in image dinasaur on road
SYDNEY – More than a decade after cattle ranchers initially discovered the animal's bones; scientists have verified the discovery of a new dinosaur species Cooper in Australia, one of the world's biggest. According to a scientific study, the plant-eating sauropod existed between 92 million and 96 million years ago, when Australia was still connected to Antarctica.
The dinosaur grew to a height of 5-6.5 meters at the hip and a length of 25-30 meters, making it as broad as a basketball court and as big as a two-story structure, according to paleontologists. This places the new species in the top five biggest dinosaurs ever unearthed in Australia, and it joins an elite club of titanosaurs previously exclusively identified in South America.
"Discoveries like these are simply the tip of the iceberg," said Scott Hocknull, curator of the Queensland Museum and paleontologist.
The sauropod has been given the name "Australotitan Cooperensis" by paleontologists, which combines "southern titan" with the name of a creek near where the first of the creature's bones were discovered in 2006 on a cattle farm in Eromanga, Queensland.
The discovery of the new species culminates a seventeen-year endeavour to excavate and compare the bones of "Cooper," as the dinosaur is affectionately known, to prior findings.
"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." "Palaeo Tourism has been huge globally so we're expecting a lot of international interest when our borders re-open," said paleontologists Mackenzie.
Given that plant-eating sauropods were often preyed on by giant theropods, Hocknull believes even greater dinosaur specimens are waiting to be uncovered.
"We've found a couple of small theropod dinosaurs in Australia ... but it wouldn't have bothered Australotitan, which suggests there is a very large predatory dinosaur out there somewhere. We just haven't found it yet."
A whole host of new finds of dinosaur bones and rock shelves in the vicinity, supposed to be sauropodic, still await complete scientific studies.