Monday, 24 October 2016

New long-necked dinosaur species discovered in Australia

October 21, 2016

by Chuck Bednar

The discovery of two sets of long-necked dinosaur fossils is shedding new light on how these massive creatures originally made their way to Australia approximately 100 million years ago, according to new research published online this week in the journal Scientific Reports.

Based on the remains, which were found in Queensland, the new species were classified as both sauropods (large plant eaters with long necks and tiny heads) and titanosaurs (making them some of the biggest dinosaurs ever to roam the Earth), BBC News and the Los Angeles Times said.

One of the two creatures, Savannasaurus elliottorum, is a previously undiscovered species that was named after the Elliott family, who discovered its fossils on their property while they were herding sheep. The creature’s skeleton was assembled from 17 pallets worth of bones encased in rock, and according to BBC News, the process took more than a decade to complete.

The other creature, Diamantinasaurus matildae, is the first Australian sauropod for which skull fragments had been discovered, the Times reported. Lead researcher Dr. Stephen Poropot of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and his colleagues said that the specimen’s discovery has allowed them to learn more about the creature’s skeletal anatomy. 

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