December 4, 2023

Balkan Travellers

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A 3D illustration of Argentinosaurus, possibly the most massive dinosaur that ever existed.

What size can animals reach?

An example of ArgentinosaurusPossibly the largest dinosaur ever. (Image credit: Warpaintcobra via Getty Images)

Possibly the largest animal to ever walk the earth is the dinosaur Argentinosaurus, a massive 77-tonne (70 metric ton) titanosaur that lived about 90 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period. For comparison, the heaviest animal on Earth today is the African the elephant (Loxodonta) that weighs less than 7 tonnes (6 metric tons). And they both look positively cute alongside the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), which at an average of 165 tonnes (150 metric tons), may be the heaviest animal that ever lived.

But can any animal outgrow that? Is there a limit to the size an animal can reach?