According to a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, a group of scientists discovered the fossils of three dinosaurs dating from the Early Cretaceous, between 130 and 120 million years ago.
The fossils were found in the Turpan-Hami basin in northwestern China. The remains are believed to belong to two new species in a region where dinosaur fossils have never been unearthed before.
The first specimen corresponds to a Silutitan sinensis, a new species of sauropod, a herbivore characterized by having a very extensive neck, a long tail, a large body and a small head, according to the study.
Meanwhile, the second specimen, Hamititan xinjiangensis, is estimated to be more than 1.5 meters long and possessed characteristics similar to those of South American sauropods.
According to the researchers, the shape and ridges along the vertebrae suggest that it belonged to a family of sauropods known as Titanosaurs, which inhabited both Asia and South America.
“We were very excited about that part of the study, and now it’s kind of a puzzle that we have to understand,” paleontologist Alexander Kellner, a co-author of the study, told ABC News.
“How did this almost South American dinosaur end up in Asia?”
Now scientists want to continue digging as they believe that under the surface of that same area there may be nests filled with eggs and embryonic remains of the newly discovered species.
“We keep dreaming of finding dinosaur nests there. This is our best hope so far ”, adds the researcher.