Washington — In north-western Argentina, scientists have unearthed fossils of the earliest known giant dinosaur, a four-legged plant-eater with a medium-length neck and long tail that was a forerunner of the largest land animals of all time. Researchers said the dinosaur — named Ingentia prima, meaning "the first giant" — was up to 10m long and weighed about 10 tonnes, living about 210-million years ago during the Triassic Period. Ingentia, known from two partial skeletons, was discovered in Argentina’s San Juan Province. Ingentia was an early member of a dinosaur group called sauropods that later included Earth’s biggest terrestrial creatures, including the Patagonian behemoths Argentinosaurus, Dreadnoughtus and Patagotitan. "We see in Ingentia prima the origin of gigantism, the first steps, so that, more than 100-million years later, sauropods of up to 70 tonnes could come into existence like those that lived in Patagonia," said paleontologist Cecilia Apaldetti of the Universidad ...

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