Scientists in Australia have classified a new species of dinosaur, discovered in 2007, as the largest ever found on the continent. Read more about the newly identified species here….
Among 15 largest dinosaurs
The Australotitan cooperensis or “the southern titan”, is among the 15 largest dinosaurs found worldwide. Experts said the titanosaur would have been up to 6.5m (21ft) tall and 30m long, or “as long as a basketball court”.
Its skeleton was first discovered on a farm in south-west Queensland. Palaeontologists had worked over the past decade to identify the dinosaur – distinguishing it from other known species by comparing scans of its bones to those of other sauropods.
Sauropods were plant-eating dinosaurs known for their size. They had small heads, very long necks, long tails and thick, pillar-like legs. These dinosaurs roamed the continent during the Cretaceous Period, about 92-96 million years ago.
A decade long research
The team of researchers had nicknamed the dinosaur Cooper while working on it, after the nearby Cooper Creek where it was found in 2007.
The identifying process had been a lengthy one due to the remote location of the bones and their size and delicate condition. But many of the remains were found intact, said researchers from the Queensland Museum and the Eromanga Natural History Museum.
The team found the Australotitan was closely related to three other sauropod species – the Wintonotitan, Diamantinasaurus and Savannasaurus.
The bones were first found in 2007 on a family farm near Eromanga , which was owned by two of the dinosaur researchers, Robyn and Stuart Mackenzie. The Queensland state government welcomed the classification calling it a boon for local dinosaur discovery.
Australotitan cooperensis (Newly identified species)
- Part of the sauropod group, the largest reptiles to roam the Earth
- Bone fossils discovered 15 years ago in Eromanga Basin
- A new technique of 3D surface scan modeling was used to compare fossils with other species
- Length: 25 – 30 metre
- Height: 5 – 6.5 metre
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