DEC 10, 2018 7:42 AM PST

Russian Scientists Describe a Newly-Discovered Sauropod

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

With as much excavating as paleontologists do, it’s no surprise that they’re always happening upon new fossilized discoveries that tell untold stories about the life forms that inhabited planet Earth before people.

The seven vertebrae of the newly-discovered sauropod.

Image Credit: Alexander Averianov and Vladimir Efimov

One of the latest of such comes by way of a team of Russian paleontologists that uncovered at least seven fossilized vertebrae near the banks of the Volga River. The findings were published this week in the journal Biological Communications.

Related: If you thought T. Rex was significant, then this is something you have to see

As it would seem, the fossilized bones belonged to a previously unknown type of sauropod. Sauropods were gigantic herbivorous dinosaurs that lived between 200 and 65 million years ago. Furthermore, they were distinguishable from other dinosaurs by their unique traits, such as long necks and tails.

"Previously, it was believed that the evolution of titanosaurs took place mainly in South America, with some taxa moving into North America, Europe, and Asia only in the Late Cretaceous," explained Aleksandr Averianov, a professor at the University of St. Petersburg and the lead author of the paper.

"In Asia, representatives of a broader group of titanosauriform, such as the recently described Siberian titanium, dominated in the early Cretaceous. However, the recent description of the Tengrisaurus from the Early Cretaceous of Transbaikal Region and the finding of the Volgatitan indicate that titanosaurs in the Early Cretaceous were distributed much more widely; and, perhaps, important stages of their evolution took place in Eastern Europe and Asia."

Related: Researchers say this is the 'mother of all lizards'

The newly-discovered dinosaur was no different; with its massive stature, it likely weighed approximately 17 tons and fit the description of a titanosaur. The paleontologists responsible for the discovery named the new species Volgatitan simbirskiensis, apparently inspired by the location where it had been unearthed.

After carefully analyzing the neural arches in the bones – regions that protect the creature’s nerves and blood vessels – the researchers discerned that the newly-unearthed dinosaur was most likely an adult.

Given that a few old and dusty vertebrae are all we have to go by at the moment, there isn’t much else to say about Volgatitan simbirskiensis. With a little luck, however, perhaps paleontologists will find other fossils just like it, helping them to connect the dots and describe the new species in more detail.

Source: Phys.org, Biological Communications

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 08, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 08, 2020
Pumas Struggle to Take Down Guanacos
Pumas, like other large cats, are predacious animals that seek large prey capable of sustaining themselves and their cub ...
MAR 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 24, 2020
This Beetle Climbs Tall Trees to Toss Others Over the Edge
Different animals exhibit all kinds of different behaviors when searching for mates in the wilderness, but perhaps one o ...
MAR 29, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 29, 2020
Meet the World's Smallest Cat
When it comes to wild cats, much of the spotlight gets put on nature’s largest and most fearsome, such as the lion ...
APR 19, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 19, 2020
A Bullfrog Father Saves His Tadpoles From Certain Death
Most recognize the African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) as one of Africa’s largest known frogs, but there&rsq ...
APR 30, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 30, 2020
New Study Reveals Amount of Microplastics on Seafloor
Microplastics—the often microscopic plastic particles resulting from the breakdown of large plastic items or mater ...
MAY 25, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 25, 2020
Ever Wonder How Some Fish Produce Electricity?
When you hear the term ‘electric fish,’ the first thing that probably comes to mind is the infamous electric ...
Loading Comments...