In what has turned out to be a big surprise to many paleontologists and fossil hunters, a titanosaur fossil has been discovered in a cliff wall in Tanzania. The titanosaur is also known as the Rukwatitan bisepultus, a mightily large dinosaur that weighed as much as a dozen elephants and with forelegs that were as long as 6 ½ feet.

Paleontologists from Ohio University who unearthed the titanosaur fossil described their findings in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and stated that the unearthed vertebrae, ribs, legs, and pelvic bones of the extinct animal were discovered in Rukwa Rift Basin in southwestern Tanzania. And although the most dreaded and largest of all dinosaurs, the dreadnoughtus schrani discovered recently in Argentina, became extinct about 66 million to 84 million years ago, the titanosaur or Rukwatitan bisepultus was estimated to have died 100 years ago.

The titanosaur ate plants and tree leaves like most extinct dinosaurs, and must have held its place among other large dinosaurs of the Mesozoic era. The finding of the titanosaur in Africa has been a little surprising to many science researchers because such finds are rare within the continent. However, the discovery of the titanosaur fossil made it the fourth finding in Africa, and 30+ finding in South America. And according to the authors of the findings, “whereas titanosaurians represent the most diverse and cosmopolitan clade of cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs, they remain rare components of the cretaceous African faunas.”

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  1. Rare titanosaur unearthed in Tanzania : Classic 105

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