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What's the largest land animal of all time?

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Author's Note: What's the largest animal of all time?

As you can tell, I spent untold childhood hours perusing my collection of illustrated prehistoric bestiaries. I still have the books, and even now I'm taken aback by some of the fever-dream critters that occupy their pages. But then again, I always contend that our contemporary biological world contains equally astonishing specimens. The blue whale is just the most obvious example that the past doesn't always trump the present.

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  • "Blue Whale." National Geographic. (May 15, 2015) http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/blue-whale/
  • Drexel University. "Drexel team unveils Dreadnoughtus: A gigantic, exceptionally complete sauropod dinosaur." Eurekalert. Sept. 4, 2014. (May 15, 2015) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/du-dtu082914.php
  • Morgan, James. "Biggest dinosaur ever' discovered." BBC News. May 17, 2014 (May 15, 2015) http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27441156
  • National Science Foundation. "T. rex times 7: New dinosaur species is discovered in Argentina." Eurekalert. Sept. 4, 2014. (May 15, 2015) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/nsf-trt090414.php
  • Switek, Brian. "The Last of the Rhinoceros Titans." Phenomena: A science salon hosted by National Geographic Magazine. May 7, 2013. (May 15, 2015) http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/05/07/the-last-of-the-rhinoceros-titans/
  • Switek, Brian. "My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs." Scientific American. 2013.
  • Switek, Brian. "Paraceratherium: Giraffe-necked or rhino-necked?" ScienceBlogs. May 15, 2009. (May 27, 2015) http://scienceblogs.com/laelaps/2009/05/15/paraceratherium-giraffe-necked/
  • Taylor, Michael P. and Mathew J. Wedel. "Why sauropods had long necks; and why giraffes have short necks." PeerJ. Feb 12, 2013. (May 27, 2015) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3628838/
  • Wiley-Blackwell. "A fossilized giant rhino bone questions the isolation of Anatolia, 25 million years ago." Eurekalert. March 10, 2008. (May 27, 2015) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-03/w-afg031008.php

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