Is This The Largest Creature Ever To Walk On Earth?

This year, 2021, marks a big year for prehistoric dinosaur excavation. In recent months, paleontologists have unearthed the remains of not one, not two, but three new dinosaur species. Each of these new finds are equally fascinating and important to piecing together the mystifying world that once existed here on Earth. The thing these new species have in common? All of them are huge.

The first of these titans, Australotitan cooperensis, was discovered through fossils in the rural outback of Australia. The other two brand-new dinosaur species, Silutitan sinensis and Hamititan xinjiangensis, were discovered in a region of Northwest China (via CNN).

According to paleontologists, all three of these species belong on the list of the world's largest dinosaurs (via NPR). What's more, one of them just might be the largest creature to ever set foot on the face of the Earth. From the Cretaceous Period to the Holocene Epoch, here's a look at how these prehistoric giants measure up to modern-day animals of land and sea.

Sauropods Silutitan sinensis and Hamititan xinjiangensis were likely the size of blue whales

According to NPR, the two long-necked herbivores discovered in China's Xinjiang region were likely the size of a modern-day blue whale. This means they grew to be about 70 feet or more in length. Both of their names Silutitan sinensis and Hamititan xinjiangensis include the word titan as an homage to their massive appearance.

To put things into perspective, the blue whale is currently listed as the largest animal on Earth, both past and present, by land or sea (via Safaris Africana). Next up is the African Bush Elephant, who is so enormous it must eat 330 pounds of food per day in order to maintain its physique (via WWF). With both of these new China-based dinosaurs surpassing the elephant and being comparable in size to the blue whale, they would take the top slot as largest animal to ever walk the Earth. 

However, in an unexpected twist, Australian paleontologists just unearthed a contender that is even more massive.

Australotitan cooperensis might have been the biggest creature ever

Just as scientists in China were dusting off the fossils of two extinct colossal beasts, Australia-based paleontologists were lugging prehistoric bones so big they needed two people to lift one single bone (via NPR). Enter Australotitan cooperensis, the 81-ton wonder so tall, it has to be measured in stories.

In its heyday, this mega-sized dino was about the length of an entire basketball court and at least as tall as a two-story building. Initially believed to be the largest creature to ever roam the Outback, this guy is now a major contender for the biggest creature to ever walk the Earth. Like the other two new species, Australotitan cooperensis was also a sauropod, meaning he enjoyed a rich plant-based diet and lounged in the vast spaces that once existed.

Diego Pol, who serves as the head of paleontology at the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio in Argentina, called this Australia-bound dinosaur an incredible find, whose presence hints at the fact that even more super-sized dinosaurs are lurking around Antarctica, waiting to be discovered.  As Antarctica-based paleontologists prepare to dig shovels in next, the race for largest Earth creature marches on.