An amazing dinosaur discovery has been found in Patagonia, Argentina after evidence was provided. This evidence found now suggests that long-necked, whip-tailed diplodocid sauropods survived long after the Jurassic period. This means that while we always thought dinosaurs were extinct at a certain period, this discovery proves otherwise.
According to Argentine paleontologists, scientists were wrong. Pablo Gallina, a researcher at Buenos Aires’ Maimonides University, explained the discovery lead to evidence that these specific dinosaurs reached South America way past the Jurassic period.
“It was a surprise, because the first remains we found were very deteriorated and we didn’t think much of them, but later through careful laboratory work, cleaning rock from the bones, we could see that they were from a diplodocid, something unthinkable for South America.”
Instead of becoming extinct in the Jurassic era like we once thought, these particular dinosaurs roamed the earth during the early Cretaceous era. This evidence also indicates that the diplodocid clade or a “family unit” evolved from other dinos before the Earth’s continents split. Scientists are saying that this is earlier than previously thought.
“Diplodocids were never certainly recognized from the Cretaceous or in any other southern land mass besides Africa. The new discovery represents the first record of a diplodocid for South America and the stratigraphically youngest record of this clade anywhere.”
This particular species is now named “Leinkupal laticauda” which is a combination of words that make up “vanishing” and “family” and Latin words that translate to “wide” and “tail.”
Paul Upchurch, who is a Paleobiologist at the University College London, agrees that this study leads to this particular finding, even though he wasn’t involved in the study.
“Here’s evidence that one or two groups got through. Rather than a total extinction, that it was devastating, but it didn’t completely kill them off.”
It is also suggested that the diplodocids evolved from a similar ancestor earlier than scientists once thought. Upchurch explained, “There’s certainly a possibility that this would push the origin back a bit.”
One of the most interesting things to come out of the discovery is that the research was funded by The Jurassic Foundation which was formed by the producers of the Jurassic Park films. The palenontology director at Maimonides University added, “Until now the diplodocids were thought to be North American dinosaurs. They were the classic dinosaurs from all the Hollywood movies.”
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