A giant sauropod dinosaur known as the “southern titan” that was as long as a basketball court roamed Australia 96 million years ago, a study reported.
Experts from the Queensland Museum and the Eromanga Natural History Museum described the new species, named “Australotitan cooperensis,” which was excavated in 2007.
Paleontologists found the fossil nicknamed “Cooper” in Cooper Creek in southwest Queensland, after which the dinosaur got its species name.
The Southern Titan set the record for Australia’s largest dinosaur, reaching a waist height of up to 6.5 meters and a length of up to 30 meters.
Scientists have estimated that the colossal Australotitan cooperensis could have weighed up to 74,000 kilograms.
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One study found a giant sauropod dinosaur known as the “southern titan” that was as long as a basketball court roamed Australia 96 million years ago. Pictured: Australotitan cooperensis
Experts from the Queensland Museum and the Eromanga Natural History Museum described the new species, named “Australotitan cooperensis”, which was excavated in 2007 (pictured with paleontologist Scott Hocknull of the Queensland Museum on the right).
STATS TO SOUTHERN TITANIUM
Surname: Australotitan Cooperensis
Type: Long-necked giant sauropod
Age: Lived 96 million years ago
Diet: Herbivore (herbivore)
Height: up to 21.3 feet at the hips
Length: 98 feet, head-to-tail
Weight: Up to 163,142 pounds
“Australotitan adds to the growing list of unique Australian dinosaur species discovered in Outback Queensland,” said author and paleontologist Scott Hocknull of the Queensland Museum.
Equally important, he added, “shows an entirely new area for dinosaur discovery in Australia.”
“To make sure Australotitan was a different species, we had to compare its bones to bones from other species in Queensland and around the world. This has been a very long and arduous task. ‘
Because they are large, heavy, and fragile, dinosaur fossils are kept in museums that can be thousands of kilometers apart, and comparing them can be challenging.
To overcome this, the team used new digital technologies to create a three-dimensional scan of each Australotitan bone.
These were then compared to the Southern Titan’s closest relatives and at the same time added to the Queensland Museum’s online collection for future reference.
“The 3D scans we made enabled me to move thousands of pounds of dinosaur bones in a 7-pound laptop. Better still, we can now share these scans and knowledge online with the world, ”said Dr. Hocknull.
The team’s analysis concluded that Australotitan was closely related to three other sauropods found in Australia that lived during the Cretaceous period 92 to 96 million years ago – Diamantinasaurus, Savannasaurus, and Wintonotitan.
“We compared the three species found in the north, near Winton, to our new Eromanga giant, and it looks like Australia’s largest dinosaurs were all part of one big happy family,” said Dr. Hocknull.
“We found Australotitan to be the tallest in the family, followed by Wintonotitan, with large hips and long legs, while the two smaller sauropods, Diamantinasaurus and Savannasaurus, were shorter in stature and strongly set on.”
“Australotitan adds to the growing list of unique Australian dinosaur species discovered in Outback Queensland,” said Queensland Museum author and paleontologist Scott Hocknull, pictured here with Cooper’s fossil bone and a 3D reconstruction
The Southern Titan set the record for Australia’s largest dinosaur, reaching a waist height of up to 6.5 meters and a length of up to 30 meters. Pictured: a reconstruction of Australotitan with Dr. Hockzull, right, for the yardstick
In addition to describing australotitan, the researchers also revealed other discoveries in the Eromanga area pending further investigation, said Dr. Hocknull.
“Numerous dinosaur skeletons have been found over the past 17 years, including one with an almost full tail,” he added.
‘A ledge, almost 100 meters [328 feet] long, represents a sauropod path on which the dinosaurs trampled mud and bones into the soft ground.
“Discoveries like this are just the tip of the iceberg. Our ultimate goal is to find the evidence that tells the checkered history of Queensland, hundreds of millions of years in the making. ‘
Scientists have estimated that the colossal Australotitan cooperensis could have weighed up to 74,000 kilograms. Pictured: paleontologist and director of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, Robyn Mackenzie, poses with the remains of the dinosaur
“Discoveries like Australotitan tell the story of a time when dinosaurs roamed Queensland,” commented Art Secretary Leeanne Enoch, who added that the exciting new discovery solidifies Queensland as Australia’s dinosaur capital.
“The Queensland Museum experts were on site, sharing their knowledge with local museums and helping to preserve and better understand the diverse paleontological history of our state.”
“Australia is one of the last frontiers for dinosaur discovery and Queensland is fast solidifying as the nation’s paleo capital – and there is so much more to explore,” said Jim Thompson, CEO of the Queensland Museum Network.
“I am proud that the Queensland Museum paleontologists have been involved in many of these amazing discoveries and are leaders in their fields.”
The full results of the study were published in the journal PeerJ.
Paleontologists found the fossil nicknamed “Cooper” in Cooper Creek in southwest Queensland, after which the dinosaur got its species name
HOW THE DINOSAURS WERE SPOKEN AROUND 66 MILLION YEARS AGO
Dinosaurs ruled and ruled the earth about 66 million years ago before suddenly becoming extinct.
The Cretaceous Tertiary Extinction Event is the name given to this mass extinction.
For many years it was believed that climate change is destroying the food chain of giant reptiles.
In the 1980s, paleontologists discovered a layer of iridium.
This is an element that is rare on Earth but is found in large quantities in space.
When this was dated, it coincided exactly with the time the dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record.
A decade later, scientists discovered the massive Chicxulub crater at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, dating from the time in question.
The scientific consensus now says that these two factors are linked, and both were likely caused by a giant asteroid that crashed to Earth.
Given the projected size and impact velocity, the collision would have created an enormous shock wave and likely triggered seismic activity.
The fallout would have created clouds of ash that would likely have covered the entire planet, making it impossible for the dinosaurs to survive.
Other animal and plant species had shorter intergenerational time periods that allowed them to survive.
There are several other theories about what caused the death of the famous animals.
One early theory was that small mammals ate dinosaur eggs, and another suggested that poisonous angiosperms (flowering plants) killed them.