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Comparing the Sizes of Dinosaurs in the Lost World

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This graphic shows the sizes of the largest and smallest dinosaurs.

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Comparing the Sizes of Dinosaurs in the Lost World

When dinosaurs inhabited the Earth over 66 million years ago, their sizes and species varied dramatically.

While geological evidence is far from complete, fossil evidence suggests that the largest dinosaurs were comparable to the length of a Boeing 737 or the weight of 12 elephants. Meanwhile, the smallest were similar to the size of a chicken or bird.

In this infographic from Giulia De Amicis we compare the sizes of dinosaurs to get a sense of their vast scale and diversity.

Sizes of Dinosaurs Compared to Modern Day Life

Towering as high as 39 meters, the Argentinosaurus or ‘Argentina lizard’ is currently thought to be the largest dinosaur ever discovered. It was a sauropod, a subgroup of dinosaurs with very long necks and long tails, four wide legs for support, and relatively smaller heads.

In 1987, its bones were unearthed in the Patagonia region of Argentina, a destination well-known for prehistoric fossils. For comparison’s sake, the length of the Argentinosaurus is as high as a 13-story building.

NameLength (Meters)Length (Feet)
Argentinosaurus39 m128 ft
Blue Whale30 m98 ft
Brachiosaurus26 m85 ft
Diplodocus26 m85 ft
Barosaurus24 m79 ft
Spinosaurus15 m49 ft
Tyrannosaurus rex12 m30 ft
Iguanodon10 m33 ft
Baryonyx10 m33 ft
Triceratops9 m30 ft
African Elephant7 m23 ft
Human1.8 m6 ft
Epidextipteryx44 cm1.4 ft
Parvicursor39 cm 1.3 ft

Other sauropods were also massive, including the Brachiosaurus, or ‘arm lizard’—it was roughly the size of a blue whale.

Fossil evidence discovered in 1900 in the Colorado Valley showed that the Brachiosaurus lived in the late Jurassic Period, 140-155 million years ago. Similarly, the Tyrannosaurus rex (12 m) also lived in North America, but during the Late Cretaceous period some 80 million years later.

Among the smallest dinosaurs were the Parvicursor (literally ‘small runner’) and Epidextipteryx (literally ‘display feather’). Both were under 45 centimeters, similar to a modern mid-sized bird.

The Age of Giants

Not only were the dinosaurs sheerly colossal in size, but so too was their mass.

Sizes of Dinosaurs

Consider how the Argentinosaurus was about the weight of a typical rocket at 75,000 kg, or twice the mass of a Boeing 737. And there were many heavy dinosaurs, such as the Diplodocus (meaning ‘double beam’) which weighed a hefty 13,000 kg.

Sizes of Dinosaurs In Question

How do we know these sizes and weights?

Scientists use discovered bones, impressions, and completed fossils to come up with ranges of estimates. The more complete a fossil and the more similar fossils exist, the more accurate the estimate that scientists can make.

But amid discoveries of the largest dinosaurs on earth, many paleontologists have questioned size claims. Due to incomplete fossil records, some estimates are based on as little as a handful of bone records. For instance, just 20% of the Brachiosaurus’ skeleton has been discovered.

At the same time, techniques such as 3-D scanning continue to be refined, and there are now many different techniques being used to estimate size. That said, one study has shown that even diverse sizing techniques typically arrive at similar results.

With access to virtual fossils, broad archeological datasets, as well as advancing techniques and new discoveries, the understanding of the sizes of dinosaurs continues to evolve.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Science

What Are the 10 Most Common Primates in the World?

This list excludes humans, who would otherwise lead the ranks of most common primates by a significant margin.

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A cropped chart ranking the 10 most common primates by population.

What Are the 10 Most Common Primates in the World?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The word ‘primate’ traces its roots back to the Latin word ‘primas,’ meaning ‘of first rank’ or the highest order in the animal kingdom. This classification intuitively reflects humans’ fascination with the many species who are our closest cousins.

In this graphic, we visualize the top 10 species of primates, ranked by their estimated global population. This data comes from WorldAtlas, and was last updated in 2017.

Given the difficult nature of tracking wild animals, these numbers should be treated as approximations rather than exact figures.

ℹ️ This list does not include Humans, who would be the most populous primate by far.

Ranked: Top 10 Primates, by Population

At the top of the list, there are more than 300,000 Müller’s Bornean Gibbons in the world, found on the island of Borneo in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The larger gibbon family consists of around 20 species of small apes found swinging through Southeast Asian rainforests. These acrobatic primates are known for their loud calls, impressive agility, and monogamous family structures.

Despite their ape status, they differ from great apes by being smaller and lacking nests.

RankMonkeyRegion of OriginEstimated Population
(as of 2017)
1Muller's Bornean
Gibbon
🇮🇩 Indonesia312,500
2Common
Chimpanzee
🌍 Sub-Saharan Africa236,200
3Gelada🇪🇹 Ethiopia200,000
4Western
Gorilla
🌍 Western Africa175,000
5Bornean
Orangutan
🇮🇩 Indonesia /
🇲🇾 Malaysia
57,000
6Mentawai
Langur
🇮🇩 Indonesia36,000
7Bonobo🇨🇩 DRC39,750
8Kloss's Gibbon🇮🇩 Indonesia35,000
9Red-eared
Guenon
🌍 West & Central
Africa
20,000
10Nilgiri Langur🇮🇳 India20,000

Ranked second, the Common Chimpanzee can be found in the savannas and forests of sub-Saharan Africa. A subspecies—the Eastern Chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park—were the primary focus of noted biologist Jane Goodall’s pioneering research in the 1960s.

Despite their apparent numbers, chimpanzees are now classified as an endangered species by the UN, their survival threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and disease.

All the way across, in Ethiopia, the Gelada species is the third most populous primate on the planet. Their short, stump fingers make them adept rock climbers—useful for navigating the Semien mountains they call home.

At fourth place, the Western Gorilla, also found in Africa, is the last primate species with a population above 100,000. The Western Gorillas are a little smaller than their Eastern counterparts, who are the largest living primates.

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