A huge dinosaur whose fossils were discovered in 2006 in Australia has been formally identified as the specimen of a new species.
The latter was called
It is one of the largest animals known to have crossed the surface of the globe.
This dinosaur belongs to the group of titanosaurs, herbivores with long necks, which lived almost 100 million years ago.
Specimens have been found on all continents.
The specimen was a priori 5-6.5m high and 25-30m long, making it the largest known Australian dinosaur.
A huge dinosaur whose fossils were discovered in 2006 in Australia has been formally identified as the specimen of a new species, named Australotitan cooperensis, and one of the largest animals known to have walked the surface of the globe #AFP peak. twitter.com/a3HEKVGqaq
- Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) June 8, 2021
A "long and tedious" process
"This new titanosaur is one of the five largest in the world," said Robyn Mackenzie of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, owner of the farm where the fossilized bones were found.
The skeleton had been named "Cooper" after a river in the state.
The discovery was initially kept secret while the researchers carried out the excavation site.
The skeleton was first exhibited to the public in 2007.
"I equate it to something like 1,400 red kangaroos."
🦕 Scientists confirm a new dinosaur species is the largest ever found in Australia. Meet Cooper, short for Australotitan Cooperensis @qldmuseum @EromangaNHM @Aussiedinosaurs pic.twitter.com/v6lj7LCVnA
- Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) June 9, 2021
Confirming Cooper's membership in a new species is the result of a "very long and tedious process," said Scott Hocknull, paleontologist at the Queensland Museum.
The research, which involved 3D comparisons between multiple bones, was published on Monday in the scientific journal
Many dinosaur bones have been found in the same area according to Scott Hocknull, for whom more excavation is needed.
"Discoveries like these are just the tip of the iceberg," he said.
The largest known dinosaur to date is
, the “Patagonian Titan” discovered in Argentina.
It could weigh about 70 tons and measure 37 m long and 8 m high at the withers.
Russia: microscopic animal survives 24,000 years in permafrost
Spain: man found dead, trapped in giant papier-mâché dinosaur