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Adam Yates, a palaeontologist at Johannesburg’s Wits University, said the seven-metre-long Aardonyx Celestae occupied a “very significant position in the family tree of dinosaurs”.
“This new dinosaur is helping us complete and revise our picture of how the truly giant dinosaurs first got going,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Yates said the almost complete fossil remains of the vegetarian giant that existed in the Jurassic period 195 million years ago were discovered in the town of Senekal in South Africa’s Free State province by a student five years ago. However, they have just classified as a separate species.