- Researchers in Montana discover fossilized remains of four different dinosaurs that may contain a new species
- They found the hip bone of an ‘ostrich-sized theropod’, the hips and legs of a duck-billed dinosaur
- Fossils of a rare anjou or perhaps a new species, as well as skulls and other bones from Triceratops were also found.
- The Hell Creek Formation dates back to between 68 and 66 million years ago
A group of researchers working in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation has discovered the fossilized remains of four different dinosaurs, one of which may be a new species.
Paleontologists, who come from the University of Washington and the Burke Museum, discovered the ilium (or hip bone) of an ‘ostrich-sized theropod’, a group that includes carnivorous two-legged dinosaurs such as T. rex or raptor and include. Hips and legs of a duck-billed dinosaur.
They also unearthed a pelvis, toes and limbs from another theropod that may have been the rare anjou (also known as ‘chicken from hell’) or perhaps a new species; As well as the skull and other bones from a Triceratops.
The researchers found the skull and other bones from a Triceratops. The ‘trailer hitch’, or occipital condyle bone (pictured), connects the skull to the neck vertebrae
‘Each fossil we collect gives us our ideas about the last dinosaur-dominated ecosystem and the first mammal-dominated ecosystem,’ said Gregory Wilson Mantilla, a professor at the University of Washington and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum. helps to accelerate. Statement.
‘With these, we can better understand the processes involved in the loss and origin of biodiversity and the fragility, collapse and assemblage of ecosystems.’
The discovery was made in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation, where many dinosaur fossils have been discovered over the years.
Located in the northeastern part of Montana, this region dates back to the late Cretaceous period, 68 to 66 million years ago.
A Timeline of the Hellas Creek Event
Researchers estimate that seismic waves hit the Hell Creek Formation within 10 minutes of the Chicxulub asteroid impact 66 million years ago.
These would have been equivalent to the waves from an earthquake of magnitude 10 or 11.
The team suspects an inland sea then created at least two giant waves, called sechs.
These battered the land in just over 20 minutes, eventually dropping more than six feet of deposits on top of the ruined creatures at the site.
At all times, lethal glass beads called tektites float from the sky like tiny ballistic missiles traveling at 200 mph.
The fossil record shows that these beads continued to burrow to the surface for 10 to 20 minutes after the first wave, before the second hit and buried the trapped fish in sand and gravel.
This thick deposit was eventually sealed off with a layer of clay containing iridium – a material that is rare on Earth, but common in asteroids and comets.
The Hell Creek Formation, located in the northeastern part of the state, dates to 68 to 66 million years ago from the late Cretaceous period.
Several dinosaur fossils have been discovered there over the years, including a triceratops known as ‘Big John’, which is up for auction next month.
It is also home to a cemetery full of fish, mammals, and an isolated Triceratops, which died out 66 million years ago after being buried by a tsunami generated by an asteroid that struck Earth.
Triceratops became known as the ‘flyby trike’ when a rancher (who leases land from the Bureau of Land Management) spotted it while flying his airplane.
To date, paleontologists have discovered Triceratops’s frill, horn bones, individual rib bones, lower jaw, teeth and a bone called a ‘trailer hitch’.
The ‘trailer hitch’ or occipital condyle bone connects the skull to the vertebrae of the neck.
Experts believe that about 30 percent of Triceratops have been discovered.
It is possible that the ‘flyby trike’ died in the floodplain because its bones were found on top of each other, different from what was found in a live animal.
It is also possible that the bones were moved by scavengers such as T. rex before they became fossils.
It may have been the last surviving of its kind before the Triceratops asteroid strike, with paleontologists at the University of Washington estimating that it lived less than 300,000 years before the impact.
‘Prior to this year’s excavation, a portion of the flyby trike frill and brow horn were collected and later prepared by volunteer preparers in the fossil preparation laboratory,’ said Kelsey Abrams, Burke Museum’s Paleontology Preparation Laboratory manager. Work.
Triceratops is known as the ‘flyby trike’ (pictured). To date, paleontologists have discovered Triceratops’s frill, horn bones, individual rib bones, lower jaw, teeth and a bone called a ‘trailer hitch’.
Burke Museum’s Paleontology Preparation Laboratory Manager Kelsey Abrams (pictured), opens the field jacket of a theropod ileum
‘The frill was collected in several pieces and fancifully jumbled together by volunteers. Upon tugging the frill parts together, it was discovered that the specimen is probably an older ‘grandparent’ Triceratops.
Abrams continued: ‘The triangular bones with frills, called ‘epi occipital’, are completely fused and almost unrecognizable on specimens, as compared to the sharp, noticeable triangular shape in young individuals. .
‘Furthermore, the brow horn curves upward, downward, and this feature has also been observed in older animals.’
In addition, the researchers found amber and seed pods near the ‘flyby trike’, which will allow paleobotanists to figure out what plants the dinosaurs ate and what the ecosystem was like at the time.
‘Fossil remains of a plant…