- Titanosaurs are a group of dinosaurs that may have been the largest animals to walk on Earth.
- “It is the oldest known record, not only of Argentina but of the whole world.”
- The new discovery meant that the titanosaurs lived longer than previously thought.
About 140 million years old, the fossils of a huge dinosaur unearthed in Argentina could be the oldest titanosaur ever discovered, scientists said this week in a new study.
Titanosaurs are a group of long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs that may have been the largest animals to ever walk on Earth, according to Reuters. Known as the Ninjatitan zapatai, the recently discovered animal was around 20 meters long and had a long neck and long tail, Sci-News said.
“This is the oldest known record, not only from Argentina but from around the world,” lead study author Pablo Gallina, a researcher at Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Research, told Reuters. (CONICET).
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“This discovery is also very important for the knowledge of the evolutionary history of the sauropods, because the fossil records of the time of the Lower Cretaceous, about 140 million years ago, are really very rare in the world”, a he said in a press release.
The new discovery meant the titanosaurs lived longer than previously thought – at the start of the Cretaceous era that ended with the dinosaurs disappearing around 66 million years ago, Reuters said.
The fossilized remains of Ninjatitan zapatai were discovered in the province of Neuquén, in the Patagonia region of Argentina.
The creature is named after Argentinian paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, nicknamed “El Ninja”, and technician Rogelio Zapata, according to AFP.
The discovery of Ninjatitan zapatai was announced in a study in the journal Ameghiniana.