The remains of a newly discovered dinosaur species were uncovered in Argentina.
The new species was 110 million years on Earth and was longer than a blue whale weighing up to 120 tons.
The remains were from three different dinosaurs from the group of herbivorous sauropods, the most famous of which are the Diplodocus and the Brontosaurus.
This new species was called Lavocatisaurus agrioensis.
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The remains of a newly discovered dinosaur species were uncovered in Argentina. Pictured are researchers working at the site
"We've found most cranial bones: the muzzle, the jaw, many teeth, and also the bones that define the eye sockets," Dr. Jose Luis Carballido, researcher at the Egidio Feruglio Museum.
"We were able to create an almost complete reconstruction."
Parts of the neck, tail and spine were also found.
"This is not just the discovery of a new species in an area where you would not expect fossils, but the skull is almost done," Dr. Carballido added.
The remains belonged to an adult with a length of about 12 meters and two minors from about six to seven meters.
Paleontologists say the dinosaurs moved in a group and died together.
"This discovery of an adult and two adolescents also marks the first record of a group shift among the rebbachisaurus dinosaurs," said study author Jose Ignacio Canudo from the University of Zaragoza.
The area where the fossils were found is unusual for dinosaurs, as it would have been a desert with sporadic lakes at that time.
The area where the fossils were found is unusual for dinosaurs, as it would have been a desert with sporadic lakes at that time
Sauropods were the largest creatures ever on Earth.
It is believed that the Supersaurus can be up to 34 feet long and the Argentinosaurus could weigh up to 120 tons.
They were herbivorous quadrupeds with long necks and tails, massive bodies and small heads.
However, the discovery in Neuquen published in the scientific journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica remains a great surprise.
"While it can be imagined that this group of sauropods could have adapted to rather dry environments with little vegetation, low humidity, and little water, this is an area where you would not look for fossils," Dr. Carballido.
WHAT ARE SAUROPODS?
Sauropods were the first successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs that dominated most terrestrial ecosystems for more than 140 million years, from the late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous.
They had long necks and tails and relatively small skulls and brains.
They expanded to 40 meters and weighed up to 80 tons (80,000 kg) – 14 times the weight of an African elephant.
Sauropods were the first successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs that dominated most terrestrial ecosystems for more than 140 million years, from the late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous
They were widespread – their remains were found on every continent except the Antarctic.
They had nostrils high on their skulls – instead of being at the end of the muzzle like so many other terrestrial vertebrates.
Some fossils show that these nostrils were so high up on the skull that they were very close to the eye openings.
Sauropods such as Diplodocus began to diversify about 180 million years ago in the Middle Jurassic.
Source: Museum of Paleontology, University of California