Monday, September 08, 2014 – Paleontologists have identified a new species of titanosaurian, Rukwatitan bisepultus. This find is quite noteworthy because just four titanosaur species have been Africa, compared to the thirty found in South America. Titanosaurs were massive-bodied, four-legged herbivores that thrived during Cretaceous era.

“Using the help of professional excavators and coal miners, the team unearthed vertebrae, ribs, limbs and pelvic bones over the course of two field seasons.”

The study has been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology per the National Science Foundation.

Watch a National Science Foundation video of the story.

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Summary:

  • Name: Rukwatitan bisepultus
  • Found in: Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Africa
  • Lived in: Mid-Cretaceous
  • Unearthed vertebrae, ribs, limbs and pelvic bones
  • Measurements: Forelimbs – over 2m, Weight – “several elephants” (Oddly lacks specificity.)
A New Find The #Rukwatitan from Tanzania, a Rare African Titanosaur

Paleontologists remove the remaining portions of Rukwatitan’s skeleton from the quarry.
Credit: P. O’Connor, Ohio University

A New Find The #Rukwatitan from Tanzania, a Rare African Titanosaur

The pieces of the skeleton recovered of Rukwatitan bisepultus within a silhouette of the animal. The bar equals 1 meter. Image credit: Eric Gorscak, Ohio University.

A New Find The #Rukwatitan from Tanzania, a Rare African Titanosaur

Where did Rukwatitan live? This artist’s rendition shows the dinosaur’s likely paleoenvironment.
Credit: Mark Witton

A New Find The #Rukwatitan from Tanzania, a Rare African Titanosaur

The humerus, or upper arm bone, and ribs of Rukwatitan in a cliff; the 2-inch brush is for scale.
Credit: P. O’Connor, Ohio University

A New Find The #Rukwatitan from Tanzania, a Rare African Titanosaur

Image showing two tail vertebrae of the newly discovered Rukwatitan.
Credit: E. Gorscak, Ohio University

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