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All about 'Cooper', Australia's largest dinosaur which is a new species

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Palaeontologists in Australia have identified a new species of dinosaur called Australotitan cooperensis. It is recognised not only as the largest in the continent but also among the biggest in the world. The species has finally been named and described 15 years after its bones were first uncovered.

The new species of dinosaur Australotitan cooperensis is part of the titanosaur family that lived about 100 million years ago in South America and Asia, suggesting they may have travelled to the continent from South America via Antarctica during periods of global warmth.

It is estimated to have stood at 5-6.5 metres (16-21 feet) high and measured 25-30 metres (82-98 feet) in length which would make it Australia's biggest dinosaur.

"Based on the preserved limb size comparisons, this new titanosaur is estimated to be in the top five largest in the world," said Robyn Mackenzie, a director of the Eromanga Natural History Museum.

The fossilised bones were found on Mackenzie's family farm in 2006 about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) west of Brisbane in the Eromanga Basin and nicknamed 'Cooper'.

The dinosaur nicknamed 'Cooper' is estimated to have lived more than 90 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, and is estimated to have weighed about 67 tonnes.

Since excavations for dinosaur fossils began in 2005 in the area, known as Eromanga Basin, two other large sauropods have also been discovered. They are nicknamed George and Zac.

Initially kept secret as scientists painstakingly dug up and studied the bones, the skeleton first went on display to the public in 2007.

(With Agency Inputs)

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