(ORDO NEWS) — Paleontologists have described a new species of dinosaur-titanosaurus Abditosaurus kuehnei. His remains were found in the Pyrenees, on a mountain range on the border between Spain and France. This species is considered to be the largest titanosaur species found in the region.
Herbivore giant weighed 14 tons
It is believed that before the asteroid impact, when Europe was a collection of scattered islands, the titanosaurs of the sauropod family adapted to island conditions and became smaller than their continental counterparts. But the new discovery has baffled scientists. Described in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution , Abydosaurus kuehnei weighed a whopping 14 tons and was the size of a “London bus”.
“Titanosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous of Europe tend to be small to medium in size due to their evolution in insular environments. This is a recurring phenomenon in the history of life on Earth, we have several examples around the world in the fossil record of this evolutionary trend,” the scientists write.
Altogether, paleontologists have found 53 skeletal fragments of Abditosaurus kuehnei , including limb and pelvis bones, 19 vertebrae, six ribs, and several teeth. The analysis showed that the titanosaurus, which lived about 70.6 million years ago, was 17.5 meters long!
Researchers attribute this anomaly to the fact that the giant Abydosaurus arrived in Europe from Africa when sea levels dropped briefly. Its closest relative was the African paralith, followed by the modern South American titanosaurs.
Interestingly, the first remains of this dinosaur were found back in 1954. For 68 years, researchers have been excavating and comparing found bone fragments to publish a scientific description of Abditosaurus kuehnei . The species got its name in honor of Walter Kuehne, who was the first to find the bones.
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