Paleontologists discover colossal new unusual dinosaur in latest dig
A new species of dinosaur has been uncovered after palaeontologists found remains of the dinosaur in Morella, Castelló, Spain.
The discovery, made by a team of Portuguese and Spanish palaeontologists, has been named Garumbatitan morellensis, after Morella where it was found, and belongs to the sauropod group that lived in the Iberian Peninsula 122 million years ago. Sauropod dinosaurs are quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaurs with long necks and tails
Morella is known for having an abundant record of dinosaurs, with some of the first dinosaur remains found in Spain being discovered in the Morella region. Numerous fossil findings have been in the region in recent years, including an important collection of ornithopod dinosaurs.
The remains of the dinosaur were found and excavated in the Morella locality in 2005 and 2008 in the Sant Anti de la Vespa fossil site. The remains are some of the largest concentrations of a sauropod dinosaur from the European Lower Cretaceous.
“One of the individuals we found stands out for its large size, with vertebrae more than one meter wide, and a femur that could reach two meters in length. We found two almost complete and articulated feet in this deposit, which is particularly rare in the geological record”, says the leader of the study Pedro Mocho, palaeontologist of Instituto Dom Luiz, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon.
The paper, published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, presents a detailed description of the fossil remains found in Sant Antoni de la Vespa, identifying a set of anatomical characteristics different from other sauropod dinosaurs. It also highlights the "enormous complexity" of the evolutionary history of sauropods, with species related to lineages present in Asia and North America.