June 15, 2021

Australia discovers its largest titanosaur represented by osteological remains


The dinosaur has been christened Australotitan.

The dinosaur has been christened Australotitan.
Eromanga Natural History Museum

At more than 25 meters long and 5 meters high, a scientific study identified a new sauropod species, which populated the Earth more than 92 million years ago, as the largest dinosaur discovered in Australia.

“The new titanosaur is the largest dinosaur in Australia represented by osteological remains and, based on limb size comparisons, it reached a size similar to that of the giant titanosaurs of South America, “according to the study published Monday in the scientific journal Peer J.

This specimen, which was baptized as Australotitan or “the southern titan”, lived in the northeastern state of Queensland in a prehistoric time when the territory of mainland Australia was attached to Antarctica.

According to this study led by the curator of the Queensland Museum Scott Hocknull, the first remains of this dinosaur, also known as “Cooper” due to the stream adjacent to the archaeological site where it was found, were excavated in 2006 and 2007 in the Winton formation, an area located in the Eromanga basin, rich in hydrocarbons and grasslands.

Hocknull and paleontologist Róchelle Lawrence, one of the authors of this study, explained in another article published in the journal The Conversation, that after recovering thousands of kilograms of bones, these were compared with 3D digital technology with those of other species of Australian saruropods and other parts of the world to confirm that it was a new species.

The scientists also observed that the four sauropods discovered to date that populated Australia more than 92 million years ago, including Austratitan, were most closely related with dinosaurs from other parts of the world.

“However, we could not conclusively place any of these four related species in the same place and at the same time. This means that they could have evolved over time to occupy very different habitats. They may even never have been. found, “the two scientists noted.

They also noted that Australian species are related to the titanosaurs of South America and Asia, suggesting that they dispersed from South America (via Antarctica) during periods of global heat or that they may have moved through the ancient island archipelagos of Southeast Asia.

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