A giant long-neck dinosaur skeleton in a museum gives you an idea of what the dinosaur was like when alive. Despite seeing only a few sauropod dinosaur skeletons up close and still waiting to see Patagotitan and Argentinosaurus, sauropod dinosaurs are unique due to their enormous size. Jurassic Park has always intrigued dinosaur enthusiasts with dinosaur size comparisons. The sauropods are the biggest land animals to have ever lived, but how do they stack up against blue whales?
Are sauropods bigger than blue whales? Sauropods can’t beat the largest animal on earth: the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). Blue whales weigh over 130 tons more than the weight of giant sauropods. However, some sauropods can have longer lengths than blue whales.
All animals are fascinating creatures, including those that have gone extinct or are still extant. Dinosaurs are the non-existing group that has always made me curious about what they were. One way to figure this out is by comparing them with animals that are existing in recent times.
In this article, I have summarized some facts to answer the size of sauropods versus blue whales. It will be good information to have a view of how enormous sauropods were in their times.
Is Argentinosaurus Bigger Than a Blue Whale? The Size of the Argentinosaurus
One of the sauropod species that will come out in your search for giant sauropods is the Argentisaurus. Here are some details about this sauropod.
Size of Argentisaurus That Makes It Unique From Other Dinosaurs
Argentinosaurus is the world’s most giant dinosaur ever to roam the terrestrial part of the earth. Since its discovery in Argentina in 1987, paleontologists have debated its weight and height.
Some concluded that these dinosaurs had a height of 75 to 85 feet from their head to toe and weighed 75 tons. Others reconstructed that Argentinosaurus has a total length of 100 feet which weighs 100 tons.
Considering its height and weight, this dinosaur is categorized as a titanosaur, the diverse group of sauropod dinosaurs from the clade of Titanosauria that lived from the Late Jurassic Epoch until the end of the Cretaceous period. (Source)
Similar to the technical features of most Sauropods, titanosaurs were quadrupedal, long-tailed, long-necked, with small heads, and a plant-eating dinosaur or herbivorous dinosaur.
Their difference from the sauropods involved anatomical differences; skulls, bones, rudimentary armor, and limbs produced a wider stance. Nearly all titanosaurs were widely held to possess lean & rigid bodies.
The Special Case of Argentinosaurus Fossils
Even though there are no complete skeletons of Argentinosaurus found, paleontologists evaluated their size from the existing fossils that ranged from 37 to 40 meters or 121 to 131 feet and weighed 90 to 100 metric tons or 90 to 110 tons.
From the fossil find, they were able to hypothesize the weight of the organism with a mass is much greater than 10 African elephants, where today, elephants hold the title of being the largest animal.
Today, if you want to see face-to-face how big and tall this dinosaur is, visit a field museum that modeled Argentinosaurus from the excavated fossils in Argentina where they named it “Maximo,” which reaches 122 feet, stands 28 feet tall, and weighs 70 tons.
Other Titanosaurus with Large Body Size
Aside from the Argentinosaurus, there were still other Titanosaurus that were larger in weight and height. One of them is Dreadnoughtus which had a total length of about 26 meters or 85 feet and 59 metric tons or 65 tons. This Titanosaurus also came from Argentina in its Southern part of Patagonia and had lived 77 million years ago.
YouTube Video About Blue Whales and Dinosaurs Who Is the Largest on Earth?
Another known largest titanosaur is the Patagotitan mayorum, which “have been the largest terrestrial animal of all time” and has an estimated size of 70 metric tons or 77 tons and 37. 2 meters or 122 feet long. (Source)
Its size was calculated from the fossilized bones where the paleontologist collected a 2.4 meters or 8 feet femur from its end to end. From the Southwest of Cairo, Egypt, another large species of Titanosaurus was discovered called Paralititan stromeri that lived during the Cretaceous period.
The excavation collected a 1.69 meter or 5.5-foot femur and fragments of shoulder blades, front leg bones, teeth, and vertebrae. With the recovered fossils, paleontologists estimated its size as 25 to 30.5 meters or 82 to 100 feet and have a mass of 60 to 75 metric tons or 66 to 83 tons.
What is the Biggest Blue Whale in The World?
The blue whale is the largest known organism on the planet today. Though it differs in terms of habit from sauropods since it lives in the water, it is comparable to sauropods in terms of size.
Diving Into Blue Whale Facts
The biggest animal to ever exist on this planet earth is the blue whale. This animal weighs about 150 tons and will reach more than 30 meters or 98 feet. Their tongue alone can weigh massively as much as an elephant and a heart that is the size of an automobile, specifically the Volkswagen Beetle.
This species is a mammal that lives and rules the ocean. Blue whales have a carnivorous diet that eats tiny shrimplike animals called krill.
According to a study, there is a certain period of the year that these magnificent marine mammals eat up to 4 tons of krill a day. (Source)
Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) are called baleen whales because of their “fringed plates of fingernail-like material,” known as baleen, attached to the upper jaws. Their way of consuming food is done by gulping or swallowing vast amounts of water, then the folded skin on their throat and belly will enlarge to ingest the mouthful of water.
With the use of their gigantic tongue, water is forced to release out from the overlapping baleen plates leaving thousands of krill to feed on them. This magnificent aquatic animal is also called a sulfur-bottom whale because of the yellowish underbellies that resemble the color of that chemical element. (Source)
They are not just the largest animals to ever breathe on earth, for they are also the oldest and loudest animals (louder than a jet engine).
The Biggest Blue Whale to Date
One of the blue whales known to date is the Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus ssp. intermedia) that holds the largest animal on the planet. It has a massive weight of 400,000 pounds, estimated to be equivalent to 33 elephants, and will reach 98 feet in length.
Based upon its name, the Antarctic blue whale is found in Antarctica, and sad to say, this enormous animal is already an endangered species. Some identified species of a blue whale are the Northern blue whale, Northern Indian Ocean blue whale, and the Chilean blue whale. All blue whales live in all the oceans except the Arctic and usually swim in pairs or alone.
These magnificent mammals lived in the ocean, and if you are lucky to have an encounter with them, you can still hear them making sounds. However, blue whales are already endangered because they were hunted way back in the 19th century. Today, the largest animals are still drastically declining, which is why experts did something to protect these magnificent mammals so that they can exist thousands to millions of years later.
Some Comparisons of Blue Whale Compared To The Largest Sauropods
Let us now compare the blue whale with other giant sauropods. It will deal with information on how superior blue whales are in terms of mass.
A General Comparison: Blue Whale vs. Other Animals
Blue whales live in an ocean environment, and larger sizes can be obtained compared to land animals. Because of the “global increase in the upwelling of nutrient-rich water,” they get from the ocean depths.
One of the main reasons behind their gigantism is their feeding called “lunge feeding,” which allows blue whales to consume various prey such as small fishes and krills.
It is why blue whales can engulf 10 kilograms of krill while ingesting approximately 70 000 liters of water. These massive aquatic mammals even surpassed the world’s most giant dinosaur, which is Patagotitan mayorum.
Blue whales have a mass of 172, 365 kilograms or 190 tons, 34 meters long or 110 feet, while the biggest dinosaur weighed 62.6 metric tons or 2.2 tons that may have reached 36.5 meters or 120 feet.
A Detailed Comparison: Blue Whales Vs. Large Dinosaur Species
If we compare Argentinosaurus to blue whales, it is inferior to the latter. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) weighs over 130+ tons than the weight of the largest Titanosaurus. Yet, Argentinosaurus (Argentinosaurus huinculensis) is longer than a blue whale (89 feet), reaching 115 feet.
Dreadnoughtus schrani, the newly discovered and studied dinosaur, gives the same result when compared to blue whales. The blue whale is still undefeated when it comes to weight.
Dreadnoughtus schrani weighed 60 tons, but in terms of height, they were almost similar; blue whales are 30 meters long, and Dreadnoughtus has a length of 26 meters. (Source)
Another largest dinosaur was the Brachiosaurus which reached 23 meters in length and 12 meters in height. Its size is as much as the length of two large school buses and a four-story building.
Experts estimated that these dinosaurs had a mass of more than 28 tons. Hence they were considered gigantic dinosaurs. Yet, Brachiosaurus still can’t surpass the ocean giants- blue whales. Therefore, blue whales are the largest animals on earth, especially their mass.
It is a different story, though, when it comes to their length, wherein the world’s most enormous dinosaurs may have reached the same size as a blue whale but in different habitats.
Looking back, we humans are not the only creatures that dominated this planet. Some animals seem to be the ruler of the earth if they are still alive due to their sizes. It is incredible to know that we had giants before, like sauropods, and the largest animal on our planet that is still alive today, the blue whale. No matter what is bigger, both are indeed a big part of our planet and history.