The fossil of giant dinosaur’s new species has been unearthed in France, it is named as Vouivria damparisensis
London: A new species of giant dinosaurs has been discovered in France by scientists after they re-examined a museum fossil that had been overlooked for over 80 years. The fossil named Vouivria damparisensis, has been identified as a brachiosaurid sauropod dinosaur.
Researchers at Imperial College London in the UK and colleagues suggest the age of Vouivria is around 160 million years old, making it the earliest known fossil from the titanosauriform family of dinosaurs, which includes better- known dinosaurs such as the Brachiosaurus.
When the fossil was first discovered in France in the 1930s, its species was not identified, and until now it has largely been ignored in scientific literature. The new analysis of the fossil indicates that Vouivria died at an early age, weighed around 15,000 kilogrammes and was over 15 metres long, which is roughly 1.5 times the size of a double-decker bus.
It had a long neck held at around a 45-degree angle, a long tail, and four legs of equal length. It would have been a plant eater. “Vouivria would have been a herbivore, eating all kinds of vegetation, such as ferns and conifers,” Philip Mannion, lead author of the study from Imperial College London, said.
“This creature lived in the Late Jurassic, around 160 million years ago, at a time when Europe was a series of islands. “We don’t know what this creature died from, but millions of years later it is providing important evidence to help us understand in more detail the evolution of brachiosaurid sauropods and a much bigger group of dinosaurs that they belonged to, called titanosauriforms,” said Mannion.
Titanosauriforms were a diverse group of sauropod dinosaurs and some of the largest creatures to have ever lived on land. They lived from at least the Late Jurassic, right to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, when an asteroid wiped out most life on Earth.
A lack of fossil records means that it has been difficult for scientists to understand the early evolution of titanosauriforms and how they spread out across the planet.
The Vouivria fossil was originally discovered by palaeontologists in the village of Damparis, in the Jura Department of eastern France, in 1934. Ever since, it has been stored in the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.