"Tidal Giant" Roamed Coastal Swamps of Ancient Africa

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The discovery of these and other large vertebrate fossils in Egypt lends credence to a theory that Africa and South America were part of the same land mass during the Late Cretaceous period (146 to 65 million years ago), said Thomas Holtz, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Scientists have found groups of vertebrates that were common to South America and Madagascar during the Late Cretaceous, but these same groups have appeared to be missing from Africa.

One possible explanation for the mysterious absence is that Africa may have split apart from South America before the Late Cretaceous. A second explanation holds that the two continents were still attached through the Late Cretaceous, but relatively few dinosaur fossils have been discovered in Africa because research in the area has been limited.

"This discovery is consistent with the second model," said Holtz, adding that Paralititan seems to be closely related to Argentinosaurus.

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