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.
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.
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.
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.
Tobin Hieronymus, an Ohio University graduate student, excavates M. moyowamkia fossils in Tanzania in 2007.
A scenic view up the river from the dinosaur quarry. Notice the many sedimentary layers in the cliff.
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.
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Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.