Paleontologists have discovered fossils of two previously unknown dinosaur species in northwestern China. They were truly gigantic, as their length was 17-20 meters.
The research is published in Scientific Reports and is briefly covered by Phys.org. It is reported that scientists have found the fossilized bones of three dinosaurs. Two of them turned out to be representatives of species previously unknown to science.
In their work, the authors write that this discovery sheds new light on the history of the appearance of sauropods in China. The found dinosaurs were among the earliest vertebrates found in the prehistoric Turpan Hami Basin, Xinjiang Province.
The fossils are dated to the Early Cretaceous, which means they are between 120 and 130 million years old. Dr. Xiaolin Wang and his team examined the fossil fragments - vertebrae and chest. The scientists then compared the findings with descriptions of other sauropods found around the world.
Comparative analysis and allowed to identify new species. The first of them was named Silutitan sinensis. The structural features of the cervical vertebrae of this lizard indicate that it belonged to the sauropod family Euhelopodidae. By the way, the fossils of these creatures were found only in East Asia.
According to scientists, the representatives of the newly discovered species Silutitan sinensis were real giants. Calculations showed that they grew in length up to 20 meters or more, that is, they were the size of two large buses.
The authors of the work named the second new species Hamititan xinjiangensis. It was identified by seven fossilized tail vertebrae. Their shape suggested that this lizard belonged to the titanosaur family. It was widespread not only in Asia but also in South America. According to paleontologists, the length of this sauropod was about 17 meters, As for the third lizard, its remains are represented by four fossilized vertebrae. It belongs to the Somphospondyli group of dinosaurs that lived from 160, 3 to 66 million years ago.