Vlad Konstantinov and Scott Hocknull/Eromanga Natural History Museum
Researchers in Australia have confirmed discovery of the largest dinosaur species Australia has ever found.
Australotitan cooperensis About 80-100 feet long and 16-21 feet tall at the hips, it weighs between 25 and 81 tons. Tyrannosaurus rex It is about 40 feet long and 12 feet tall.
Paleontologists involved in the discovery said it was one of the 15 largest dinosaurs ever discovered on Earth and was similar in size to the giants found in South America.
The first fossilized bones of this creature were excavated in 2006 and 2007, but now, after years of analysis, the creature’s remains have been excavated. Paleontologists from the Queensland Museum and the Eromanga Museum of Natural History were able to confirm that the bones came from Australia’s largest dinosaur.
The findings were published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ. Scott Hocknull, a paleontologist at the Queensland Museum, is one of the authors.
Eromanga Natural History Museum
“It took a very long time because it was a very tough job. You have to remove the bones from the ground. You have to prepare fossils. Then you have to study and compare them with all the other “species of dinosaurs around the world,” Hocknull told ABC News.
“In Australia It is certainly the largest animal that has ever walked in the outback,” he said. “It is huge. This is an amazing beast. Imagine being the size of a basketball court walking around on land.”
“I think it’s a wonderful and wonderful discovery,” said Diego Pol, head of paleontology at the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio in Argentina. who have made similar but unrelated findings in Australia, said
Gary Cranitch/Queensland Museum
It was found near Eromanga in southwest Queensland in the Australian Outback. The researchers nicknamed Cooper after the area near Cooper Creek.
Australotiton Lived 92 to 96 million years ago in southwest Queensland. which at the time remained attached to Antarctica, said Rochel Lawrence, senior research assistant at the Hocknull Museum and Queensland.
It is part of the lineage of dinosaurs known as the Titanosaurus. which is found on most continents
But Paul told NPR that so far All “extremely large” titanosaurs have been found in the Patagonian region of South America. “This is very interesting because it is the first confirmation that the extra-large titanosaurs also lived in Australia,” he said.
Pol said these large dinosaurs likely lived in “Vast area” across the land that is connected to each other. including what is now South America, Antarctica and Australia.
“This means that if we go to Antarctica and dig into the right rocks … most likely we will also find a giant titanosaur living in Antarctica. So I find it very exciting.”
Natural History Museum Vlad Konstantinov/Eromanga
Australotitan cooperensis It is a new species of dinosaur called sauropods. which has a long neck and tail It has four legs and eats plants. Researchers say the new species is closely related to other sauropods. Three other species are found in Australia that are of the same age.
“We found Australotiton The largest in the family, followed by Wintono Titan with big hips and long legs while the two smaller sauropods Diamantinasaurusurus and Savannah Tyrannosaurus It is shorter and heavier,” Hocknull said in a statement.
part of the research The Australian team used a new 3D scanning technology to scan bones from Australotiton and compare with similar varieties Both Australian and Argentinian researchers agree that the new technology has opened the door to sharing information. Previously, paleontologists may have had to fly over Earth to see the fossils for themselves, Pol said at the highest resolution. available now is “Like having a real bone in your computer”
The Eromanga Museum of Natural History said the team had discovered other dinosaur bones in the area, including recently discovered bones. This requires further study to determine whether these bones belong to a new species.
“Discovery like this is just a small part. of the iceberg,” Hocknull said in a statement. “Our ultimate goal is to find evidence that tells the changing story of Queensland. which takes hundreds of millions of years to build.”