This New Titanosaur Fossil Has a Heart-Shaped Tail

The discovery was made just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur ever displayed at the American Museum of Natural History. A newly discovered species has a heart-shaped vertebra. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

A newly discovered titanosaur fossil was the perfect heart-shaped Valentine’s Day gift for researchers in Tanzania, Africa.

The new species, CNN reports, is named Mnyamawamtuka moyowamkia which in Swahili means “animal of the Mtuka with a heart-shaped tail.”

A team from the US National Science Foundation excavated the find from a cliff wall in a quarry near the Mtuka River.

The heart-shaped fossil is one of the vertebra within the massive dinosaur’s tail. Similar bones have been discovered in South America, but not from this specific species.

“Although titanosaurs became one of the most successful dinosaur groups before the infamous mass extinction capping the Age of Dinosaurs, their early evolutionary history remains obscure, and Mnyamawamtuka helps tell those beginnings, especially for their African side of the story,” Eric Gorscak, who led the study and is a research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History, said.

“The wealth of information from the skeleton indicates it was distantly related to other known African titanosaurs, except for some interesting similarities with another dinosaur, Malawisaurus, from just across the Tanzania-Malawi border,” Gorscak explained.

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