New 40-Foot Long Dinosaur Species Unearthed in Argentina

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 - 1:20PM
Earth
Wednesday, 07 November 2018 - 1:20PM
New 40-Foot Long Dinosaur Species Unearthed in Argentina
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Tadek Kurpaski via Flickr/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0
This week in new old dino news: paleontologists recently discovered the remains of a family of prehistoric giants that belong to the sauropod group of plant eating reptiles. The new species has been named Lavocatisaurus agrioensis, and the 110 million year old fossils were found in a region of central Argentina that used to be covered by desert.

According to reports, the team led by researchers from National University of La Matanza in Bueno Aires found the bones of three different dinosaurs: two children and presumably one of their parents. Based on the fossils, they estimate that the adult measured nearly 40 feet long and the children were around half of its size. "We found most of the cranial bones: the snout, the jaws, a lot of teeth, also the bones that define the eye sockets for example and, in that way, we were able to create an almost complete reconstruction," said Egidio Feruglio Museum researcher, Jose Luis Carballido. If you've been paying attention so far, then you may have picked up on a strange detail about the discovery. Herbivores found in a dry place where there would have been little to no vegetation? "Not only is this the discovery of a new species in an area where you wouldn't expect to find fossils, but the skull is almost complete," said Carballido. He added that the dinosaurs were likely on the move when they died, and that the find is "the first record of a group displacement among the rebbachisaurus dinosaurs."

The paleontologists admit that a former desert is not generally the best place to look for fossils, but in his interview with Agence France Presse (AFP), Carballido doesn't explain why they were doing just that or if the discovery was a happy accident during an unrelated study. Either way, we're not complaining because thanks to their research, now published in journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, we have another long dinosaur with an even longer name to add to the records.

(Cover image: Tadek Kurpaski via Flickr/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)
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