David Elliot, who is both a paleontologist and a shepherd, came across sauropod fossils while strolling on the field and watching over his herd. He found the dinosaur bones eleven years ago and thought they belonged to a carnivorous animal. However, his wife, also a paleontologist, suggested that they might be dealing with a herbivorous one.
David and Judy Elliot are both passionate about dinosaurs and excavations. He also founded the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. So there was no better person them him to find the ancient relics. Together with his wife, he determined that the sauropod fossils were actually two bone fragments, linked together. They make up one of the toes of a long-necked dinosaur.
Specialists could only determine that they were dealing with a long-necked dinosaur after further analyses. After the discovery eleven years ago, in 2005, excavations followed. The unearthing revealed large parts of the skeleton of what must have been a huge animal.
The researchers in charged of the project state that the sauropod fossils look like nothing they have seen before in Australia. They believe the relics belong to a species which is not native to the lands of modern day Australia, and which must have traveled there from Antarctica. The new species was called Savannasaurus elliottorum.
According to the experts’ estimation, the respective sauropod must have been approximately twenty feet tall. They also believe that it could have weighed more than fifteen tons. One of their conclusions is that the animal had large sizes and a large belly.
The authors of the research also noted that the bone structure was unusual with this Savannasaurus elliottorum individual. The hips were larger than what they found before with other similar dinosaurs. There were also bone fragments which were extremely thin not because they were damaged in time, but because that was their structure.
The information provided by the sauropod fossils leads specialists to believe that the animal had a round shaped body. They tend to associate it with modern day hippos, but with extremely long neck and legs.
A new study on the recently discovered dinosaur species was published in Scientific Reports on October 20. The species belongs to the titanosaur family, as experts stress. However, it is also quite different from its relatives, in terms of body size and internal functions. Researchers intend to investigate into the matter and come up with new details on the evolution of the species and its family.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia