New Dinosaur Species Was 21 Feet Tall, As Long As A Basketball Court


A newly-classified species of dinosaur, nicknamed "the southern titan," is believed to have been at least 21 feet tall and as long as a basketball court. The fossilized skeleton was unearthed on a farm in Australia in 2007.

Scientists from around the world have been studying the specimen for more than a decade, painstakingly creating 3D scans of each bone. Once they had the scans, they compared them to similar dinosaur fossils from around the world.

"It's taken this long because it's such a painstaking piece of work, you've got to take the bones out of the ground, you've got to prepare the fossils, and then you've got to study them and compare them against all other species of dinosaurs worldwide," Dr. Scott Hocknull, a paleontologist at the Queensland Museum, told ABC News.

The researchers said that the dinosaur, which is officially known as Australotitan cooperensis, or Cooper for short, is the largest dinosaur ever to live in Australia and ranks in the top ten largest dinosaurs ever.

"In Australia, it's certainly the largest animal that's ever walked the outback," Hocknull said. "This is huge. This is a fantastic beast. Imagine something the size of a basketball court walking around on land."

Cooper lived 92 million to 96 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, the scientists said. Cooper's bones are on display at the Eromanga Natural History Museum in Queensland, Australia.

"Discoveries like this are just the tip of the iceberg," Hocknull said. "Our ultimate goal is to find the evidence that tells the changing story of Queensland, hundreds of millions of years in the making."

Photo: Eromanga Natural History Museum