Fossils of Dinosaurs from 140 million years ago discovered in Argentina
Researchers stated that the fossils represent a dinosaur species called Ninjatitan that lived 140 million years ago. They identified Ninjatitan as a titanosaur, the oldest-known member of the dinosaur group.
Researchers on March 1, 2021 announced the discovery of fossils of Dinosaurs that lived 140 million years ago in Argentina. The incomplete skeletal remains of the dinosaur were discovered south of Neuquen city in Argentina.
The fossils belong to Argentina's Patagonian wilderness, the oldest-known member of the dinosaur group known as titanosaurs that includes the largest land animals in Earth's history.
The researchers stated that the fossils represent a dinosaur species named Ninjatitan zapatai, which lived during the Cretaceous Period 140 million years ago. They identified Ninjatitan as a Titanosaur.
The Discovery: Key Highlights
• According to the researchers, the discovery demonstrated that the titanosaurs as a group first appeared longer ago than previously known.
• The study's lead author Pablo Gallina, who is a researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research of Argentina (CONICET), stated that "Titanosaurs are recorded on various sides of the world, but the oldest-known records were more modern than this find."
• Ninjatitan was a large dinosaur with a length of about 65 feet but it is much smaller than later titanosaurs such as Argentinosaurus that reached a length of around 115 feet (35 meters).
• As per the researchers, the presence of such an early titanosaur in Patagonia supports the theory that titanosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere.
• The findings of the study were published in a scientific journal called Ameghiniana.
• Titanosaurs were a diverse group of long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs that walked on four pillar-like legs.
• They are a part of a larger dinosaur group of dinosaurs called sauropods which includes other dinosaurs with similar body designs such as Brontosaurus and Diplodocus that lived in North America during the Jurassic Period. This Jurassic Period precedes the Cretaceous Period.
• The titanosaurians were the last surviving group of long-necked sauropods.
• The grouping includes some of the largest land animals ever known to have existed on the Earth such as Patagotitan.
• Titanosaurs are only known about from less than 120 million years ago in Patagonia.