Exploring the remnants of dinosaurs opens a window to Earth’s ancient past, unraveling the mysteries of evolution and adaptations of creatures from prehistoric times. Recently, scientists made a remarkable discovery – a gigantic sauropod dinosaur that had never been found before.
A Unique Find
Reported by Live Science, this dinosaur exhibits unusual characteristics and has the potential to shed light on the evolutionary history of long-necked, giant dinosaurs. The species has been named Garumbatitan morellensis and was unearthed during excavations at the Sant Antoni de la Vespa fossil site near the town of Morella, Spain, between 2005 and 2008.
Researchers managed to collect remains from at least three individuals, including large spinal bones, long legs, and two nearly complete sets of leg bones.
These fossils date back to the Early Cretaceous period, around 145 to 66 million years ago. The researchers described Garumbatitan morellensis in a study published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society on September 28.
Garumbatitan morellensis belongs to the sauropod group known as titanosaurs, which are the largest sauropods and the only ones that survived until the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs approximately 66 million years ago.
While the researchers couldn’t determine the exact size of Garumbatitan morellensis based on the bones found, one of the individuals stood out due to its massive size. The width of its spinal bone reached over one meter, and its thigh bone could reach up to two meters.
Garumbatitan Morellensis was Larger than The Average Titanosaurs
It’s estimated that Garumbatitan morellensis was larger than the average titanosaurs, which often reached the size of a basketball court.
In the world of dinosaurs, titanosaurs are among the largest. Argentinosaurus huinculensis and Patagotitan mayorum were previously considered the largest, weighing at least 70 tons.
However, in 2021, the discovery of remains from a new titanosaur species in Argentina suggested that there might be even larger species than these two.
While titanosaurs are the heaviest sauropods, they are not the longest. That title might belong to an unknown sauropod species referred to as “Supersaurus,” which could reach a length of 128 feet.
Primitive Limb and Leg Bone Shapes
The discovery of Garumbatitan morellensis’s primitive limb and leg bone shapes adds to our understanding of the diversity among sauropods. The research team also believes that Sant Antoni de la Vespa, along with other sites in the Iberian Peninsula, could hold the key to further insights into sauropod evolution.
In 2022, scientists unveiled unidentified large sauropod remains in Portugal, making it a contender for the largest known dinosaur fossil site in Europe, dating back 150 million years.
With the discovery of Garumbatitan morellensis, we gain more insights into previously unseen long-necked dinosaurs, uncovering their origins and evolution.
Although there’s still much to learn, this discovery marks a historic milestone in the field of paleontology.