Gigantic Plant-Eating Dinosaur


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WASHINGTON—A primitive, long-necked dinosaur that weighed an estimated 20 tons and grew to a length of 70 feet (21 meters) is the newest species to be plucked from the African Sahara by a team led by paleontologist Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago.

Unveiled at a news conference at the National Geographic Society, a sponsor of the project, the species was discovered in the Republic of Niger and is described in the November 12, 1999, issue of the journal Science. Full-size cast skeletons of a 60-foot-long (18-meter-long) adult, rearing to a height of more than 30 feet (9 meters), and a juvenile posed in mid-stride have been constructed.

The new dinosaur, named Jobaria tiguidensis, lived about 135 million years ago in the Cretaceous, when open forests and broad rivers characterized the region that is desert today. Jobaria refers to “Jobar,” a creature in the legends of the local Tuareg nomads that is linked to the exposed bones; tiguidensis refers to a cliff near the excavation sites.

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The new species is described in the November 12, 1999, issue of Science magazine.

For more coverage read “Out of Africa, A New Species” or check out press release. The models will go on display in Explorers Hall beginning Saturday, November 13.

National Geographic EXPLORER will show an exclusive, shot-on-location film about the dinosaur’s discovery at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, November 20, only on CNBC.

Related resources:
Birdlike Dinosaur Discovered in Argentina (press event)
Dinorama @ (interactive feature)
Dinosaur Eggs @ (interactive feature)
Dinosaur Hunters (video)
Dinosaurs of the Sahara (exhibition)
Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct: Their Descendants Fill the Sky (news)
Feathered Dinosaurs (streaming-video lecture)
Fossils: Disappearing Treasures? (news)
Fossils From China Link Birds With Dinosaurs (press event)
Huge Dinosaur Emerges From the Sahara (press event)
New Birdlike Dinosaurs From China Are True Missing Links (press event)

who  Paul Sereno, University of Chicago
Issoufou Kouada, Ministry of Higher Learning and Technology, Niger

Related Sereno Web sites:
Project Exploration
Paul Sereno’s Dinosaur Web Site

when  Thursday, November 11, 1999, at 1 p.m. ET
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