LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Dinosaurs Down Under May Help Explain Prehistoric Migrations

The newly discovered dinosaur species <em>Savannasaurus elliottorum</em> was about half the length of a basketball court and lived some 95 million years ago.

The remains of two gigantic dinosaurs discovered in Australia may shed light on how dinosaurs spread across the globe.

The dinosaurs are both titanosaurs, massive plant-eaters with long necks and thick limbs. The first, a new species known as Savannasaurus elliottorum, was about half the length of a basketball court and lived about 95 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Paleontologists also found the skull of a Diamantinasaurus matildae, which grew longer than a city bus and was first identified in 2009 based on fossils in the same region as these latest finds.

"These dinosaurs were co-existing happily, or so it would seem," Stephen Poropat a paleontologist at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History in Winton, Australia, said in a video interview.

The fossils may help explain how giant plant-eaters migrated across the Earth. According to researchers, the titanosaurs' features indicate are likely descendants of dinosaur lineages that originated in South America. At the time, South America and Australia were connected to the modern-day continents of Africa and Antarctica. The dinosaurs could have migrated across either way, but based on the age of the bones, the authors believe the most likely route was south across Antarctica.

The migration likely took place during a period of prehistoric global warming, the researchers say. Over the millions of years that followed, the continents slowly drifted apart, separating the dinosaur species.

The researchers published their discovery in the journal Scientific Reports.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)