A fossil belonging to a 33 ft (10 m) dinosaur was unearthed in Egypt. The creature roamed today's desert 80 million years ago.
The unique fossil was discovered in an oasis in Egypt's Saharan desert. It belongs to the species Mansourasaurus shahinae, which is part of the Titanosaur genus. In its day, the living specimen weighed an impressive 5.5 tons.
Although very large, this Titanosaur no match for other 98 ft (30 m) Titanosaurs. Living about 80 million years ago, it inhabited a region near the coast of an ancient ocean that would eventually form the Mediterranean Sea.
Scientists from Mansoura University in Egypt uncovered the curious find, which included parts of a skull, lower jaw, neck and spine vertebrae, ribs, hind leg and foreleg bones, in an oasis.
Initial analysis revealed that the remains belonged to a vertebrate land animal. This is the most complete skeleton of a dinosaur ever found in Africa.
Mansourasaurus shahinae is more closely related to European and Asian Titanosaurs than to African and South American ones. This proves that there were dinosaurs who were able to and did migrate between North Africa and South Europe toward the end of the Mesozoic.
The fossils of the found dinosaur are yet to be analyzed thoroughly. Paleontologists are convinced that this is only one of many discoveries expected to be made in the area.
While we slowly but surely drift further away from this unique period in Earth's history, the methods for understanding the past are becoming more and more advanced, while the discoveries and our ways of finding them become more accessible and efficient. Studying and understanding the past lie at the foundation of helping humanity know what to expect in the future.