Bus-length dinosaur discovered
A huge new species of sauropod that lived about 80 million years ago has been unearthed in Egypt’s Sahara Desert, a discovery that could shed light on the mysterious final chapter in the age of dinosaurs. The long-necked plant-eater, Mansourasaurus shahinae, is among the largest animals ever to have walked the Earth. Part of the Titanosauria group, the prehistoric behemoth measured up to 33 feet long—almost school-bus length—and weighed 5.5 tons. Its fossilized remains were first discovered in 2014, in notably complete condition. “These things evolved 220 million years ago and went extinct about 66 million years ago,” paleontologist Matt Lamanna, from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, tells The Washington Post. “Even, like, part of a tail from one of these sauropods would have been great.” Also of note was the fossils’ location. Because the continents began splitting apart during the Cretaceous period, between 145 million and 66 million years ago, many scientists believed the last dinosaurs living in Africa must have been isolated. But Mansourasaurus was more closely related to European and Asian dinosaurs than to those in southern Africa—suggesting the continent wasn’t completely cut off.