I could not believe my sleepy eyes when my copy of the Canine Chronicle dropped into the kennel at the weekend. For there was this picture of one of the largest beasts ever to walk the planet.
Fossil hunters in southern Patagonia (that’s in Argentina, down near the bottom of the world if you’re looking for it in your atlas) have just unearthed the bones of the biggest dinosaur ever discovered.
I was so shocked I nearly choked on my Boneo.
Its bones include a metre-wide vertebra from its neck, a thigh bone that is as tall as a man and it had ribs the size of planks. It’s the most complete skeleton of a colossal plant-eating titanosaur ever recovered anywhere in the world. Imagine that. It’s enough to make me whimper.
It has been given a name that might be familiar, given our links to the Royal Navy – Dreadnoughtus schrani after the dreadnought battleships of the early 20th century (some built in Portsmouth) on the grounds that it would fear nothing that crossed its path.
From measurements of the bones, scientists have worked out that Dreadnoughtus weighed nearly 60 tonnes and reached 26 metres from snout to tail, making it the largest land animal for which an accurate body mass can be calculated. Its bodyweight equals 12 African elephants or more than seven Tyrannosaurus Rex.
So Chipsters, your mission this week is to get out your crayons and draw me your version of old Dreadnoughtus.
Have fun and until next week, it’s chip chip for now. Woof! A very scared Chipper.