Fresh Sauropodomorph Dinosaur Unearthed in Zimbabwe

A brand new genus and species of massopodan sauropodomorph dinosaur has been identified plot the fossilized stays found on the shoreline of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.

An artist’s impression of Musankwa sanyatiensis, walking in Triassic shallow waters previous a metoposaur. Listing credit score: Atashni Moopen / Sci.News.

An artist’s impression of Musankwa sanyatiensis, walking in Triassic shallow waters previous a metoposaur. Listing credit score: Atashni Moopen / Sci.News.

The newly-described species lived in Africa throughout the Leisurely Triassic epoch, approximately 210 million years ago.

Named Musankwa sanyatiensis, the dinosaur is estimated to hang reached a height of about 1.5 m on the hip and a weight of 390 kg.

It belongs to Massopoda, a neighborhood of sauropodomorph dinosaurs that lived throughout the Leisurely Triassic to Leisurely Cretaceous epochs.

“Our evolutionary bushes hinted that the brand new species could effectively be linked to Riojasaurus from Argentina and Eucnemesaurus from South Africa,” said Professor Paul Barrett from the Natural Historical previous Museum in London and her colleagues.

“This could maybe simply mean these animals were a trendy neighborhood of dinosaurs succesful of pass merit and forth between what’s now South The US and southern Africa.”

“This specific species dates merit to the Leisurely Triassic when dinosaurs were getting increased and starting to dominate ecosystems.”

“At this time, they began to turn out to be extra diverse and unfold all the plot by the sector, making it a a have to hang generation to research.”

The paleontologists found the stays of Musankwa sanyatiensis — a single hind leg, alongside with its thigh, shin, and ankle bones — on the Spurwing East Palaeosol region of the Pebbly Arkose Formation, positioned on the north-eastern shoreline of Spurwing Island, Lake Kariba, Mid-Zambezi Basin, Zimbabwe.

The new species is completely the fourth dinosaur to be named from the Karoo-outdated-fashioned basins of Zimbabwe.

It is additionally the principle to be named from the Mid-Zambezi Basin in over 50 years.

“Over the final six years, many new fossil sites had been recorded in Zimbabwe, yielding a diverse array of prehistoric animals, alongside with the principle sub-Saharan mainland African phytosaurs (extinct crocodile-love reptiles), metoposaurid amphibians (huge armored amphibians), lungfish, and other reptile stays,” Professor Barrett said.

“The precious reason on the good thing about the underrepresentation of African dinosaur fossils is ‘undersampling’,” said Dr. Kimberley Chapelle, a paleontologist at Stonybrook College and the College of the Witwatersrand.

“Build simply, there had been fewer of us procuring for and unearthing dinosaurs compared with other areas of the sector.”

“In step with the set aside it sits on the dinosaur family tree, Musanwka sanyantiensis is the principle dinosaur of its form from Zimbabwe.”

“It therefore highlights the aptitude of the region for additional paleontological discoveries.”

The invention of Musankwa sanyatiensis is reported in a paper within the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.


Paul M. Barrett et al. 2024. A brand new Leisurely Triassic sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Mid-Zambezi Basin, Zimbabwe. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 69 (2): 227-241; doi: 10.4202/app.01100.2023