World's Largest Dinosaur: Titanosaur Stomps Into Natural History Museum

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 6 months ago

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Last Updated 16 November 2023

World's Largest Dinosaur: Titanosaur Stomps Into Natural History Museum
A man touches a huge dino skeleton
© Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Step aside, Dippy — there's a new dino in town!

As Dippy the roaming diplodocus skeleton sets up home in Coventry for three years, London's Natural History Museum welcomes a new sauropod cast into its hallowed halls — and this one's a behemoth and a half.

Titanosaur's skeleton
© Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

At 2.67 tonnes, eight metres tall and 37 metres long*, Patagotitan mayorum — or Titanosaur as it's already been savvily dubbed — was a relative of the diplodocus, and the largest dinosaur known to have roamed the Earth.

It would've weighed a staggering 60-70 tonnes when it had flesh on its bones.

The skeleton cast is installed
© Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Why so bloody massive? It's something to do with the poor quality of plant food on offer 101 million years ago when Titanosaur was around, meaning that the poor thing needed to eat pretty much constantly and therefore house a huge digestive system. It was, in essence, one massive fermentation tank on legs.

a huge thigh bone in a glass case
© Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

As of Friday 31 March, visitors to the Natural History Museum can stand and gawp in wonder at the cast of the beast, taken from bones discovered in Argentina in 2014. As it's only a cast, you can touch Titanosaur too. (Let's just hope it's been firmly fixed in place to avoid any Bringing Up Baby moments.)

A mother a child gawp up at a dinosaur leg
© Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Unlike with Dippy, Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur is a ticketed, paid-for exhibition (£16 adult, £9 children), although that comes with its own gallery, where you can follow the life of a titanosaur, from grapefruit-sized egg, to towering sauropod.

And, while Titanosaur itself is a replica, you can rubberneck at one of it actual thigh-bones, which looks not unlike a sturdy tree trunk.

Titanosaur's long neck
© Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

The term 'dinosaur' was coined in 1842 by by the founding director of the Natural History Museum, and means 'monstrous lizard'.

*That 11 metres longer than Dippy, or to use the internationally-recognised unit, Titanosaur is the length of two double-decker buses!

Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur, at Natural History Museum until 14 January 2024