dinosaurs

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Ferocious tyrannosaurs and towering sauropods are long gone, but dinosaurs continue to frolic in our midst. We’re talking about birds, of course, yet it’s not entirely obvious why we should consider birds to be bona fide dinos. Here are the many reasons why.

Make no mistake, birds are legit dinosaurs, and not some evolutionary offshoot. All non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out following the asteroid-induced mass extinction 66 million years ago, but some species of birds—probably ground-dwelling birds—managed to survive, and they wasted no time in taking over once their relatives were gone.

“Those little guys singing outside your window are the dinosaurs we have left these days,” Adam Smith, curator at Clemson University’s Campbell Geology Museum, explained in an email. “Birds are just one type of dinosaur. Saying ‘birds descended from dinosaurs’ is akin to saying that people descended from mammals. Simply put, all birds are dinosaurs, but not all dinosaurs are birds.”

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Prehistoric rhino weighed 21 tonnes – the equivalent of four large African elephants – and could reach close to 7m to graze treetops.
In north-western China, scientists have discovered fossil evidence of a new species of giant rhinoceros, “taller than a giraffe” that lived 26.5 million years ago, making it one of the largest mammals to have ever roamed the planet.

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A behemoth that once stood more than 16 feet tall and was as long as a basketball court has been confirmed as the largest dinosaur ever found in Australia.

The newly classified species, known as Australotitan cooperensis and nicknamed "the southern titan," now ranks among the 15 largest dinosaur specimens found worldwide. Paleontologists from the Queensland Museum and the Eromanga Natural History Museum described the new species in a study published Monday in the science journal PeerJ.

The fossilized skeleton was discovered in 2007 on a farm in southwest Queensland, near Cooper Creek. The specimen, which became known as "Cooper," was an estimated 16 to 21 feet tall and measured up to 98 feet long, according to the researchers.

The dinosaur is a type of giant sauropod, a plant-eating subgroup characterized by their elongated necks, long tails and four trunk-like legs.

Australotitan is thought to have lived 92 million to 96 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, the scientists said.

To classify Australotitan, the scientists created 3D scans of each bone and compared them to other known sauropod species in Australia and around the world.

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