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

New African dino sheds light on Pangaea break-up

This is a life reconstruction of the new titanosaurian dinosaur Mansourasaurus shahinae on a coastline in what is now the Western Desert of Egypt approximately 80 million years ago.

M. shahinae belongs to Titanosauria, a group of enormous sauropods - including Argentinosaurus, Dreadnoughtus andPatagotitan - that lived around the world during the Cretaceous period, the researchers said.

Africa's fossil record during the late Cretaceous is sparse, says study leader and Carnegie Museum of Natural History paleontologist Matthew Lamanna. It lived during the post-Cenemonian Cretaceous, around 94-66 million years ago, an era from which fossils are rare and often broken into bits. 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. Scientists call the finding an "incredible discovery", describing it as critical for science.

"Africa remains a goliath question mark regarding land-abiding creatures toward the finish of the Age of Dinosaurs", said Dr Eric Gorscak of The Field Museum, who dealt with the exploration, distributed in the diary, Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Mansourasaurus was said to be more closely related to European and Asian titanosaurs than to those from elsewhere in Africa.

Paleontologists have named the creature Mansourasaurus - the name comes from the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology program that its discoverers are part of - and while precious little is known about the dinosaur's habits, it size and body composition are quite familiar. Fossils from about 100 million years ago to when the dinosaurs were wiped out almost 66 million years ago are extremely rare to find on the African continent.




Although it was very large, the newly discovered dinosaur could not be compared with other 30-meter titanosaurs.

With the continents starting to split during the Cretaceous period, there is uncertainty among paleontologists about how connected Africa was to Europe at that time.

"This, in turn, demonstrates for the first time that at least some dinosaurs could move between North Africa and southern Europe at the end of the Mesozoic, and runs counter to long-standing hypotheses that have argued that Africa's dinosaur faunas were isolated from others during this time", Lamanna said. The discovery led them to suggest that land-based dinosaurs continued to migrate between Europe and northern Africa toward the end of their time on Earth, the BBC reports.

Fossil fragments included parts of the mammoth beast's skull, lower jaw, neck and back verterbrae, ribs, shoulders and more.

The dinosaur's fossilized remains were uncovered amid an endeavor by scientistss from Mansoura University in Egypt.

The region lacks easily accessible, exposed rocky fossil beds similar to those located in the Gobi desert or the Rocky mountains, so late Cretaceous finds have been few and far between. "It's like finding an edge piece that you use to help figure out what the picture is, that you can build from". "Maybe even a corner piece". "Now that we have a group of well-trained vertebrate paleontologists here in Egypt, with easy access to important fossil sites, we expect the pace of discovery to accelerate in the years to come", said Sallam.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Texas governor orders investigation into sexual assault allegations of gymnastic facility
Jan 31, 2018 - 04:18
Numerous victims testified that their abuse took place at the Karolyi Ranch in Walker County. They said Nassar molested them during monthly training camps at the ranch.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Turkey will 'clean' entire Syrian border, says Erdogan
Jan 31, 2018 - 04:17
Erdogan again hit out at the group on Sunday, saying: "They are not intellectuals, they are a gang of unthinking slaves".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The faces and places at the Super Bowl Tuesday
Jan 31, 2018 - 04:15
Asked Tuesday whether police have found something slicker, Commissioner Richard Ross said, "We think so". No matter what happens - no matter if I play a frightful game, she loves me.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Russia Will Meddle in United States 2018 Midterms, CIA Director Says
Jan 31, 2018 - 04:15
He also said that North Korea may be able to strike the U.S. with nuclear missiles "in a handful of months ". He observed: "The Russians have a long history of these information campaigns.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Melania Trump: Jet-setter on the taxpayer dime
Jan 31, 2018 - 04:14
The East Wing told the press that the first lady chose not to attend Davos due to " scheduling and logistical issues ". The first lady is expected to reappear alongside her husband later today during his State of the Union address.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Two Key Senators Urge Trump Restraint On Russia-Probe Comments
Jan 30, 2018 - 00:57
Collins said there are some constitutional issues with the proposed legislation. This is a reversal from her original position on the bills.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Messi and Suarez fuel Barca comeback win, Atletico beat Las Palmas
Jan 30, 2018 - 00:53
Messi is said to have urged Valverde to replace Nelson Semedo and Lucas Digne with Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba. Philippe Coutinho made his first start for Barcelona on Sunday night in a 2-1 win over Alaves in the Camp Nou.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Australia's new defence a export push a boost for WA firms
Jan 30, 2018 - 00:52
However, Mr Turnbull said nations could not forgo defence spending because the "price of liberty is eternal vigilance". The government is expected to spend $20 million per year to implement and support the new defence export strategy.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition Will Arrive in February
Jan 30, 2018 - 00:49
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is a reimagining of the console version with a wildly different art style and control scheme. As a symbol of this promised peace, Noctis, crown prince of Lucis, is to Wednesday the Lady Lunafreya of Tenebrae.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Air Force One's new refrigerators will cost taxpayers $23.6 million, report
Jan 29, 2018 - 02:46
Boeing held on to them while it looked for a new buyer, though the Air Force has not said how much it paid for the planes. The US Air Force are replacing two of the five chiller units on the plane now used by President Donald Trump .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mission to rescue Polish mountaineer from Pakistan's 'killer mountain' called off
Jan 29, 2018 - 02:43
No further information is available for Tomasz Mackiewicz, a Polish climber who accompanied Revol on the Nanga Parbat climb. Both had made the ascent before, and were trying the especially challenging feat of doing it in winter.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Australia vs England, 5th ODI, Perth
Jan 29, 2018 - 02:43
After today's match England have the second lowest score after losing 5 wickets in an ODI, while batting first, 8/5. We got that with the ball but lost a few more wickets than we would have liked with the bat", Head said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Israel condemns Poland over Holocaust Bill
Jan 29, 2018 - 02:43
Many react viscerally when confronted with the growing body of scholarship about Polish involvement in the killing of Jews. But Polish officials dug in their heels, saying the measure was being misinterpreted and its wording would not be changed.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ex-Baywatch star Nicole Eggert claims Scott Baio molested her repeatedly
Jan 29, 2018 - 02:42
A few years ago, Scott Baio took a highly political turn , which he suggested ended his acting career (and he was fine with that). Scott Baio revealed early on in his Facebook Live video that he chose this medium because he did not want his words to be edited.

President Trump apologizes for retweeting anti-Muslim videos
Jan 29, 2018 - 02:41
Not everyone in Davos was pleased to see Trump there, however, as campaign groups displayed protest messages on nearby mountains. I think women really like that. "I know nothing about them, so I wouldn't be doing that".