Scientists announced the discovery of two gigantic new dinosaur species in northwest China— one of the first vertebrates discovered in the region.
The findings of experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Museum of Brazil are contained in a study published in Scientific Reports, which is part of the Nature family of journals.
As reported to CNN, the remains analyzed contained several pterosaurs (flying reptiles), eggs, and preserved embryos, as well as fossil fragments of spinal vertebrae and rib cages, which paleontologists initially identified as belonging to three mysterious dinosaurs.
Now, scientists established that two of those specimens belonged to hitherto unknown species, which they named Silutitan Sinensis (“silu” means “silk road” in Mandarin) and Hamititan xinjiangensis,in reference to the region in which they were found: both from the sauropod family.
It is estimated that the Silutitan measured more than 20 meters, while that of Hamititan 17 meters and lived in the early Cretaceous period, between 120 and 130 million years ago.
Along with a species of pterosaur and a theropod tooth, these two dinosaurs are also the first vertebrates known in the area, “increasing the diversity of fauna as well as information on Chinese sauropods,” the study indicates.
The third specimen could be a somofondin sauropod, a group of dinosaurs that lived from the Late Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous.