Jobaria was discovered in 1997, by Paul Sereno, in an expedition to Niger, West Africa. It was a sauropod, about 70 feet long, from the Ctraceous -, about 135 million years ago.
Dr. Sereno discovered the first skeleton of Jobaria with the help of Niger's Touareg tribesmen, who led him to a place where it's fossilized bones were exposed, jutting out of the desert rock. In Touareg legend, these bones come from a mythical beast named "Jobar."
After excavating this skeleton and others in the region, Dr. Sereno's team realized that "Jobar's" bones actually belonged to a new species of sauropod (or 'long-necked') dinosaur. In honor of the Touareg legend, Dr. Sereno and his team decided to name the sauopod "Jobaria".
It was a primitive, long-necked dinosaur discovered in a mass-death site in the Sahara. With over 95% of its skeleton preserved, Jobaria is the most complete long-necked dinosaur ever discovered from the Cretaceous period.
The 18-person, 4-month expedition spent nearly three months at the Jobaria site excavating the first skeleton and tracking down several new ones in the surrounding area.
Illustration by C. Abraczinskas and P. Sereno