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November 11

Jobaria tiguidensis Mounted cast of a Jobaria tiguidensis skeleton at the Australian Museum, Sydney
Photo Credit: Matt Martyniuk [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Today in Science

Fossils of Jobaria Tiguidensis Discovered

In the autumn of 1997, paleontologist Dr. Paul Sereno led an 18-person, four-month expedition to Niger's Sahara Desert to search for fossils. The study took more than a year to plan and required five vehicles and over two tons of supplies (including a ton of dehydrated food). In the course of their excavations, the team discovered a new species of long-necked dinosaur from the Cretaceous period, 135 million years ago. The scientists were excited to discover that 95 percent of the skeleton was still intact, making it the most complete skeleton yet discovered of any long-necked dinosaur from the Cretaceous period.

After two years of preparation, cleaning and study of the bones, paleontologists determined that Jobaria weighed an estimated 20 tons and grew to be more than 70 feet in length. The fossil beds from which the scientists extracted the bones of Jobaria were between 110 and 135 million years old, and also contained other fossils, including other adult and juvenile Jobaria skeletons, as well as fossils of Suchomimus, a 36-foot long fish-eating predator.

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