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Jurassic Giant: Huge new dinosaur species discovered in Africa



Fossils of a new, giant dinosaur species were discovered in South Africa, a study released Thursday said.

The creature that lived about 200 million years ago was about twice the size of a modern African elephant. It was also the largest land animal on the planet at that time, according to the study.

Known under the scientific name Ledumahadi mafube, it weighed over 26,000 pounds and stood about 13 feet high at the hips.

Although it is not the largest dinosaur ever found, "It is the first true giant evolving in a long line of dinosaurs called sauropod dinosaurs," said study co-author Jonah Choiniere, paleontologist at University of Witwatersrand

Sauropods weighing up to 66 tons include well-known species such as the brontosaurus, so this part of South Africa was the source of all later-emerged giant dinosaurs, Choiniere said.

The new Dino is a close relative of other massive dinosaurs from Argentina who lived around the same time, reinforcing the idea that the supercontinent Pangea was still built at the time. "It shows how easily dinosaurs could have run from Johannesburg to Buenos Aires time," said Choinière.

This particular animal was probably 1

4 years old when it died.

The name of the dinosaur is Sesotho for "a giant thunderbolt at dawn". Sesotho is one of South Africa's 11 official languages.

The discovery of the dinosaur underscores the importance of South African paleontology for the world, according to South African Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

"Our land is not only the cradle of humanity, but we also have fossils that help us understand the rise of giant dinosaurs," she said.

The study was published in the journal Current Biology.

Watch on YouTube: Ledumahadi Mafube – New Jurassic Giant of South Africa

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