Gigantic dinosaur thighbone discovered in South Africa



Editor and Artist
With an estimated weight of 10 metric tons, this giant herbivore is the largest animal ever found in South Africa’s Karoo.

As stated by the DST_NRF Centre of Excellence in Paleosciences and the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) at Wits University, partial remain of a gigantic femur has been unearthed from the Caledon River. This finding belongs to the same animal as other bones discovered over 20 years ago, which include an elbow, vertebrae, and claw pieces.

Despite its fragmentary nature, it can be inferred that these bones came from an early sauropod, the long-necked giant herbivores of the Mesozoic. The so-called “Highland Giant” lived about 200 million years ago, shortly after the mass extinction that happened at the end of the Triassic period. This period is known for its rapid diversification of early dinosaurs – which were relatively small at that time – and thus the discovery of a dinosaur which likely outsized Tyrannosaurus intrigues researchers.

While the true identity of the dinosaur is yet to be known, it is suspected to be an adult specimen of Antetonitrus. Unlike later sauropods whose limbs were optimized for carrying weight, its forelimbs were likely capable of grasping. This feature is considered a primitive adaptation inherited from its bipedal ancestors. Further information regarding this dinosaur will only be known after the specimen has been cleaned and studied by researchers.