South American giants may have crossed continents

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Some of the dinosaur family giants may have originated in South America, crossed the Antarctic and come to Australia about 100 million years ago. These animals may have had the opportunity to complete this trip when a heat wave that emerged briefly allowed the passage by land paths between the continents. Two fossils were discovered in Australia and brought more evidence to reinforce this theory.

The two species found are the sauropod – a group of large dinosaurs, herbivores with long necks and small heads – were later classified as Titanosaurus, which are among the largest dinosaurs to inhabit the Earth.

The coordinator of this research, Stephen Poropat, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum said that these specimens increased the knowledge about how it was the Australian continent region between 95 and 98 million years ago. “So we have a better idea of the fauna as a whole,” he added.
He also said: “The result is that we can begin to piece together how the weather affected these dinosaurs, as the positions of the continents were affected and how they have evolved over time.”

One of the fossils found in the town of Winton in the central west region of Queensland was named Savannasaurus elliottorum in reference to the Elliott’s, the family who found the collection of fossils on their property while they took care of their sheep. The dinosaur skeleton was inside a rock and after being removed it took about 10 years to be placed together again.

The investigators also found bones of another species of sauropod, the Diamantinasaurus matildae. “This new specimen Diamantinasaurus helped fill several gaps in our knowledge of the anatomy of these dinosaurs,” says Poropat.

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