The long-necked herbivore’s length measured the span of a basketball court (nearly 30m), stood at two stories, and weighed an estimated 70 tons.
In 2006, Robyn and Stuart Mackenzie spotted what appeared to be massive black rocks while riding motorbikes on their sheep and cattle farm in Australia, reports the New York Times. But upon closer inspection, they realized the rocks were bones.
Now, after many years of excavation and analyzing the enormous bones, researchers at the Queensland Museum and Eromanga Natural History Museum have classified the fossil remains as a new species, Australotitan cooperensis, or "the southern titan," belonging to the genus titanosaur. The dinosaur is the largest ever found in Australia and one of the largest in the world. The study was published this week in PeerJ - the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences.
Nicknamed Cooper, the titanosaur's bones were unearthed near Cooper Creek at the Eromanga Basin in southwest Queensland. Researchers found its shoulder blades, pelvic bones, and limbs mostly intact.
Titanosaurs are long-necked herbaceous sauropod dinosaurs that walked the Earth from the late Jurassic Epoch to the end of the Cretaceous period. They were some of the largest dinosaurs that ever existed.
While other titanosaur species were found in Australia before, Cooper is significantly larger. It is estimated that Cooper weighed 70 tons, stood at two stories tall, and measured 82 to 98 feet in length - or about the size of a basketball court.
Today's OGN Sunday Magazine articles:
Bennifer Rebooted: There's some rather different about this time around. Is this pop culture comfort food providing reassurance and familiarity after five years of political insanity, general cultural nastiness and, of course, social distancing?
Meet the Team: Is this the future of news? Brits can find out tonight at 8pm when the much-discussed alternative channel GB News launches. Billed as the antidote to the BBC, ITV and Sky News - or, according to some, a British Fox News.