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The recently found species named ‘Chucarosaurus diripienda’ inhabited the Argentine Patagonia region some 90 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous.

Argentine paleontologists discovered in the province of Río Negro, in the Patagonia region, the remains of a new species of dinosaur long-necked herbivore of the genus ‘Chucarosaurus’, which lived during the Late Cretaceous, about 90 million years ago, reported the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET).

As reported by researchers in an investigation published In the journal Cretaceous Research, the remains of the new species, named ‘Chucarosaurus diripienda’, were discovered in the south of the community of Villa el Chocón at the end of 2019.

During the excavations, the authors detail, they found different limb elements of two specimens together with a large amount of plant remains. The rocks in which they were found bear wear marks that indicate the existence of mighty rivers, an ecosystem very different from today, characterized by arid plateaus.

a cretaceous giant

As explained by Matías Motta, co-author of the research, “’Chucarosaurus’ is a titanosaur belonging to the group of colossaurus sauropods [‘Colossosauria’]”. And he added: “Based on the size of his femur, about two meters long, we estimate that he must have weighed between 40 and 50 tonsand have some 30 meters long”.

According to the expert, its length is comparable to that of other cretaceous giants that inhabited what is now South America, such as the ‘Argentinosaurus’, the ‘Patagotitan’, or the ‘Notocolossus’, considered among the bigger of the world.

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Excavation of a ‘Chucarosaurus diripienda’ fossil.

For his part, Federico Agnolín, another of the authors, pointed out that “the known bones of the ‘Chucarosaurus’ are notably more graceful, which suggests that it must have been much more slender” than other large dinosaurs.

For Bernardo González, co-author of the research, the finding represents an opportunity to expand “anatomical knowledge of the appendicular bones of titanosaurs, such as the humerus, femurs, ischium and tibiae”, which will allow a better understanding of the various adaptations to the fluvial environments in which they inhabited.



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