The Scale
of the Dinosaurs
 
 
The range of weights among the dinosaurs was tremendous, encompassing six orders of magnitude.

For comparison purposes consider "Adam", a 6-foot tall man having the medically ideal weight of 178 pounds. Stygimoloch had about the same weight as Adam. In other words, Stygimoloch had 1 times Adam's weight. Ceratosaurus was one order of magnitude (10 times) heavier than Adam. Triceratops was two orders of magnitude (10x10 or 100 times) heavier than Adam. Argentinosaurs was at the top of the dinosaur weight scale; its estimated weight of 100 tons was more than three orders of magnitude (10x10x10 or 1,000 times) heavier than Adam.

At the other end of the weight scale was tiny Archaeopteryx, a creature straddling the evolutionary border between birds and dinosaurs. If we include it in our scale, then Archaeopteryx represents an animal that was two orders of magnitude (100 times) lighter than Adam.

This table compares several dinosaurs to Adam.

 
 
 
 
 
Six Dinosaurs Compared to a Six-Foot Tall, 178 Pound Man
Archaeopteryx

about 0.01 times
Adam's weight

Caudipteryx

about 0.1 times
Adam's weight

Stygimoloch

about 1 times
Adam's weight

Ceratosaurus

about 10 times
Adam's weight

Triceratops

about 100 times
Adam's weight

Argentinosaurus

about 1,000 times
Adam's weight


The following picture shows how large Argentinosaurus and Tyrannnosaurus rex were compared to Adam and the largest living land animal, the African elephant.


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