One of the biggest creatures to have walked the Earth will go on display at the Natural History Museum next year.
Patagotitan mayorum, a member of the titanosaur sauropod family, was four times heavier than Dippy the Diplodocus and 12 metres longer than Hope the blue whale, other inhabitants of the museum.
Weighing in at 57 tonnes, it would have shaken the ground as it wandered across what is now known as Patagonia in Argentina, experts say.
And it will make its European debut next spring when its 37-metre skeleton will be crammed into the museum’s enormous Waterhouse gallery, which has a nine-metre-high ceiling.
Professor Paul Barrett, science lead for the exhibition, said: “Patagotitan mayorum is an incredible specimen that tells us more about giant titanosaurs than ever before.
“Comparable in weight to more than nine African elephants, this star specimen will inspire visitors to care for some of the planet’s largest and most vulnerable creatures, which face similar challenges for survival, and show that within Earth’s ecosystems, size really does matter.”
Dr Alex Burch, director of public programmes at the museum, said: “We are so excited that Patagotitan, the most complete giant dinosaur ever discovered, is making its European debut here at the Natural History Museum, the home of the dinosaur.”
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“Our fascination with dinosaurs provides the ideal opportunity to inspire and inform the next generation about the natural world, and empower them to act for the planet.”
Visitors will be able to walk in the shadow of the most complete gigantic dinosaur ever discovered.
They will be able to handle specimens and discover how a creature of this colossal size could have survived, and thrived, on Earth.
People will get a real idea of the size of the animal by standing next to a titanosaur femur bone – as well as look into the eyes of a sauropod skull.
Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur will open in the South Kensington museum on 31 March.
The cast of Patagotitan mayorum is being loaned to the museum by the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio in Argentina, which excavated the giant skeleton in 2014.