In South Africa, millions of years ago, there reigned a monstrous creature so large that it is named “a giant thunderclap at dawn.” A 26,000-pound relative of the brontosaurus. Through this dinosaur, the idea of the evolution of sauropods has become quite distorted. However, after years of excavation it is certain that this is one of the largest dinosaurs recorded.

Ledumahadi mafube, translated from Sesotho, an official African language native to the area of the discovery, truly mean “a giant thunderclap at dawn.” This discovery was made last year and those who found it named it for the heritage from the sauropods. Also, this name also honors the heritage of South Africa by using the native language to which the species was discovered.

 

Broke the Scale

 

Discovering a new dinosaur is only the first step in the evolutionary journey. Once Ledumahadi mafube fossils were finished being excavated, it was time to put the pieces together. They found that the fossils discovered within South Africa’s Free State Province were of a new dinosaur. Time to pull out the evolutionary scale. Not only did they discover this species was enormous, but there were some other questions as well. This particular species threw some for a loop due to the completely different limbs from sauropods. Scientists say that sauropods originally were walking on four legs and eventually evolved to walk on two legs in evolutionary adaptation. Ledumahadi mafube is a dinosaur that landed right in the middle of their theory. In other words, it was time to back track after finding a missing piece of a puzzle we didn’t know existed.

 

Evolutionary Discoveries!

 

If you were to compare Ledumahadi mafube to other sauropods, you’d find there are many differences. The body was larger than many other sauropods. Bone structure was different as well. The limbs of this dinosaur are much thicker compared to their four-legged counterparts. Another discovery was the fact that this dinosaur seemed to be in a more crouched position. Therein, placing it the middle of the evolutionary scale for sauropods from four legged to two legged. Ledumahadi mafube is not only “a giant thunderclap at dawn,” but another achievement in South African discoveries!