Monday, 4 March 2019

New dinosaur with heart-shaped tail provides evolutionary clues for African continent


Mnyamawamtuka moyowamkia fossils recovered from East African Rift System
Date:  February 13, 2019
Source:  Ohio University
A new dinosaur that wears its "heart" on its tail provides new clues to how ecosystems evolved on the African continent during the Cretaceous period according to researchers at Ohio University.
The OHIO team identified and named the new species of dinosaur in an article published this week in PLOS ONE. The new dinosaur, the third now described from southwestern Tanzania by the NSF-funded team, is yet another member of the large, long-necked titanosaur sauropods. The partial skeleton was recovered from Cretaceous-age (~100 million years ago) rocks exposed in a cliff surface in the western branch of the great East African Rift System.
The new dinosaur is named Mnyamawamtuka moyowamkia (Mm-nya-ma-wah-mm-too-ka mm-oh-yo-wa-mm-key-ah), a name derived from Swahili for "animal of the Mtuka (with) a heart-shaped tail" in reference to the name of the riverbed (Mtuka) in which it was discovered and due to the unique shape of its tail bones.

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