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losangelesnewstoday.com May 24, 2018


School-bus sized 'Holy grail' dinosaur discovered in Sahara desert

31 January 2018, 08:49 | Katrina Lee

New African dino sheds light on Pangaea break-up

A fossil of a dinosaur claw

They've called the newly discovered creature Mansourasaurus shahinae, and are studying it to help fill in the blanks left by the region's lack of fossils.

Study co-author and dinosaur paleontologist Dr. Matt Lamanna of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, acknowledged being stunned by the discovery.

Researchers said Monday the plant-eating Cretaceous Period dinosaur, named Mansourasaurus shahinae, was almost 10 meters long, weighed 5,000 kg and was a member of a group called titanosaurs that included Earth's largest-ever land animals.

Here are five reasons why the discovery was so jaw dropping.

Paleontologists from Mansoura University have unearthed a fossil of a new species of dinosaur in the Dakhla oasis in central Egypt that lived almost 80 million years ago.

The dinosaur belongs to the sauropod group Titanosauria, which were believed to have lived some 80 million years ago. The Mansourasaurus has proven instrumental in decoding this mystery, as the anatomical features of its bones are much more closely related to European and Asian dinosaurs than those from further south in Africa, or South America, showing that dinos were still moving between what we now know as separate continents during this period.

As the land divided, animal and plant species were profoundly affected, with emergent stretches of water - small and vast - forming impenetrable barriers.

The giant plant-eater was the length of a school bus and weighed about the same as an elephant.

This proves, the researchers said, that at least some dinosaurs could still move between Europe and Africa in the Late Cretaceous.

Deputy Secretary, South Korea's Vice Defense Minister Meet at Pentagon
They were therefore handed one quota place while two male North Korean competitors were given places in the short track speed skating.

During the excavation, the parts such as skull, neck, back vertebrae, lower jaw, forelimb, shoulder, ribs, back foot as well osteoderms of the animal were recovered. During the Cretaceous Period, the continents joined together as the supercontinent Pangea started to split apart.

Consequently, it has been unclear how well connected Africa was to other Southern Hemisphere landmasses and to Europe this time, and to what extent its animals may have been cut off and evolving separately as a result. Since they are so closely related to the Europasian dinosaurs like Lohuecotitan, this indicates that land animals were able to, at some point, travel between the two continents.

Also contributing to the Mansourasaurus research were experts on African paleontology from other institutions in Egypt and the US. Several contributors were still students who were working on every aspect of the project from fieldwork, lab analysis and writing up the results. Paleontologists from Egypt's Mansoura University were having an expedition at that time.

"It's like finding an edge piece that you use to help figure out what the picture is, that you can build from", Gorscak said.

As opposed to being a bit of a jigsaw filling in the holes in dinosaur history, it is more similar to "a corner piece", said Dr Gorscak.

Paleontologists at Mansoura University in Egypt discovered the Mansourasaurus fossils in the Sahara in 2013.

"We have a group of well-trained vertebrate paleontologists here in Egypt, with easy access to important fossil sites", Sallam said.

He said he expected the pace of discovery to accelerate in the years to come.

The species is believed to have lived in the late Cretaceous Period, just before dinosaurs became extinct.



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