One of Largest Animals Ever Found in Angola

Scientists say they discovered the first fossil of a dinosaur in Angola.

The animal was a long-necked, plant-eating sauropod, one of the largest creatures ever to have walked the earth. The fossil was found alongside fish and shark teeth in what would have been a sea bed 90 million years ago, leading its discoverers to believe the dinosaur might have been washed into the sea and torn apart by ancient sharks. The dinosaur was dubbed Angolatitan adamastor – Angolatitan means “Angolan giant” and the adamastor is a sea giant in Portuguese sailing myths.

Matthew F. Bonnan, a sauropod expert at Western Illinois University said:

“I think they’ve been very careful…The neat thing about dinosaur paleontology is that it’s becoming more global…The more people and places that we involve in science, the better off we all are…”

This was the first archeological expedition in Angola in 70 years. An anti-colonial war broke out in that country in the 1960s; civil war followed independence from Portugal in 1975.

PaleoAngola member Octavio Mateus of Portugal’s Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Museum of Lourinha indicated a lack of money has been the major barrier to research.

Tatiana Tavares of the Universidade Agostinho Neto is also on the PaleoAngola team, and her Luanda, Angola university has Angolaitan adamastor fossil specimens on display publically. Other specimens in Portugal are to be returned later to the university.