Giant Unearthed: South African Discovery Reveals New Dinosaur Species Twice the Size of an Elephant

The dinosaur weighed 12 tonnes and was around four metres high – making it the largest land animal alive on Earth 200 million years ago

The dinosaur, dubbed Ledumahadi mafube, weighed 12 tonnes and was around four metres high – making it the largest land animal alive on Earth 200 million years ago.

To put its staggering size into perspective, that’s roughly double the size of a large African elephant!

Researchers from the University of Witwatersrand discovered the remains of the dinosaur in South Africa’s Free State Province.

The partial foot

Growth rings suggest the dinosaur had reached adulthood

Analysis revealed that Ledumahadi mafube was closely related to sauropod dinosaurs, including Brontosaurus.

Dr Blair McPhee, who led the study, said: “The first thing that struck me about this animal is the incredible robustness of the limb bones.

“It was of similar size to the gigantic sauropod dinosaurs, but whereas the arms and legs of those animals are typically quite slender, Ledumahadi’s are incredibly thick.

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Ledumahadi mafube is the first of the true giant sauropods of the Jurassic

“To me this indicated that the path towards gigantism in sauropodomorphs was far from straightforward, and that the way that these animals solved the usual problems of life, such as eating and moving, was much more dynamic within the group than previously thought.”

The researchers took measurements from the arms and legs, which suggested that Ledumahadi walked on all fours.

Meanwhile, an analysis of the fossil’s bone tissue revealed that the dinosaur was an adult when it died.

Sia

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