Chilean paleontologists on Wednesday offered their findings on a dinosaur found three years in the past in Patagonia which they mentioned had a extremely uncommon tail that has stumped researchers.
The stays of the Stegouros elengassen have been found throughout excavations in 2018 at Cerro Guido, a website identified to harbor quite a few fossils, by a staff who believed they have been coping with an already identified species of dinosaur till they examined its tail.
“That was the primary shock,” mentioned Alexander Vargas, one of many paleontologists. “This construction is completely superb.”
“The tail was lined with seven pairs of osteoderms … producing a weapon completely completely different from something we all know in any dinosaur,” added the researcher throughout a presentation of the invention on the College of Chile.
The osteoderms — constructions of bony plaques positioned within the dermal layers of the pores and skin – have been aligned on both facet of the tail, making it resemble a big fern.
Paleontologists have found 80 % of the dinosaur’s skeleton and estimate that the animal lived within the space 71 to 74.9 million years in the past. It was about two meters (virtually seven ft) lengthy, weighed 150 kilograms (330 kilos) and was a herbivore.
In response to the scientists, who revealed their analysis within the journal Nature, the animal may symbolize a hitherto unknown lineage of armored dinosaur by no means seen within the southern hemisphere however already recognized within the northern a part of the continent.
“We do not know why (the tail) developed. We do know that inside armored dinosaur teams there appears to be a bent to independently develop completely different osteoderm-based protection mechanisms,” mentioned Sergio Soto, one other member of the staff.
The Cerro Guido space, within the Las Chinas valley 3,000 km (1,800 miles) south of Santiago, stretches for 15 kilometers. Varied rock outcrops include quite a few fossils.
The finds there allowed the scientists to surmise that present-day America and Antarctica have been shut to one another hundreds of thousands of years in the past.
“There may be sturdy proof that there’s a biogeographic hyperlink with different elements of the planet, on this case Antarctica and Australia, as a result of now we have two armored dinosaurs there intently associated” to the Stegouros, mentioned Soto.
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