Paleontologists have discovered a new type of dinosaur in Australia that is gigantic. The dinosaur is longer than a basketball court and is called Australotitan cooperensis. It’s a new species of giant sauropod dinosaur from Eromanga Southwest of Queensland. Australotitan, or the southern Titan, has been scientifically described and named by Queensland Museum and Eromanga Natural History Museum paleontologists.
The paleontologists believe the dinosaur reached a height of 5-6.5 meters at the hip and 25-30 meters in length. The newly discovered species is within the top 10 to 15 largest dinosaurs globally and represents the largest species ever discovered in Australia. The fossilized skeleton of the massive dinosaur discovered was nicknamed Cooper after Cooper Creek, where it was discovered in 2007.
It’s currently the largest species of dinosaur ever discovered in Australia. The publication of a scientific paper on the dinosaur marks the end of a 17-year long joint effort between Queensland Museum and Eromanga Natural History Museum paleontologists, fossil preparation specialists, geologists, and volunteers. The researchers say to ensure Australotitan was a different species; they had to compare its bones to the bones of other species from Queensland and around the world.
That process was very long and painstaking. Comparing the bones required heavy and fragile fossils to be transported between museums that can be thousands of kilometers apart, making scientific study difficult. For the first time, the researchers used new digital technology to 3D scan each bone of the Australotitan and compare them to its closest relatives.
The 3D scans will become part of the museum’s digital collection powered by Project DIG. Researchers were able to carry around the 3D scans rather than thousands of kilograms of dinosaur bones. The scans could also be shared online globally. The study of the dinosaur bones has also revealed new discoveries in the area waiting for scientific study.