New dinosaur species Savannasaurus discovered in Australia

Back in 2005, researchers found dinosaur bones in Queensland, Australia, and now many years later there's more information about them: they belong to a newly discovered dinosaur species dubbed Savannasaurus elliottorum, a type of long-necked dino called a sauropod. The fossilized remains are notable for many reasons, one being that it's the most complete sauropod skeleton ever found in the land down under. And, of course, there's that part about it being a whole new species.

In addition to the new dinosaur species, the researchers — detailing the discovery in a recent study — say a new Diamantinasaurus matildae specimen was also discovered. This second finding is notable as including the first partial skull from a sauropod that has been found in Australia. Most interesting of the two, though, is the Savannasaurus.

Among the skeleton remains is a dorsal vertebrae, the sacrum, a caudal vertebrae, the right sternal plate, left coracoid, a right third metacarpal, left radius, classified right/left pubes, the left astragalus, and some miscellaneous ribs, the number of which wasn't specified. The Savannasaurus shares stature with the big Titanosaurs, but features notable anatomic differences from ones known in the region.

The researchers go on to details differences between the new dinosaur species and the Diamantinasurus, the latter of which having longer forelimbs and substantially different pelvic girdles. Overall, the Savannasaurus was about 45ft long, give or take a handful, with a beefy chest and hips. The dinosaur hails from the Cretaceous period (about 100 million years ago), and helps shed light on the big creatures that existed in Australia at the time.

SOURCE: New Scientist