“What is the largest animal in the world?” Doris asked.
That’s one of those questions that marine scientist – like me – enjoy answering. “The Blue Whale is the biggest animal on the planet”. I responded rapidly.
“I meant, what is the: largest animal that has ever existed on earth?” She insisted”.
“Still, the answer is the same. The Blue Whale is the :largest animal that has ever lived on earth”.
“Are you sure? I always thought dinosaurs were bigger. They look much bigger in the movies. Are you sure dinosaurs were not larger?”
“Positive. Whales are among my favorite animals and I am pretty sure the Blue Whale –sadly, an endangered species – is the biggest, but we can check it out, if you want”.
It turned out that the Blue Whale is, by far, the biggest animal that ever existed among all the known animals. There are a couple of possible contenders among the biggest dinosaurs but there is not enough information to prove it.
The record measurements of the blue whale are 33.58 m (110 ft 2 in) long, weighting 190 metric tons. That’s, at least, 8 meters longer and 3 times heavier than the largest “confirmed” dinosaurs.
“The biggest sauropod was the Giraffatitan. Can you guess what does that name mean?”
“Correct! That little fellow was 25 m (82 ft) long, weighting 60 metric tons (not even close). And it can be considered the biggest animal which ever walked on the land of the earth. These animals used to live in our planet in the Jurassic era (around 150 million years ago)”.
“What do you mean by “confirmed” dinosaurs?”
“By confirmed I mean that their complete bone structure has been found and documented. The bones of the Giraffatitanwere discovered in Tanzania between 1907 and 1912, and you may see them today, mounted in the Humboldt Museum of Berlin (look at the picture)”.
“And among those unconfirmed, where there any larger than the giant giraffe?”
“There were probably larger sauropods, but only a few bones from them have being found. The rest of their bodies have being projected from those”.
“… Among these, the heaviest one was the Argentinosaurus,, which may have weighed 80–100 metric tons (still far away from our cetacean friend)”.
“… The longest one was the Supersaurus, which was discovered in Colorado and was 35 m (112 ft) long”.
“… The tallest one was the Sauroposeidon, which was 18 m (60 ft) tall and could have reached into a 6th-floor window”.
“So, there is a chance of finding a bigger dinasour; one even larger than the whale” Doris stated suspiciously.
“It could be said that there are signs” I said. “But these signs are too limited. You can only say that they might indicate the presence of even bigger dinosaurs (also sauropods), like the Bruhathkayosaurus, which was discovered in the southern tip of India and may have approached the weight of a Blue Whale”.
“I don’t think I like that name – I will never remember it”
“Also, the Amphicoelias fragillimus from Colorado would have been longer still, at an estimated 60 m (200 ft), but considerably lighter”.
“… Nevertheless, the existence of the Bruhathkayosaurus is based on very poor material, and the only fossil of Amphicoelias was lost”.
“Yes, I know!”
“One last question: you said before that the giant giraffe can be considered the biggest animal that ever walked on the earth. Which is biggest animal alive wlaking on earth?”
“That will be the African Bush Elephant, That’s largest living terrestrial animal”.
“That’s my favorite animal”