dinosaur skeletons found to date – Argentinosaurus, at around 115 feet long, and Puertasaurus reuili, 115 feet to 131 feet long.


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