It’s a day for surprises and discoveries, folks! Researchers have unearthed in a Sahara Desert oasis in Egypt fossils of a long-necked, four-legged dinosaur, known as Mansourasaurus shahinae, that lived approximately 80 million years ago!

First, let’s talk size. Researchers declared that the dinosaur used to be 10 meters long and weighted 5,000 kg (about as heavy as an elephant). That makes it a part of a group of dinosaurs known as the Titanosauria, which includes the largest land animals known to science.

Second, how the discovery happened. The fossilized remains were discovered in the Sahara desert by an expedition led by Hesham Sallam of the geology department at Egypt’s Mansoura University.

The fossilized remains of the animal's jaw
The fossilized remains of the animal’s jaw

The researchers found parts of the dinosaur’s skull, lower jaw, neck, back, ribs, shoulder, front and back legs.

But what’s remarkable about this discovery is what it says about the evolution of dinosaurs. So little is known about African dinosaurs, and this discovery is just one piece of the puzzle, that offers a rare glimpse into the final chapter of the age of dinosaurs in Africa.