New Species of Titanosaur Unearthed in Egypt: Mansourasaurus shahinae

New African dino sheds light on Pangaea break-up

The discovery of this fossil marks a remarkable finding for the paleontologists that could open up lesser-known insights of the dinosaurs that prevailed during the Jurassic Era.

Mansourasaurus has a place with the Titanosauria, a gathering of sauropods, or since a long time ago necked plant-eating dinosaurs, that were regular amid the Cretaceous.

The researchers say the dinosaur was some 10 meters long and weighed about 5 tons.

"It was thrilling for my students to uncover bone after bone, as each new element we recovered helped to reveal who this giant dinosaur was", Sallam went on.

A new species of dinosaur found in the Egyptian desert is shedding light on Africa's missing history of dinosaurs.

Scientists from Mansoura University discovered its bones int he Sahara Desert in Egypt. Its name honors the town where the university is located, as well as Mona Shahin, who helped develop the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology project.

By analyzing features of its bones, the paleontologists determined that Mansourasaurus shahinae is more closely related to dinosaurs from Europe and Asia than to those found farther south in Africa or in South America. "At about 80 million years old, our new beastie is the only named dinosaur from the last 30 million years of the Cretaceous in Egypt".

"When I first saw pics of the fossils, my jaw hit the floor", said co-author Dr. Matt Lamanna, from Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

The fossil record is patchy at best, but there's a particularly large hole in time and space over Africa towards the end of the dinosaurs' reign.

The researchers found parts of the dinosaur's skull, lower jaw, neck, back, ribs, shoulder, front and back legs. Lamanna and a group of paleontologists from various research institutions then flew to Egypt to examine the fossil. That means scientists aren't sure which dinosaurs lived where across the continent during the period, and how much they mixed with dinosaurs on other ancient land masses.

It is rare to find dinosaurs of this period on the African continent. During the Cretaceous Period, the continents joined together as the supercontinent Pangea started to split apart.

Mansourasaurus was said to be more closely related to European and Asian titanosaurs than to those from elsewhere in Africa. "It resembles finding an edge piece that you use to help make sense of what the photo is, that you can work from". Lamanna said it demonstrates that some dinosaurs could move between North Africa and southern Europe.

Mr Gorscak said: "Africa's last dinosaurs weren't completely isolated, contrary to what some have proposed in the past". For instance, if Africa still had land connections to Europe during the Cretaceous period, its animals would likely have similar anatomies to those on neighboring landmasses.

Rather than being a piece of a jigsaw filling in the gaps in dinosaur history, it is more like "a corner piece", said Dr Gorscak.

Now that they have easy access to the fossil sites, scientists will further study Egyptian and African paleontology to the determine the links between Africa and six other continents. This suggests that some dinosaurs were moving between Africa and Europe during the Late Cretaceous, Sallamsaid in the statement.

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