Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ The Gargantuan dinosaur discovered in Australia is one of the largest ever discovered

The Gargantuan dinosaur discovered in Australia is one of the largest ever discovered

Artist illustration by Australotitan

The largest dinosaur ever discovered in Australia: Australotitan.

Queensland Museum

About 92 million years ago, “Cooper” is stuck in the mud. Slop sealed the fate of the giant, long-necked dinosaur that ate leaves, and hid its bones until 2007, when the animal’s parts were dug up, dug out under a cattle and sheep station near the small Australian town of Eromanga, population 119, in southwestern Queensland. .

After 14 years of careful research and analysis, the giant sauropod specimen known from bone and hip bones is being described and officially named by its discoverers for the first time. The nickname Cooper is out.

People, it’s time to meet Australotitan cooperensis, a titanosaur that ruled the land during the Cretaceous about 92 million to 96 million years ago. The name Australotitan means “southern titan”, and cooperensis represents the area where the fossil was discovered.

The holotype sample – that is, the sample used to describe this brand new species – is detailed in a paper published in the journal PeerJ on Monday, by researchers from the Queensland Museum in Australia and the Eromanga Natural History Museum.

“This new titanosaurian is the largest dinosaur from Australia represented by osteological remains,” said Robyn Mackenzie, a paleontologist at the Eromanga Natural History Museum.

This CG reconstruction of Australotitan cooperensis shows how massive the beast was.

Queensland Museum

For years, the research team slowly dug out the fossil pieces of Cooper and analyzed them to gain a better understanding of the giant creature. They uncovered a fleet of various bones and bone remains from the titan’s legs and hips.

Using 3D computer analysis, the team began to uncover the story of Cooper and make estimates of its size, length, and mass.

“The 3D scans we created allowed me to carry thousands of kilos of dinosaur bones in a 7kg laptop,” said Scott Hocknull, a paleontologist from the Queensland Museum who helped find Cooper.

Titanic can be an understatement.

At nearly 100 feet long, Cooper is about the length of an Airbus A318 passenger plane, and monster the tallest giraffe that has ever lived, which would fully reach up to Cooper’s hip. Imagine how much extra height Cooper gets with that neck! Based on other sauropod measurements, Cooper is likely to weigh nearly 70 tons – about 10 times more than an African elephant. This places it in the top 5 of the heaviest sauropods ever discovered, and within the top 15 for length.

The bones also suggested that other sauropods trampled on his bones after Cooper met his fate in the mud. A potentially gloomy end.

To make sure they had found a whole new species, the team also compared the bones with the previously described sauropods from the location, Wintonotitan, Diamantinasaurus and Savannasaurus – which Hocknull and others have discovered and published over the past decade. Subtle differences in the bones of these creatures show how Australotitan differs from the other titanosaurs.

The location of the find near Eromanga has become something of a hotspot for dinosaur finds in Australia. Back in 2004, Robin’s son Sandy found an unusual stone and threw it in the back of his house. Eventually, his father took it to the museum for analysis, and it was confirmed as a dinosaur fossil. But that was only the beginning.

“The discovery of Australia’s largest dinosaur was completely unexpected, and as it turned out, it was only the tip of the iceberg of several significant dinosaur finds that have come since,” said Robyn Mackenzie. Mackenzie and her family were able to establish the Eromanga Natural History Museum, which now proudly displays Cooper, on the back of the find.

The team has found a number of other titanosaur samples, but has not yet been able to say whether they are other Australian or other species. But the excavations continue in the land of the giants.

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