New mega dinosaur species confirmed

World | REUTERS 9 Jun 2021

Scientists have confirmed the discovery of a new dinosaur species in Australia, one of the largest in the world, more than a decade after cattle farmers first uncovered bones of the animal.

The plant-eating sauropod lived between 92 million and 96 million years ago when Australia was attached to Antarctica, according to a research paper published on Monday.

Paleontologists estimated the dinosaur reached a height of 5 to 6.5 meters at the hip and 25-30m in length, making it as long as a basketball court and as tall as a two-story building. That makes the species the largest dinosaur ever found in Australia and among the top five in the world.

"To make sure Australotitan was a different species, we needed to compare its bones to the bones of other species," said Scott Hocknull, Queensland Museum curator.

He added that the plant-eating sauropods were generally preyed on by huge, yet unknown, theropods. "There is a very large predatory dinosaur out there somewhere. We just haven't found it yet."

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June 2021

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