Scientists say new dinosaur species is largest found in Australia

A computer rendering of the Australotitan cooperensis in the Australian landscape 90 millions years ago

Scientists in Australia have classified a new species of dinosaur, discovered in 2007, as the largest ever found on the continent.

The Australotitan cooperensis or “the southern titan”, is among the 15 largest dinosaurs found worldwide.

Experts said the titanosaur would have been up to 6.5m (21ft) tall and 30m long, or “as long as a basketball court”.

Its skeleton was first discovered on a farm in south-west Queensland.

Palaeontologists had worked over the past decade to identify the dinosaur – distinguishing it from other known species by comparing scans of its bones to those of other sauropods.

Sauropods were plant-eating dinosaurs known for their size. They had small heads, very long necks, long tails and thick, pillar-like legs.

These dinosaurs roamed the continent during the Cretaceous Period, about 92-96 million years ago.

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The team of researchers had nicknamed the dinosaur Cooper while working on it, after the nearby Cooper Creek where it was found.

The identifying process had been a lengthy one due to the remote location of the bones and their size and delicate condition.