The remains of the largest dinosaurs to ever be found on South African soil were revealed at the Wits University Origins Centre (October 2015)
Dr Jonah Choineire, a senior researcher at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, said the remains of the plant-eating creature were found between the border of Lesotho and South Africa just outside of Clarens.
“For those of you that know T-Rex, it was about 50% heavier than T-Rex,” he said.
The dinosaur, which is yet to be named, was estimated to have weighed about 14 tons.
Over the years, only several parts of the species, which is currently nicknamed the “Highland Giant”, have been found.
To date, the greatest part of the Highland Giant to be discovered was a thigh-bone.
A complete femur of the Highland Giant would measure a metre long.
Choineire said over the years a large ulna, vertebrae and claw pieces belonging to the animal have also been found.
“This is the stuff we haven’t published yet and it will be coming out in a year or two,” he said.
He said the discovery of all the bones was due to the work of hundreds of people, including students.
Coinciding with the Unesco World Science Day for Peace and Development, the Wits Department of Science and Technology also launched an educational poster-artwork by geo-artist Maggie Newsman.
The poster depicted South Africa over 200-million years ago when the continents were splitting apart and early dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Choineire said the poster would show young learners that South Africa was a land which was rich with dinosaurs.
“And we hope that it will get them excited about studying the science behind South Africa’s incredible palaeosciences heritage,” he said.
Original Clarens Residents!
This news, I’m sure, will bring many visitor to Clarens once the Dinosaur Interpretation Centre within Golden Gate Highlands National Park, has been established. Good news is that the Department of Environmetal Affairs granted environmental authorisation for this project on 26 October, 2015.