• Jonathan Shiek

Farmers Unearthed New Dinosaur Species In Australia That’s One Of The Largest In The World

It was back in 2006 when Robyn and Stuart Mackenzie were riding motorbikes on their sheep and cattle farm in Australia when they came across what looked like massive black rocks, but turned out to be ginormous bones upon closer inspection.

It took 15 years of excavating and analysing before researchers at the Queensland Museum and Eromanga Natural History Museum classified the fossil as a new dinosaur species – Australotitan cooperensis. The name Australotitan means “southern titan” while cooperensis refers to the area it was discovered in, Cooper Creek.

Nicknamed Cooper, the newly discovered dinosaur is estimated to have weighed 70 tons and stood at two stories tall. At 82 to 98 feet in length, Cooper was almost the size of a basketball court, making it the largest dinosaur ever found in Australia, and one of the largest in the world!

Credits: The Conversation

In fact, Cooper was so big, researchers had to use a forklift to move its massive bones. Moreover, at over 90 million years old, Cooper’s bones were incredibly fragile, so researchers had to be extra careful when identifying them. From then on, it was a painstakingly long process of measuring and comparing the bones with other dinosaur species from Australia and the rest of the world.

Thanks to 3D technology, scientists managed to identify Cooper as a titanosaur, a plant-eating species that are known as the largest of the dinosaur species. More importantly, they also found that Cooper may be closely related to three other Australian sauropods that were discovered further north in the town of Winton.

Interestingly enough, Cooper isn’t even the first dinosaur the Mackenzie family managed to discover. Their son Sandy first found dinosaur bones on their property in 2004 when he was just 14 years old. Thanks to their affinity with the species, Robyn is now a field paleontologist and together with her husband Stuart, the couple are named as co-authors on the study about Australotitan cooperensis.

Credits: Express Digestau

Not only did the family help establish the Eromanga Natural History Museum, which now houses Cooper’s bones, the Mackenzies also revealed that they are currently unearthing new bones on their land that may also belong to a new species of dinosaur – how cool is that!


#Australia #australotitancooperensis #dinosaur #largest

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