Fossil of New Dinosaur Species Found in Egypt's Desert

Fossil of New Dinosaur Species Found in Egypt's Desert”

Africa was once populated by huge, unique dinosaur species.

Mansourasaurus shahinae is massively significant because it illuminates the last days of the dinosaurs in Africa that have, until now, been a mystery.

The remains are the most complete of terrestrial vertebrates found in Africa.

The fossils, which date back to the Late Cretaceous era, the time period from 100 to 66 million years ago, were discovered in the Sahara Desert in Egypt. Many new dinosaurs emerged-in great numbers. The study of these fossils was led by a paleontologist named Hesham Sallam from the Mansoura University at Egypt.

Dr Sallam said: "The discovery and extraction of Mansourasaurus was such an incredible experience for the MUVP team".

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The research team carrying a rock from the dig. The specimen answers questions like "What animals were living there?" and "To what other species were these animals most closely related?" "The fact that Hesham had found a dinosaur from the end of the Age of Dinosaurs [in Africa] and it was a sauropod that had part of a head, it was just completely bonkers". And yet, there are places in the world where their remains from certain time periods are not found, making it hard for scientists to put together the puzzle of Earth's geological and geographic history. Before then, all the continents we know today were locked together to form one giant land mass known as Pangaea, but it was in the process of breaking apart during the Cretaceous.

It has not been clear how very much associated Africa was to other Southern Hemisphere landmasses and Europe amid this time and to what degree Africa's creatures may have been sliced off from their neighbors to develop along their own different lines. It had more to do with the European and Asian Titanosaurs than with those in Africa and South America. "There were still connections to Europe", Gorscak said. Titanosaurs are famous for including the largest land animals known to science, such as Argentinosaurus, Dreadnoughtus, and Patagotitan. But Mansourasaurus, which lived about 80 million years ago, was moderately sized for a titanosaur - only as large as a school bus and weighing as much as an African bull elephant. "A well-preserved dinosaur from the end of the Age of Dinosaurs in Africa that we palaeontologists had been searching for for a long, long time", Study co-researcher Dr Matt Lamanna of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, adding that his jaw "hit the floor" after seeing the photos of the fossils.

Experts on African paleontology from multiple institutions in Egypt and the USA contributed to the research. MUVP student Iman El-Dawoudi played a particularly important role in the analysis of the new titanosaur, making numerous observations on its skeleton. The Mansourasaurus fossils have been moved to the fossil collection at the university, about 75 miles north of Cairo, and will stay there to be studied. That's why this new find by paleontologists working in Egypt is thrilling: it fills up what was an empty page in the continent's geological history.

As opposed to being a bit of a jigsaw filling in the holes in dinosaur history, it is more similar to "a corner piece", said Dr Gorscak.

"What's exciting is that our team is just getting started", Sallam said.

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