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What Was the Largest Flying Dinosaur?

Updated Jun 04, 2024
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The largest flying dinosaur was Argentavis, which had a 23 feet (7 meter) wingspan.

There have been other large flying creatures in world's history, but some of them were not dinosaurs and others did not fly, but rather glided. The largest flying dinosaur was Argentavis, also known as "Argentavis magnificens" which means "magnificent Argentine bird." It lived 6 million years ago in the region that is now known as Argentina.

Argentavis was so large that it probably had to run downhill in order take off into flight. It had strong legs and large flight muscles. Experts who studied Argentavis' fossils estimate the flying dinosaur had a height of 5.6 to 6.5 feet (1.7 to 2 meters) and it weighed between 140 and 180 pounds (60-80 kilograms). It could fly at speeds up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour.

More about flying creatures:

  • It is estimated that the flying dinosaur Argentavis lived between 50 and 100 years.
  • Some types of Pterosaurs (ancient flying reptiles) called Azhdarchids, were even larger than Argentavis, with a wingspan of more than 32.8 feet (10 meters)
  • At present, the largest living bird is believed to be the Wandering Albatross, which has a wingspan of 11.9 feet (3.63 meters).
All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Discussion Comments
By Tufr — On Aug 17, 2015

Argentavis was not a dinosaur except in the sense that all birds are (avian) dinosaurs. Argentavis existed approximately 6 million years ago but unfortunately all of the dinosaurs except for birds were wiped out 65 million years ago. Pterosaurs which were technically not dinosaurs were also wiped out in this extinction. Labelling Argentavis a dinosaur is somewhat misleading, because it was as much a dinosaur as an eagle is today.

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