Discover the rare dinosaurs in Antarctica

A team of scientists recently discovered an extremely rare titanosaur skull in very good condition. This dinosaur was one of the largest animals that lived on land. After a detailed study of the discovery, it strengthens the scientists in the unusual theory that Antarctica was warm.

The study was published this week Royal Society Open Science. It details the discovery of a 19.6-inch (50 cm) skull. It’s about the genus Diamantinasaurus matildae, a member of the family Sauropoda (see our podcast below on the subject).

A dinosaur that crossed Antarctica?

These dinosaurs were the world’s largest land animals, including the most famous Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus (d Jurassic Park) were added. The largest can reach 30 to 35 meters in length. Diamantosaurus weighed about 15 tons. The found animal is now lovingly called ‘On’.

Findings of this creature are not only extremely rare, but it is also the first dinosaur skull to remain nearly intact. This helps scientists learn more about its feeding behavior, its relationship with other sauropod dinosaurs, and the animal’s anatomy.

According to the team, An is not only the first sauropod dinosaur discovered in Australia, but also the first Diamondosaurus specimen with most of its skull preserved.

Dinosaur, Diamondosaurus
Diamondosaurus. (Image: Wikipedia)

Wooded and perhaps tropical?

“In examining the remains, we found similarities between the ‘on’ skull and that of Sarmiendosaurus musachioi, a titanosaur,” said paleontologist Stephen Borobat of Curtin University. “That species lived in South America at the same time as Diamantosaurus did in Queensland.”

According to Borobat, these findings support earlier theories that sauropods used Antarctica as a transit route between Australia and South America during the Middle Cretaceous period (100 to 95 million years ago).

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“Warmer conditions this far south would have been beneficial for them. The time window was one of the warmest in Earth’s recent geologic history. That means there was no ice in Antarctica that was more or less where it is now,” Boropat said.

Similarly, Australia, further south than today, was warmer with less seasonal variation. In that climate, Antarctica was forested and perhaps even tropical. It could therefore be an attractive habitat or a transit route for traveling sauropods.

This kind of information is great and helps us learn more about sauropoda. In this way, we can explain why these giant dinosaur species were so successful until the mass extinction.

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Rare Dinosaur Discovery Reveals Antarctica’s Biggest Secret

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