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New dinosaur titan discovered in China

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A new species of sauropod titanosaur has been discovered in China according to research conducted by Peter Dodson with the School of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Animal Biology and the School of Arts and Sciences' Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues from China that was presented in the Jan. 29, 2014, edition of the journal Public Library of Science.

The juvenile specimen named Yongjinglong datangi was estimated to be between 50 and 60 feet long. Adults are considered to have been potentially twice as large as the specimen discovered by the scientists. This is the third dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous period, more than 100 million years ago, that has been found in the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin of China's Gansu Province in the last six years.

Comparison of the scapula, vertebrae, and teeth of the fossil dinosaur verified the animal to be a new species of titanosaur. The new dinosaur has a stronger relationship to similar dinosaurs found in South America than to any other known species of sauropod including those from China.

This find makes China the new hot spot for dinosaur discovery. China has replaced North America in the discovery of more new and different species of dinosaurs.

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