Sydney – Australian palaeontologists have unveiled a new species of giant sauropod dinosaur, which is the largest skeletal remains of a dinosaur ever to be discovered in Australia.
The new species, Australotitan cooperensis, “southern titan”, was named after researchers found out it could be stomped into the record books as Australia’s largest dinosaur, and it was also firstly discovered nearby the Cooper Creek in Eromanga, a town in southwest Queensland State.
It was estimated to have reached a height of 5-6.5 metres at the hip and 25-30 metres in length, and sits within the top 10-15 largest dinosaurs world-wide.
Dr Scott Hocknull from Eromanga Natural History Museum told Xinhua Tuesday that the fossilised skeleton was originally nicknamed “Cooper”, and it took a long period of study for the team to recognise that it was a unique species and Australia’s largest dinosaur species.
The team used new digital technology to 3D scan each bone of Australotitan and compare them to the bones of its closest relatives, drawing to a conclusion that Australotitan was closely related to three other Australian sauropods that lived during the Cretaceous Period.
“We compared the three species found to 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.”
“Australotitan was the largest in the family, followed by Wintonotitan with big hips and long legs, whilst the two smaller sauropods, Diamantinasaurus and Savannasaurus were shorter in stature and heavily-set.”
Hocknull said discoveries like this were just the tip of the iceberg.
“Our ultimate goal is to find the evidence that tells the changing story of Queensland, hundreds of millions of years in the making. A grand story all scientists, museums and tourists can get behind.” — Bernama