Newly described long throat dinosaur the length of a basketball court and the height of the thighs of a two-story building is the largest beast that has ever walked Australia, a new study finds.
Paleontologists have discovered the huge creature – a titanosaur, the largest of the long-necked dinosaurs sauropods – in the Queensland desert. They named him Australotic correspondence, or “Cooper’s Southern Titan,” a nod to the Cooper Creek system where it was found. But the team called him Cooper for short.
When he was alive, Cooper would stand about 21
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Cooper’s remains were first discovered in 2004 by 14-year-old Sandy Mackenzie, the son of study’s senior author Robin Mackenzie, director of the Eromanga Museum of Natural History. The giant petrified bones of the dinosaur were in the Winton Formation, west of the town of Eromanga, and researchers spent much of that time excavating and studying the many petrified bones.
“Make sure Australotitan was a different species, we had to compare its bones with the bones of other species from Queensland and worldwide, “said first author Scott Hacknell, a vertebrate paleontologist and senior curator of geology at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane. said in a statement. “It was a very long and painstaking task.”
To speed up the process, the researchers used 3D scanning technology to digitally scan each bone and then compared the scan to the bones of other sauropods. “The 3D scan we created allowed me to carry about 1,000 kilograms [of] dinosaur bones in 7 pounds [15.4 lbs.] laptop, “Hocknell said.” Even better, we can now share this scan and knowledge online with the world. “
The team’s analysis revealed that Cooper was closely related to three previously discovered sauropod dinosaurs – Wintonotitan, Diamantinasaurus and Savannah – Chia seed fossils were also found in the Winton Formation and date from about 96 million to 92 million years during Cretaceous period.
“We found Australotitan to be the largest in the family, followed by Wintonotitan with large thighs and long legs, while the two smaller sauropods, Diamantinasaurus and Savanasaurus, were shorter and heavier,” Hocknull said.
Moreover, the discovery of a nearly 330-foot (100-meter) long stretch of rocky outskirts of Queensland appears to have been a sauropod highway, “where dinosaurs roamed treading mud and bones in soft ground,” Hocknell said. Some of Cooper’s bones were even crushed, probably under the heavy weight of other sauropods, which also left their petrified footprints behind the highway, the researchers wrote in a blog post.
The study was published online Monday (June 7th) in the journal PeerJ.
Originally published in Live Science.