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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday January 30 2018, @09:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the big-news dept.

Lost history of African dinosaurs revealed

A new species of dinosaur found in the Egyptian desert is shedding light on Africa's missing history of dinosaurs. Few fossils have been unearthed from the last days of the dinosaurs, between 100 and 66 million years ago, on the continent. Scientists say the dinosaur, which lived about 80 million years ago, is an "incredible discovery".

The giant plant-eater was the length of a school bus and weighed about the same as an elephant. [...] Named Mansourasaurus shahinae, the new species is regarded as a critical discovery for science.

[...] Dinosaur fossils in Africa are rare as much of the land is now covered in lush vegetation, rather than the exposed rock that has yielded dinosaur treasure troves elsewhere. There is a huge gap in the fossil record during the Late Cretaceous, when the continents were coming towards the end of huge geological changes.

Also at Ohio University (Phys.org) and USA Today.

New Egyptian sauropod reveals Late Cretaceous dinosaur dispersal between Europe and Africa (DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0455-5) (DX)


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by requerdanos on Tuesday January 30 2018, @11:40PM (2 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) on Tuesday January 30 2018, @11:40PM (#630709) Journal

    Dinosaurs are cool.

    The giant plant-eater was the length of a school bus and weighed about the same as an elephant.

    School buses vary in length from about 17' to about 45' depending on the number of seats.*

    There are a couple different, quite differently-weighted elephant species as well.

    Should we conduct a census of school buses and of elephants and take the weighted average of their lengths and of their weights proportional to the population of each? Or use the measure of a single more (or less) common specimen of school bus and/or elephant?

    Are we limited to current production school buses, and living elephant species, or should we consider extinct specimens of either, or both?

    Why not describe their weight/mass using some unit made for that purpose, like the pound or the kilogram or ton? Like we use to describe the weight of elephants?

    Why not describe their length using some unit made for that purpose, like the foot or the meter or the light-nanosecond? Like we use to describe the length of school buses?

    Perhaps we could measure them in Libraries of Congress. The Library of Congress has both mass/weight and linear dimensions....

    I know there are bigger mysteries in the world, but this is kind of reminiscent of seeing floppy disks described by how many double spaced typed pages of text they can hold. (Letter? Legal? A4?)

    -----
    * If you don't like using "feet" for length measurement, know that there are slightly more than three of them in a meter.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01 2018, @12:10PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01 2018, @12:10PM (#631438)

    That would be slightly more than three of them in a metre. (Pretty close to 3 and 1/4 feet actually)

    • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Thursday February 01 2018, @05:48PM

      by requerdanos (5997) on Thursday February 01 2018, @05:48PM (#631581) Journal

      Like center, color, and aluminum, the word meter is plagued by regional spelling variations.

      At least we all use the same basic word for it, and not something like wrench-spanner, trunk-boot, hood-bonnet, etc.