Australia’s largest dinosaur recognized as new species

Australotitan cooperensis

2021-06-08 11:33:30

Australotitan cooperensis
Australotitan cooperensis, a long-necked herbivore from the Cretaceous interval, is estimated to have weighed 70 tons, measured two tales tall and prolonged the size of a basketball court docket.
Picture Credit score: NYT

Brisbane, Australia: A big dinosaur found in Australia’s outback has been recognized as a brand new species and recognised as one of many largest to ever roam the Earth, in response to palaeontologists.

The Australotitan cooperensis, a part of the titanosaur household that lived about 100 million years in the past, has lastly been named and described 15 years after its bones had been first uncovered.

It’s estimated to have stood at 5-6.5 metres (16-21 toes) excessive and measured 25-30 metres (82-98 toes) in size – which might make it Australia’s greatest dinosaur.

“Primarily based on the preserved limb dimension comparisons, this new titanosaur is estimated to be within the high 5 largest on this planet,” mentioned Robyn Mackenzie, a director of the Eromanga Pure Historical past Museum.

The fossilised bones had been discovered on Mackenzie’s household farm in 2006 about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) west of Brisbane within the Eromanga Basin and nicknamed “Cooper”.

Initially stored secret as scientists painstakingly dug up and studied the bones, the skeleton first went on show to the general public in 2007.

Scott Hocknull, a palaeontologist at Queensland Museum, mentioned it had been a “very lengthy and painstaking activity” to substantiate the Australotitan was a brand new species.

The analysis, which relied on 3D scan fashions of bones to match the dinosaur with its shut family, was printed within the peer-reviewed PeerJ journal Monday.

Quite a few different dinosaur skeletons have been present in the identical space, Hocknull mentioned, including that extra work was wanted as “discoveries like this are simply the tip of the iceberg”.

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