From Associated Press:
Angolatitan adamastor: New Dinosaur, ‘Angolan Giant,’ Discovered
By DONNA BRYSON
03/16/11 01:39 PM
JOHANNESBURG — Scientists say they have discovered the first fossil of a dinosaur in Angola, and that it’s a new creature, heralding a research renaissance in a country slowly emerging from decades of war.
A paper published Wednesday in the Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences describes a long-necked, plant-eating sauropod, among the largest creatures ever to have walked the earth. The international team that found and identified the fossilized forelimb bone say it is from a previously unknown dinosaur, citing unique skeletal characteristics.
The fossil was found along with fish and shark teeth in what would have been a sea bed 90 million years ago, leading its discoverers to believe the dinosaur might have been washed into the sea and torn apart by ancient sharks.
The new dinosaur has been dubbed Angolatitan adamastor – Angolatitan means “Angolan giant” and the adamastor is a sea giant from Portuguese sailing myths.
Matthew F. Bonnan, a sauropod expert at Western Illinois University, was not involved with the Angolan research. But after reading the report, he said he expected their claim to have found a new dinosaur to hold up.
“I think they’ve been very careful,” he said, adding the find could add to knowledge about how sauropods adapted to different environments.
Bonnan also said it was “really cool” to see such research coming out of Angola.
“The neat thing about dinosaur paleontology is that it’s becoming more global,” he said, saying that was giving scientists a global perspective on the evolution of dinosaurs.
“The more people and places that we involve in science, the better off we all are,” Bonnan said.
The researchers in Angola say their PaleoAngola project that yielded the fossil, started in 2005, is the first systematic paleontological expedition in Angola since the early 1960s.
“Angola has had more than its share of civil war,” said Dutch project member Anne Schulp of the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht. He said science hasn’t been a priority, but “Angola is catching up right now.”
An anti-colonial war broke out in Angola in the 1960s, and civil war followed independence from Portugal in 1975. The fighting ended in 2002 when the army killed rebel leader Jonas Savimbi. The country was left littered with land mines and impoverished. The discovery of oil in recent years has set off an economic boom, but many Angolans have been left behind.
The first complete sauropod embryo has been discovered, still sheltered inside its egg some 110 million years after it was laid: here.
It turns out huge sauropods had a similar body temperature to humans: here.
Discovery Dinos: Huge Dinos Moved Vacuum Cleaner Style: here.
The energetics of low browsing in sauropods: here.
Tooth chemistry reveals sauropod sojourns: here.
Seduced by the sight of wildebeest swarming across the Serengeti? Imagine it’s herds of sauropods: here.
Evolution, sex and dinosaur necks: here.