London: Palaeontologists claim to have found the remains of a titanosaur, the family of giant plant-eating dinosaurs, on Antarctica.
An Argentinian-led team has discovered the fossil of a tail bone belonging to the titanosaur on James Ross Island.
Titanosaurs were sauropods -- four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs with long necks and tails. Their remains have been found around the world but this is the first evidence they may have roamed Antarctica.
The scientists identified the remains as belonging to a lithostrotian titanosaur from the Late Cretaceous period of around 70 million years ago. The land mass was then rich in plant life, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.
The find consists of section of vertebrae almost 20 centrimetre long believed to have come from the middle third of the dinosaur's tail.
Dr Ignacio Alejandro Cerda at Conicet Research Institute, who led the research team, said: "Our finding indicates that advanced titanosaurs achieved a global distribution at least by the Late Cretaceous."
Titanosaurs included the mighty Argentinosaurus, which may have reached 100ft in length. However the discovery of a single vertebrae fossil yielded too little information to allow speculation about the dinosaur's species.
The findings have been published in the latest edition of the 'Naturwissenschaften' journal.
First Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 15:39