A new species of sauropod dinosaur has been discovered in Argentina: it is more than 90 million years old

Sidersaura marae is a new species of dinosaur discovered in Argentina by a group of paleontologists from Fundación Azara – Universidad Maimónides AND CONICET, whose research was published in the journal Historical Biology. The animal belongs to the group sauropodsgigantic dinosaurs with long necks and more specifically ai Rebbachisauridaea large family similar to the most famous ones Diplodocusknown from fragmentary fossil remains from South America, Africa, North America, Europe and Asia. S. marae era up to 20 m long and weighing 15 tons respected, had a long whip-like tail that it used for defense and grazed in Cretaceous Argentina, 96 to 93 million years ago. This dinosaur is distinguished from other sauropods by its highly developed characteristic teeth.

“Rebbachisaurids were very important dinosaurs in Cretaceous ecosystems and disappeared in the middle of this period, about 90 million years ago,” he said Dr. Lucas Nicolás Lerzo, paleontologist from Fundación Azara. “Sidersaura marae is one of the last rebbachisaurids, but at the same time evolutionarily belongs to an older branch. This shows us that some of the most original species of this group survived until the complete extinction of the family, even becoming the largest, reaching a length of almost 20 meters.”

Fossil remains Sidersaura were obtained from rocks Huincul training in the province of Neuquén in Patagonia. “Among the remains found are vertebrae of the sacral region and a partially articulated tail, bones of the hind limbs, parts of the skull and vertebrae of the tail,” continued Lerzo. “Finding several anatomically overlapping specimens allowed us to compare them and better understand the characteristics of this new sauropod dinosaur.” According to the team, it is one of the features that set Sidersaurus marae apart from other dinosaurs star-shaped haemal arches (coccyx) a strength of skull bonesdifferent from his other closest relatives.

“Another distinguishing cranial feature Sidersaura marae from other rebbachisaurids is his frontoparietal foramen, which is basically a hole in the roof of the skull,” added Lerzo. “This feature brings it closer to dicraeosaurids, a family of sauropod dinosaurs known for having spines on their necks and backs. However, the presence of a “primitive” species so close to the group’s extinction suggests so the evolutionary history of Rebbachisauridae was more complex than previously thought».

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