Tue, 15 Jun 2021

New Australian dinosaur measures size of football field

Robert Besser
10 Jun 2021, 20:56 GMT+10

BRISBANE, Australia: One of the largest species of extinct dinosaurs has been identified in Australia, more than ten years after bones were discovered by farmers.

According to a research paper published on Monday, the plant-eating dinosaur roamed the region some 96 million years ago when Australia was attached to Antarctica.

Paleontologists estimated the dinosaur measured up to 6.5 meters in height and 25 to 30 meters in length.

The measurements would make the discovery the largest dinosaur ever found in Australia, and among the top five in the world.

"Discoveries like this are just the tip of the iceberg," said Queensland Museum palaeontologist Scott Hocknull, as quoted in Reuters.

Paleontologists have named the dinosaur "Australotitan cooperensis", a combination of "southern titan" with the name of the creek where the first bones were found in 2006 in Eromanga in Queensland state.

Scientists have nicknamed the dinosaur Cooper.

Australian scientists used new digital technology to 3-D scan each bone for comparisons.

"To make sure Australotitan was a different species, we needed to compare its bones to the bones of other species from Queensland and globally," Hocknull said. "This was a very long and painstaking task."

Robyn Mackenzie was with her husband Stuart on their ranch when they discovered the bones in 2006. The couple later founded the Eromanga Natural History Museum to display the bones.

"Palaeo Tourism has been huge globally so we're expecting a lot of international interest when our borders re-open," said Mackenzie.

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