Scientists on Monday introduced they’ve recognized a brand new species of dinosaur that’s the largest ever present in Australia.
The enormous sauropod was formally named the Australotitan cooperensis, or “the southern titan” by researchers in Eromanga, Queensland, in response to a examine printed within the journal PeerJ. The second a part of its title, cooperensis, refers back to the close by Cooper Creek in western Queensland the place the fossils have been present in 2007.
Consultants say the dinosaur was estimated to have weighed about 70 tons, measured 21 ft tall, and prolonged to concerning the size of a basketball courtroom.
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“The thrilling factor for us is we will put our first hat within the ring for the world’s largest dinosaurs. It’s not the most important on the planet, however it’s actually prime 10,” mentioned Scott Hocknull, a Queensland Museum paleontologist and a co-author of the examine, in response to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The titanosaur – just like the brachiosaurus – was a part of a gaggle referred to as sauropods, which have been plant-eating dinosaurs identified for his or her measurement. They have been estimated to have lived greater than 90 million years in the past, throughout the Cretaceous interval.
Over the previous decade, paleontologists had labored to determine the dinosaur – evaluating scans of the bones with these from current species.
“To verify Australotitan was a special species, we would have liked to check its bones to the bones of different species from Queensland and globally. This was a really lengthy and painstaking job,” Hocknull mentioned.
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The examine discovered that Australotitan was intently associated to 3 different species of Australian sauropods – the Wintonotitan, Diamantinasaurus, and Savannasaurus.
“We in contrast the three species discovered to the north, close to Winton, to our new Eromanga large and it appears like Australia’s largest dinosaurs have been all a part of one huge pleased household,” added Hocknull.
The dinosaur bones have been first present in 2007 on a household farm close to Eromanga, Queensland.
Hocknull mentioned discoveries like this have been “simply the tip of the iceberg.”
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“Our final purpose is to search out the proof that tells the altering story of Queensland, a whole lot of tens of millions of years within the making. A grand story all scientists, museums, and vacationers can get behind,” he added.