The discovery of a new species of dinosaur in the Sahara Desert has been described as a vital “edge piece” of a widely unfinished palaeontological jigsaw depicting African dinosaurs. Eric Gorscak, a contributor to the study said that it was a “critical discovery for Egyptian and African palaeontology”, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. He said: “Africa remains a giant question mark in terms of land-dwelling animals at the end of the age of dinosaurs.
“Mansourasaurus helps us address long-standing questions about Africa’s fossil record and palaeobiology – what animals were living there‚ and to what other species were these animals most closely related?” “When I first saw the pics of the fossils my jaw hit the floor. This was the holy grail — a well-preserved dinosaur from the end of the age of dinosaurs in Africa — that we palaeontologists had been searching for a long time,” said the co-author of the study Matt Lamanna, of Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh‚ US.
Sallam and his team have resolved that Mansourasaurus was more closely linked to dinosaurs from Europe and Asia than those from Southern Africa and South America. The discovery went a long procedure to uncovering the mystery of Africa’s connection to the land masses of Europe and Asia before the supercontinent of Pangaea split‚ as it revealed dinosaurs could move between Africa and Europe towards the end of their time on earth., said the researchers.
Gorscak said: “Africa’s last dinosaurs weren’t completely isolated‚ contrary to what some have proposed. There were still connections to Europe.” He related the discovery to finding the “edge piece that you use to help figure out what the picture is” Sallam said that the discovery was a wonderful experience for his team. “It was thrilling for my students to uncover bone after bone‚ as each new element we recovered helped to reveal who this giant dinosaur was.
“What’s exciting is that our team is just getting started. Now that we have a team of well-trained vertebrate palaeontologists here in Egypt‚ with easy access to important fossil sites‚ we expect the pace of discovery to accelerate in years to come,” he added.