It has been discovered that a gigantic, never-before-seen sauropod walked what is now Spain about 122 million years ago thanks to the recent finding of dinosaur fossils. Our understanding of the evolution of these enormous, long-necked dinosaurs may be improved by the distinctive bone structure of this recently described titan, which points to its primitive nature.
Garumbatitan morellensis, a recently recognised species, was found during excavations at the Sant Antoni de la Vespa fossil site close to Morella. A sauropod, a rare and previously undiscovered dinosaur, roamed modern-day Spain about 122 million years ago. Its long-necked titan fossils have revealed a ground-breaking insight.
This discovery is made even more amazing by the dinosaur’s unusually shaped bones, which point to a more primitive nature. We could learn a lot more about the evolution of these enormous, long-necked dinosaurs thanks to this discovery.
An unusual discovery among sauropods, the fossils were discovered at the Sant Antoni de la Vespa fossil site close to Morella. They included pieces of at least three prehistoric creatures.
These prehistoric fossils originate from a time period called the Early Cretaceous, which lasted from 145 million to 66 million years ago. The details of G. morellensis are covered in a recent research paper that was released on September 28 in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
The enormous herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs, like Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, walked on four legs and had extraordinarily long necks and tails. The only sauropods to survive until the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago were the titanosaurs, of which G. morellensis was a member.
One of the individuals stood out for its enormous proportions, even though the precise size of G. morellensis is still unknown based on the available bones. Its thigh bone stretched for more than six and a half feet, and its vertebrae were more than three feet wide.
G. morellensis was likely comparable in size to the majority of titanosaurs, which may have been as large as a basketball court, according to Pedro Mocho, a palaeontologist from the University of Lisbon in Portugal who led the study.
G. morellensis is one of the more ancient types of sauropods within this category known as Somphospondyli, which also includes titanosaurs and other long-necked sauropods like Brachiosaurus. This classification is based on the shape of its leg and foot bones.
Today, fossils from the dinosaur group Somphospondylans have been found on all continents, but it is still unknown where they originally lived. Although more proof is needed to confirm it, the discovery of a primitive Somphospondylan in Spain suggests that Europe may have been their original habitat.
The research team also thinks that sites in the Iberian Peninsula, including Sant Antoni de la Vespa, have the potential to shed important light on the evolution of sauropods.
Scientists discovered the remains of a massive, unidentified sauropod in Portugal in 2022. This fossil, which dates back 150 million years, may be the largest dinosaur fossil discovered in Europe to date.