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NY professor part of team that discovered dinosaur fossil in Zimbabwe

Kimberley Chapelle was part of the team that discovered the dinosaur — Musankwa sanyatiensis. It is only the fourth species of dinosaur found in Zimbabwe and is “a long-necked herbivorous dinosaur, known as sauropodomorph.” Scientists said it was the “first dinosaur to be named from the Mid-Zambezi Basin of northern Zimbabwe in more than 50 years.”

The team said the dinosaur’s remains consisted of a single hind leg with thigh, shin and ankle bones.

A study of the dinosaur found that it would have weighed around 850 pounds. Musankwa sanyatiensis was a plant-eater, even though it was one of the biggest dinosaurs in the area, and it enjoyed spending its time in swamp areas, according to the scientists.

“Despite the limited fossil material, these bones possess unique features that distinguish them from those of other dinosaurs living at the same time,” said Chapelle, who helped excavate the specimen and was at the field site on the day when the discovery was made in March of 2018.

Musankwa means “boy close to marriage” in the Tonga dialect.

“Based on where it sits on the dinosaur family tree, Musanwka sanyantiensis is the first dinosaur of its kind from Zimbabwe,” Chapelle added. “It, therefore, highlights the potential of the region for further paleontological discoveries.”

The full article on the discovery can be found here.

Jonathan Rizk is a digital journalist who has covered local news in New York City and Washington, D.C. He has been with PIX11 since August 2022. See more of his work here, and follow him on X and Facebook @OfficialRizk. Get in touch at [email protected].

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