Scientists have discovered the fossils or remains of a herbivorous dinosaur species in Chile. The fossil was not previously known to be in the Southern Hemisphere, testing old findings about the existence of duck-billed dinosaurs.
The findings were revealed by the Director of the University of Chile Paleontology Network Alexander Vargas in research published in the journal Sciences Advances and presented in Santiago, Chile.
“This was a slender-looking dinosaur, which could easily adopt bipedal and quadrupedal postures to reach vegetation at high altitudes and on the ground,” said Vargas, as reported by AFP on Saturday (17/6).
The dinosaur, named Gonkoken nanoi, is predicted to have lived 72 years ago in the southern tip of Chile’s Patagonia. The size of this ancient animal reached four meters and weighed one ton.
The findings suggest that Chile’s Patagonia region served as a haven for a very ancient hadrosaur species. The species looked like a duck-billed dinosaur that was common in North America, Asia and Europe.
The existence of the dinosaur species appeared during the Cretaceous period, ie 145 to 66 million years ago.
This latest finding surprised scientists. This is because the species had never before been found in the remote southern hemisphere.
Vargas later said scientists needed to make further observations to “understand how their ancestors got there.”
Meanwhile, Gonkoken nanoi is the fifth dinosaur species found in Chile. The dinosaur fossil was actually found in 2013, so the research has been going on for the past decade.
The name Gonkoken comes from the Tehuelche language, the language spoken by the Patagonia people who were the first inhabitants of the territory of Chile. In the Tehuelche language, Gonkoken means “resembling a wild duck or goose”.
Source : CNN