- Titanosaurs are a group of dinosaurs that may have been the largest animals ever to walk the Earth.
- “It is the oldest record known, not only from Argentina but worldwide.”
- The new discovery meant titanosaurs lived longer ago than previously thought.
At about 140 million years old, fossils from a huge dinosaur dug up in Argentina might be the oldest titanosaur yet discovered, scientists announced this week in a new study.
Titanosaurs are a group of long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs that may have been the largest animals ever to walk the Earth, according to Reuters. Known as Ninjatitan zapatai, the recently discovered animal was about 66 feet in length and had a long neck and tail, Sci-News said.
“It is the oldest record known, not only from Argentina but worldwide,” study lead author Pablo Gallina, a researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research of Argentina (CONICET), told Reuters.
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“This discovery is also very important for the knowledge of the evolutionary history of sauropods because the fossil records of the Early Cretaceous epoch, in around 140 million years ago, are really very scarce throughout the world,” he said in a statement.
The new discovery meant titanosaurs lived longer ago than previously thought – at the beginning of the Cretaceous era that ended with the demise of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago, Reuters said.
The fossilized remains of Ninjatitan zapatai were discovered in Neuquén province in Argentina’s Patagonia region.
The creature was named after Argentine paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, nicknamed “El Ninja,” and technician Rogelio Zapata, according to AFP.
The discovery of Ninjatitan zapatai was announced in a study in the journal Ameghiniana.