Sesotho name for dinosaur discovered in Free State

2015-06-24 17:02
The newly-named Sefapanosaurus. (Supplied, Wits University)

The newly-named Sefapanosaurus. (Supplied, Wits University)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Researchers from South Africa and Argentina have discovered a new dinosaur from the Free State that is 200 million years old - and gave it a Sesotho name.

The Sefapanosaurus, from the Sesotho word "sefapano" which means "cross", hails from the Zastron area, about 30km from the Lesotho border.

The specimen was originally found in the late 1930s, but it only recently became clear that this is a new dinosaur.

"For many years it remained hidden among the largest fossil collection in South Africa at the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) at Wits University," the university said in a media release on Wednesday.

"A few years ago it was studied and considered to represent the remains of another South African dinosaur, Aardonyx. However, upon further study, close scrutiny of the fossilised bones has revealed that it is a completely new dinosaur."

One of its most distinctive features is that one of its ankle bones, the astragalus, is shaped like a cross. 

Researchers from South Africa’s University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand as well as from the Argentinian Museo de La Plata and Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio made the announcement in the scientific journal, Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society.

The paper, titled A new basal sauropodiform from South Africa and the phylogenetic relationships of basal sauropodomorphs, was published online on Tuesday, June 23 2015.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  archaeology  |  dinosaurs

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.