Scientists from Braunschweig were looking for dinosaur fossils in the Republic of Niger and discovered two new species!
In 2009, Dr. Kristian Remes succeeded in constructing a combined skeleton representation of both specimens (the one in Braunschweig and the one in Elche in Spain). The animals were about 13 to 14 metres long and had a shoulder height of about 4 metres. The scientific name of Spinophorosaurus nigerensis (Stinged dinosaur from Niger) was decided upon together with the colleagues in Spain.
Spacial and temporal classification
Spinophorosaurus nigerensis lived in the north of Gondwana during the middle Jurassic epoch (about 170 million years ago). Back then South America, Africa, Australia, Antarctica and India were still a connected landmass. The ancient super-continent Gondwana split during the Cretaceous period, after the Atlantic ocean was created. Spinophorosaurus nigerensis forms the basis of the genealogical tree of the sauropod family. This is known due to the special features of the skull and spine. It is another significant find for the research into the developmental history of the long necked dinosaurs.
There was no way to know what the originators of the tracks looked like, since only footprints were found, no bones. The researchers based their assumptions with regards to looks on the anatomy of other raptors on other continents that left similar footprints. Thus the second sensational result of the Brunswick expedition came about: the Braunschweig team had discovered another new species. The track taxon was named Paravipus didactyloides which means “Track of a two-toed bird-like animal”. The name signifies the distinctiveness of the find: the footprints, that the two-legged predator left behind 160 – 170 million years ago in the soft mud of Africa.
COORDINATION AND EDITORIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Dr. Ralf Kosma
FINAL EDITORIAL CHECK
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Joger, Karoline Scheeler, Silke Röhling, Dina Michel, Mareike Goldschmied
- Joger, Ulrich / Kosma, Ralf / Krüger, Fritz J.: Projekt Dino. Die Entdeckungsgeschichte neuer Dinosaurier in Niger, Afrika. hrsg. von Ulrich Joger, Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum Braunschweig. Schwülper: Cargo Verlag, 2009.
- Remes K, Ortega F, Fierro I, Joger U, Kosma R, Marín Ferrer JM, et al. (2009) A New Basal Sauropod Dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Niger and the Early Evolution of Sauropoda. PLoS ONE 4(9): e6924. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006924
© Prof. Dr. Ulrich Joger
© Dr. Ralf Kosma
© Achim Ritter
© Jörg Faust
© Michael Rabe
© Edgar Sommer
© Caroline Heyer
© Claus Cordes
© Maria Neppe
© 2009 Remes et al. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0006924.g005
© 2009 Remes et al. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0006924.g006
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