Giant dinosaur species discovered in S. Africa
Fossils of a new, giant species of dinosaur have been discovered in South Africa, a study published Thursday reports. The creature, which lived some 200 million years ago, was about twice the size of a modern-day African elephant. It was also the largest land animal on the planet at that time, according to the study.
Known by Latin name Ledumahadi mafube, it weighed over 26,000 pounds and stood about 13 feet high at the hips.
Although it isn’t the biggest dinosaur ever found, “it’s the first true giant that evolves in a long line of dinosaurs called sauropod dinosaurs,” said study co-author Jonah Choiniere, a paleontologist at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Sauropods include species like the brontosaurus. Thus, this part of South Africa was the origin of all giant dinosaurs that evolved later, Choiniere said.
The new dino is a close relative of other massive dinosaurs from Argentina that lived around the same time, reinforcing the idea that the supercontinent Pangaea was still assembled then.
The study was published in the peerreviewed journal Current Biology.
An artist’s conception imagines what the newly discovered dinosaur species Ledumahadi mafube might have looked like.