Photos: 100-Million-Year-Old Tanzania Titanosaur Had Heart-Shaped Tail Bones

So romantic

tanzania titanosaur

(Image credit: Copyright Mark Witton)

Meet Mnyamawamtuka moyowamkia (Mm-nya-ma-wah-mm-too-ka mm-oh-yo-wa-mm-key-ah), the newly discovered titanosaur dinosaur unearthed in Tanzania. M. moyowamkia lived about 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

[Read the full story and see a video about the Tanzania titanosaur]

Heart-y tail

tanzania titanosaur

(Image credit: Copyright Mark Witton, modified)

Some of the titanosaur's tail bones look like hearts, the researchers found. Highlighted are a selection of the bones that the researchers found belonging to this M. moyowamkia individual, which was a teenager when it died.

Rock climbing

tanzania titanosaur

(Image credit: Patrick O'Connor/Ohio University)

Paleontologists found the dinosaur's bones in a cliff overlooking the Mtuka River in southwestern Tanzania. They had to rock climb to excavate the fossils. Here, the team does a survey of the bone containing layer during the 2007 field season.

Cliff platform

tanzania titanosaur

(Image credit: Anna Jerve)

The paleontologists had to create a ledge on which they could work while excavating the fossils. The team included (right to left) Don DeBlieux, Joseph Sertich, Patrick O'Connor, Tobin Hieronymus, Nancy Stevens and the late Jesuit Temba.

Plaster cast

tanzania titanosaur

(Image credit: Patrick O'Connor/Ohio University)

Tobin Hieronymus, an Ohio University graduate student, excavates M. moyowamkia fossils in Tanzania in 2007.

Scenic view

tanzania titanosaur

(Image credit: Patrick O'Connor/Ohio University)

A scenic view up the river from the dinosaur quarry. Notice the many sedimentary layers in the cliff.

Titanosaur excavation

tanzania titanosaur

(Image credit: Patrick O'Connor/Ohio University)

To protect the fossils, the researchers covered them with plaster jackets. A later analysis of these fossils revealed that M. moyowamkia is related to other titanosaurs in Africa, as well as those in South America.

[Read the full story and see a video about the Tanzania titanosaur]