Every day, scientists are trying to make sense of our world. In order to understand it better we need to study the past and all its hidden treasures. A team of paleontologists has discovered a new dinosaur species in Africa. The scientists from the University of Ohio have dug up the bones of “Rukwatitan bisepultus” on a cliff wall in southwestern Tanzania, in the Rukwa Rift Basin. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation Division of Earth Sciences and stated that the remains of the new dinosaur species they’ve found, which they named Rukwatitan bisepultus, belong to Titanosauria, which was a family of herbivorous dinosaurs, known for their gigantic bodies, long necks and wide postures.
The new dinosaur species has 6 ½ feet long forelegs and it is estimated that the Rukwatitan bisepultus weighed as much as “several elephants”. The paleontologists believe that the dinosaur lived about 100 million years, in the Cretaceous period.
The paleontologists were helped professional excavators and coal miners to recover the new dinosaur species vertebrae, legs, ribs and pelvic bones. The dig has been going on for several months.
Paul Filme, the sciences program director said that “This titanosaur discovery is rare for Africa…and it will resolve questions about the distribution and regional characteristics of what would later become one of the largest land animals known.”
New Dinosaur Species Discovered in Africa
Patrick O’Connor from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine stated that the new dinosaur species bones are similar with Malawisaurus dixeyi, a titanosaurian dinosaur discovered in Malawi previously. O’Connor also confirmed that the two dinosaurs are different from one another and from other titanosaurs found in Africa.
The new dinosaur species will help fill the gaps in the titanosaur’s family tree and shine a light on their relationships with other dinosaur species.