It took time, in fact, a full 15 years after its mega-sized bones were first uncovered, for the giant to be named and recognised. The gigantic dinosaur which was discovered in Australia’s outback has now been identified as a new species. Not only that, palaeontologists have concluded that this was among the largest ever dinosaurs to roam the Earth.
The Australotitan cooperensis was part of the titanosaur family that lived on the planet about 100 million years ago. This species is estimated to have stood at 5-6.5 metres (16-21 feet) high and measured 25-30 metres (82-98 feet) in length, thus making it Australia’s biggest dinosaur.
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According to a report by the news agency AFP, Robyn Mackenzie, a Director of the Eromanga Natural History Museum observed: :Based on the preserved limb size comparisons, this new titanosaur is estimated to be in the top five largest in the world.”
Australotitan cooperensis fossilised bones were found in2006 on Mackenzie’s family farm which is located about thousand kilometres west of Brisbane in the Eromanga Basin and nicknamed “Cooper”.
Initially, the discovery was kept a secret while the scientists painstakingly dug up and studied the bones. The skeleton was displayed for the first time to the public in 2007.
The Queensland Museum palaeontologist Scott Hocknull described the whole process of digging up and studying as a “very long and painstaking task” to confirm the Australotitan was a new species.
The research which was conducted relied on 3D scan models of bones to compare the dinosaur with its close relatives, was published in the PeerJ journal on June 21.
Hocknull added that a number of other dinosaur skeletons have been found in the same area. He said that more work was needed as “discoveries like this are just the tip of the iceberg”.