Palaeontologists have discovered a new species of dinosaur -- Moabosaurus, a genus of titanosauriform sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah. The newly-found species is herbivorous and existed 125 million years back.
The bones of the Moabosaurus were unearthed over the past four decades in Dalton Wells Dinosaur Quarry in the city of Moab, Utah.
The researchers stated that most of the bones they got were fragmentary and only a few of them were usable. "And that is why it took so long to get this animal put together," said researcher Brooks Britt from Utah's Brigham Young University.
"We had to collect huge numbers of bones in order to get enough that were complete," Britt added.
Moabosaurus lived in the region during a time when waterbodies like streams and lakes existed in Utah along with huge trees. A previously conducted study had revealed that severe drought led to the deaths of a large number of Moabosaurus and other dinosaurs.
The bones of the dead dinosaurs were crushed when surviving dinosaurs walked over them. The streams even made these bones travel a small distance after the drought got over.
"We always think of Moab in terms of tourism and outdoor activities, but a palaeontologist thinks of Moab as a gold mine for dinosaur bones," Britt said.
Moabosaurus have been found to be closely related to the dinosaur species found in Spain and Tanzania, which point towards the fact that there were occurrences of physical connections between Europe, Africa and North America at irregular intervals of time during that period.
Meet Moabosaurus: Utah's newest dinosaur identified by BYU geologists