Mexican scientists discover dinosaur fossil in Coahuila

The new specimen is thought to have lived more than 72 million years ago in south-east Coahuila

Mexican scientists discover dinosaur fossil in Coahuila
According to CONACYT, the finding was a result of four years of scientific research, with the participation of investigators from Mexico and Germany - Photo: Taken from the Museum of the Desert (MUDE)'s official Facebook page
English 10/11/2018 13:01 Notimex Mexico City Actualizada 13:03
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With only a tooth and a vertebra as initial leads, both Mexican and German paleontologists have found yet another dinosaur that is thought to have inhabited south-east Coahuila more than 72 million years ago.

The new dinosaur from Coahuila represents the first specimen from the Parksosauridae family discovered in Mexico. The fact that the specimen was discovered so close to the equator implies a change of perspective regarding these prehistorical animals and their distribution across the planet.

The specimen at hand was a subadult dinosaur that was not yet fully developed, according to a series of marks on its vertebra known as neurocentral sutures, which indicate that it was not fully ossified. The specimen was an agile yet robust biped, with filaments on its back that are thought to have been similar to feathers.

The identification of the Parksosauridae family in the national territory serves to confirm and strengthen Coahuila’s reputation as a land of dinosaurs, since it is the state where the most paleontological findings have taken place in the country, which puts it at the forefront of paleontology at a global scale.

According to the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), the finding was a result of four years of scientific research, with the participation of investigators from the Museum of the Desert (MUDE), and the Mexican Geological Services, as well as German scientists from the Karlsruhe State Museum of Natural History and the University of Heidelberg.

The new dinosaur was discovered within a rock formation known as Cerro del Pueblo. As soon as the fossil material was identified, it was taken to a lab for further analysis. At first, scientists thought the pieces were coprolites (fossilized feces or other unimportant organic material), but they were surprised to discover that it was in fact a tooth and a vertebra.

Héctor Rivera Sylva, chief investigator at MUDE’s Paleontology Department, explained that the pieces discovered had allowed the institution to identify “that it was one of the dinosaurs with special features that we had not yet identified in Coahuila, according to its particular ecosystem.”

He informed that the dinosaur belonged to the Parksosauridae family, it was a herbivore, and lived during the late Cretaceous period 72 million years ago.

The species was medium in size, with a height of between 6.6 and 13 feet, and has been identified in North America and northern China, though most specimens have been found in Canada and the United States.
 

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