PAST-funded researcher leads new dinosaur species find

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An international team led by University of the Witwatersrand palaeontologist Prof Jonah Choiniere has described a gigantic new species of dinosaur in the journal Current Biology.
The find, named Ledumahadi mafube, weighed 12 tonnes and stood about 4 m high at the hips. It was the largest plant-eating land animal living in South Africa nearly 200 million years ago.
PAST is proud to be playing a role in supporting Prof Choiniere’s research as part of an ongoing commitment to field and lab research in Africa.
“Ledumahadi mafube is an exciting find, for several reasons, and congratulations must go to Jonah and the team,” says Professor Robert Blumenschine, PAST’s Chief Scientist.  “The find is important for understanding the evolution of gigantism in dinosaurs and for appreciating the relative rapidity of evolution after a mass extinction. It also demonstrates the continued richness of South Africa’s fossil heritage and that new and wonderful aspects of it continue to be discovered—and will continue, given sufficient support for the research.”
The discovery of Ledumahadi mafube underlines the high  level of skill in palaeontology in South Africa, and reaffirms PAST’s commitment to African leadership in the origin sciences for a broad range of participants, including technicians, scientists and researchers.

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