In Australia, paleontologists have identified the largest species of dinosaur found in the country to date. Reaching 30 meters in length and more than 6 meters in height from the floor to the waist, this animal is a real giant of the Cretaceous period. Fossils of herbivores, which lived about 92 to 96 million years ago, were discovered in 2007 in the area of southwest Queensland (northeast Australia). Now a team of paleontologists led by Scott Hocknall of the Queensland Museum in Brisbane have identified the titanosaur in more detail. Neither the type nor the new species Australutean coprensis were previously known, scientists reported in the journal “PeerJ”.
Hocknull and his team have been researching the discovery for more than a decade. It took several years to excavate and locate all the bones. They also created 3D models of the fossils in order to be able to compare the skeleton with other sauropods.
Previously, titanosaurs were found mainly in South America, and the largest group of dinosaurs has now been identified in Australia for the first time. According to researchers, it is Alf Coprinsis It is closely related to three other species of Cretaceous sauropod known to date on Australian soil. At that time, more than 90 million years ago, today’s Australia still belonged to the great continent of Gondwana.
Australutean coprensis It means “southern titan”. The name of the species itself goes back to the discoverers of fossils. They called the giant “Cooper” because they found the bones near the town of Cooper Creek. In the recent past, more and more dinosaur fossils appeared at the site. Among other things, around the Hocknull researchers discovered a rocky slab nearly 100 meters long, “the path of a sauropod that dinosaurs walked and trampled mud and bone into the soft ground,” the paleontologist reports.(dpa/each)