There are 2 dinosaur skeletons displayed here, both from Africa. One is as long as a truck with a neck the size of a whole giraffe. Next to it is a much smaller dinosaur. This dinosaur could fit into the tail only of the larger one. Which one do you think is more dangerous? But let’s start by meeting the big one.
The imaginative name given to this monster found In Niger comes from a mythical African creature called a Jobar, who was like a bogeyman. Jobaria belongs to a family of giant plant-eating dinosaurs called sauropods.
It is 22 metres long which is the equivalent of 2 school busses in length. At the shoulders it’s five metres wide or two and a half cars wide. Jobaria can rear up on its back legs to a height of 10 metres to reach the topmost leaves of trees. Its head is small and shaped a little like a rugby ball. The teeth are spoon-like in shape. The neck near the head is narrow and gradually widens to where it joins the body.
Despite its length the neck has only 12 vertebrae. The legs have such huge bones, the knee joint alone is as wide as your arm and the hips are shaped like big shields. The ground must have shaken as this dinosaur lumbered past. There are five toes on each front foot and five on each back foot, 3 of which have large flattened claws. Two of the back toes do not have claws. These claws are not sharp, like dog claws, but are as large as your head. On the tail, bones stick up and down from the vertebrae and just one of those bones is as long as half an adult leg.
Jobaria tiguidensis lived in the early Cretaceous period, 130 to 125 million years ago
This smaller dinosaur, whose name means ‘African Hunter’, looks like it is built for speed and power. Its head is large with long jaws and big spiky teeth. The neck is narrow. The shorter front limbs look like they could grasp food.
The 3 long claws range in size with the largest being as long as your hand and as wide as 3 fingers and the smallest is as long and wide as your middle finger. The back legs are those of a hunter and are designed for speedy running. The bones in the foot almost as long as your whole arm. The claws are big and curved. The tail starts large and tapers to a point and is held horizontally to the ground to help with balance and agility.
So which one is the dangerous one? You’ve guessed it – the Hunter. In fact, scientists discovered a small Jobaria with teethmarks in it made by an Afrovenator abukensis.
Afrovenator abukensis lived in the early Cretaceous period, 130 to 125 million years ago