The new species was discovered in Australia, and it represents a new entry into the plant-eating sauropod family.
The science world is abuzz with news that a new species of dinosaur has been discovered in Australia. This long-necked, four-legged plant eater was not quite as big as the very biggest of the dinosaurs, but it was about the size of a basketball court, according to reports.
It’s extremely rare to find a dinosaur fossil in Australia, so this is a big find. It could also better help scientists understand how dinosaurs spread across the Earth many millions of years ago.
The fossils were discovered by David Elliott, who is the chairman of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. In 2005, he was herding sheep in northern Australia when he thought he found fossilized limb bones, but later determined they were the toe bones of a huge planet-eating dinosaur. Later, he would find that it was a new species entirely.
A study detailing this discovery has now been published in the journal Scientific Reports. The species has been named Savannasaurus elliottorum.
The skeleton scientists turned up is one of the most complete sauropods in Australia. The skeleton was probably about 50 feet long, and the animal probably weighed about 40,000 pounds, which is about three times that of an African elephant.
Scientists think it lived about 100 million years ago, about the same as two other titanosaurs. This would put it in the late Cretaceous, which started 225 million years ago and ended with an asteroid striking the Earth about 66 million years ago, wiping out the dinosaurs and much of life on Earth forever.