Scientists think they may have found a new candidate for the Jurassic period’s biggest dinosaur.
A new study published Thursday in Current Biology reveals that Ledumahadi mafube, a Brontosaurus relative, could have weighed 12 metric tons. That’s approximately 26,000 pounds. Its fossils were discovered in South Africa.
A different dinosaur called the Argentinosaurus huinculensis has been previously cited by other scientists as being the largest dinosaur at approximately 80 tons (160,000 pounds), and lived during the Late Cretaceous period around 99.6 million years ago.
But during the Jurassic period, the Ledumahadi mafube was king.
It was discovered by a team of international scientists led by researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ledumahadi mafube means ‘a giant thunderclap at dawn’ in the official South African indigenous language of Sesotho, spoken by the Basotho people.
The Ledumahadi is considered a close relative of sauropod dinosaurs like the well-known Brontosaurus. Scientists believe the Ledumahadi dinosaur walked on all four legs and was an herbivore.