The biggest land animal ever is not easy to establish. Various methods can be used to determine the size, including height, weight and length. Whether the animal is still living or extinct has to be considered too.
The largest terrestrial animals to have ever lived were the plant eating Sauropoda dinosaurs. The Giraffatitan is the heaviest and tallest complete skeleton ever found.
The Giraffatitan reached a height of 12 m (38 ft). Its weight has been estimated to be around 30,000–60,000 kg (30–65 short tons). A Diplodocus unearthed in Wyoming in 1907 is the longest complete dinosaur uncovered. It is 25 m (82 ft) long.
Fragmentary evidence suggests that larger dinosaurs existed. These include the 35 m (112 ft) long Supersaurus, the 18 m (60 ft) tall Sauroposeidon, and the humongous Argentinosaurus.
The Argentinosaurus may have weighed 80,000–100,000 kg (90 to 110 short tons). The Diplodocus hallorum (formerly the Seismosaurus) has been estimated to be 35 m (115 ft). Originally it was estimated to be 50 m (170 ft).
Some researchers believe the title of the biggest land animal ever belongs to the Bruhathkayosaurus. Researchers estimate its weight to be approximately 200 tons, equal to a Blue Whale. Others think that the Amphicoelias fragillimus should be the biggest. Its length has been put at 60 m (200 ft). However, it is lighter than the Bruhathkayosaurus.
However, the figures for these dinosaur species are based on very little fossil evidence. The one Amphicoelias fossil has also been lost. While these dinosaurs may have been the biggest ever, there is little physical evidence to support it.
The Largest Living Land Animal
The title belongs to the African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta Africana). The average adult mass is 8260 kg (18,500 lbs). The maximum mass is 12,050 kg (27,000 lbs). The average length of the Bush Elephant is 6.56 m (21.85 ft).
A newly born elephant calf weighs 100 kg (220 lb). The largest African Bush Elephant on record weighed 24,000 lb (11,000 kg) and was 3.96 m (13.0 ft) tall. From the tail to the trunk, it was 10 m (33 ft) long. The elephant was killed in Angola in 1956.
As the facts show, a lot of questions remain unanswered when it comes to finding out the biggest land animal ever. Hopefully, archeological diggings will unearth more complete skeletons of dinosaurs. This will determine their true height, length and weight.