In a peculiar advancement, scientists have uncovered a new species of long-necked titanosaurian dinosaur that lived about 70 to 100 million years ago.
A member of enormous long-necked sauropods, theses species have been named Shingopana songwensis and its fossil was discovered in the Songwe region of the Great Rift Valley in southwestern Tanzania.
According to Eric Gorscak, a paleontologist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, US, "There are anatomical features present only in Shingopana and in several South American titanosaurs, but not in other African titanosaurs".
"Shingopana had siblings in South America, whereas other African titanosaurs were only distant cousins", he further added.
In order to understand the evolutionary relationships of these species and other titanosaurs, researchers conducted phylogenetic analyses and as per their findings, it was asserted that Shingopana was more closely related to titanosaurs of South America than to any of the other species currently known from Africa or elsewhere.
"This discovery suggests that the fauna of northern and southern Africa were very different in the Cretaceous Period", said Judy Skog, a programme director in National Science Foundation in the US.
The research that was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology shows that Shingopana roamed the Cretaceous landscape alongside Rukwatitan bisepultus, another titanosaur identified in 2014.
(With inputs from PTI)