New giant dinosaur discovered in Russia

File photo – The eye of a life-size dinosaur replica is to see in Wustermark, Germany, March 23, 2015.
(Photo by Ralf Hirschberger/picture-alliance via Getty Images)

A new species of gigantic dinosaur has been described in Russia. Dubbed Volgatitan, the snout belonged to a family with a long neck dinosaurs called, developed. It weighed 17 tons and walked the earth from 200 million until 65 million years ago.

The huge dinosaur was identified from seven of her vertebrae, which was stuck in a rock for over 130 million years until they were discovered on the banks of the Volga river near Ulyanovsk in 1982.

“[The fossils] come out of a cliff of marine sediments that are rich in invertebrate fossils such as ammonite and bones of marine reptiles,” the study of the author, Dr. Alexander Averianov of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Fox News.


Averianov is co-author Vladimir Efimov, the first three giant vertebrae after she fell of the cliff in the beginning of the ’80s. A few years later, more limestone out of the rock broke with the other vertebrae. Efimov published a short note about the discovery in 1997, describing his discovery as “giant vertebrae of unknown taxonomic affiliation.”

An image of the vertebrae. (Alexander Averianov and Vladimir Efimov)

The bones sat for 20 years until they were re-examined by Averianov.

“I began my work on the whole, quite recently, published on sauropod remains from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan and the description of the first sauropod taxa from Russia, Tengrisaurus and Sibirotitan, in 2017 and 2018, respectively,” Averianov said. “I decided to also include the study of the fossils reported by Efimov and visited his museum in July 2017 and examined the fossils.”


At the time of inspection of the bones, he saw the caudal vertebrae particular morphology.

“[After] the check of the literature when I returned home, [I] confirmed that this is a new taxon of titanosaurian sauropods,” Averianov said. A taxon refers to a specific group.

Titanosaurs were the last surviving group of the giant long-necked dinosaurs and were some of the largest land animals known to have lived. Previously, it was assumed that Titanosaurs’ evolution took place mainly in South America in the Early Chalk for some taxa migrated to North America, Europe and Asia in the Late Cretaceous. However, this new discovery in Russia shows that Titanosaurs were much more widespread in the Early Cretaceous, and that some of their important evolutionary stages may have happened in Eastern Europe and Asia.


With a weight of 17 tons, Volgatitan is not even close to the biggest titan of the Titanosaurs.

“The biggest members of this generation reached between 50 and 70 tons, but they lived much later, in the Late cretaceous period,” Averianov explained. “Volgatitan is one of the oldest titanosaurian sauropods that lived in the beginning of the Early Cretaceous period, about 130 million years ago. However, it is quite large comparative to other early Cretaceous sauropods.”

Averianov hopes to describe a new taxon of a different dinosaur next, this is a fairly famous as far as iconic dino’s.

“We are currently working with the dinosaurs collected from the Early Cretaceous site in Yakutia, Eastern Siberia,” he said. “The fauna is dominated by stegosaurs and possibly we will describe a new taxon of stegosaur when all instances will be prepared.”

The study can be found in the latest issue of the Biological Communication.

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