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Massive dinosaur discovered in Antarctica

Dec. 11, 2007 at 11:09 AM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. and Argentine scientists working in Antarctica have discovered a new genus and species of massive dinosaur from the Jurassic period.

Field Museum researchers in Chicago said the giant plant-eating primitive sauropodomorph is called Glacialisaurus hammeri and lived about 190 million years ago.

The partial skeleton of the dinosaur was found on Mt. Kirkpatrick near the Beardmore Glacier in Antarctica at an elevation of more than 13,000 feet.

Nathan Smith, a graduate student at the Field Museum, said the discovery is important because it helps establish that primitive sauropodomorph dinosaurs were more broadly distributed than previously thought, coexisting with their cousins, the true sauropods.

Glacialisaurus hammeri was about 20-25 feet long and weighed about 4-6 tons, Smith said. It was named after William Hammer, a professor at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., who led the two field trips to Antarctica that uncovered the fossils.

The findings by Smith and co-author Diego Pol, a paleontologist at the Feruglio Paleontological Museum in Chubut, Argentina, were published online by the journal Acta Egidio Feruglio and is available in PDF format at http://www.app.pan.pl/acta52/app52-657.pdf

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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