14 | NOV | 2019
Ancient dinosaur fossil found in Coahuila
Acantholipan Gonzalezi is the name with which this species was baptized, in recognition of Arturo González’s continuous efforts - Photo: Given by Saltillo's Museum of the Desert

Ancient dinosaur fossil found in Coahuila

Hilda Fernández / Corresponsal
Mexico City
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A team of paleontologists from the Museum of the Desert has found a new species of dinosaur in Coahuila

The Museum of the Desert (MUDE) in Saltillo, Coahuila, has announced the discovery of an 85 million years old armored dinosaur. It is the first of its kind in Mexico.

The specimen is a nodosaur, a type of herbivorous ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period. It is thought to have lived in the shores of north-eastern Coahuila, and it has been classified as the most ancient dinosaur found in the land so far.

The director of the MUDE, Arturo González González, along with a group of paleontologists, has informed that the finding took place in the Ocampo municipality, among sediments corresponding to the Pen rocky formation.

Acantholipan Gonzalezi is the name with which this species was baptized, in recognition of Arturo González’s continuous efforts to promote the investigation, dissemination, and broadcasting of Mexico’s paleontological patrimony.

The specimen’s name comes from the Greek root “acanthos,” which means thorn, and “Lipán,” in honor of the hardened tribe of the Apache, ancient inhabitants of the region in which the fossil was found.

The finding was the result of over 8 years of paleontological research by a team of investigators from Saltillo’s Museum, the Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Karlsruhe, the Universitat Heidelberg of Germany, and the “Eliseo Palacios Aguilera” Paleontology Museum in Chiapas.

The analysis of the fossil revealed that the specimen is a new type of nodosaur which, due to its characteristics, was quite young, with a length of 11.5 feet and weighing over a ton. Its remains were obtained from soils that had once been seabeds. It is presumed that primitive rivers once drove the dinosaur’s dead body out to sea.

The Acantholipan differentiates itself from its closest relatives, such as the Nodosaurus and the Niobrarasaurus, in that one of the bones from its forearms has a much larger projection than other nodosaurs. In addition to that, the fossil has shown that the specimen possessed cone-shaped thorns in its pelvic region. These traits make it unique among its relatives.

The recent discoveries and the report made by the paleontology team were presented to the scientific community on August 2017, at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Congress which took place in Calgary, Canada. The research was published and the specimen was documented as a new genus in the Swiss Journal of Paleontology on June 6, 2018.



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