Scientists discover new species of 'whiplash dinosaur'

By Brooks Hays  |  May 2, 2017 at 10:54 AM
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May 2 (UPI) -- A team of international researchers has identified a new sauropod species found in Wyoming. The 150-million-year-old dinosaur specimen belongs to an increasingly diverse group of species know as the "whiplash dinosaurs."

The species scientific name is Galeamopus pabsti. The specimens was first unearthed in 1995 by a team of Swiss scientists, but was only recently analyzed and identified by a group of paleontologists from Italy and Portugal.

Researchers described their discovery in a new paper published this week in the journal PeerJ.

Whiplash dinosaurs are named for their long whip-like tails. The new species most resembles one of the most famous sauropod and whiplash dinosaurs, Diplodocus. Galeamopus pabsti boasts more massive legs and a slightly shorter neck.

Like other sauropods, the new species, Galeamopus pabsti, boasted an extremely long tail and neck. Photo by Davide Bonadonna

Whiplash dinosaurs have been discovered in Africa, South America and Europe, but North American dig sites have yielded the most diverse array of diplodocids. Paleontologists have unearthed 15 species in the United States, including Brontosaurus, the most iconic diplodocid.

Sauropods included the largest animals to ever walk on land. Scientists remain amazed that the ecosystem of the Jurassic period could support such a great diversity of gigantic animals.

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