Discover the oldest titanosaur in Patagonia

Argentine paleontologists announced Discover the oldest titanosaur in the world in Patagonia. Around Ninjatitan Zapatai A new titanosaur has been found in Patagonia, approx 20 meters and 140 million years old, Who will be the eldest in his group. The discovery shows that this type of dinosaur originated at the beginning of the Cretaceous period.

This was reported today by the Scientific Publishing Agency of the University of Latanza (CTyS-UNLaM) and noted that Until now, these gigantic tetrahedrons with antiquity exceeding 120 million years were not known. So the discovery of Ninjatitan zapatai has great relevance in knowing the evolutionary history of this group and the history of the early Cretaceous period. “

Pablo Galina, a researcher at the Azara Foundation at Maimonides University and University of Konisette, pointed out to CTyS-UNLaM that “the great importance of this fossil, other than it being a new type of titanosaur, It is the oldest record in the world For this group. “

“This discovery is also very important to know the evolutionary history of sauropods, because fossil records in the early Cretaceous period, about 140 million years ago, are very rare worldwide,” said the lead author of the published study. Today in the scientific journal Ameghiniana.

Where and when was it discovered

Ninjatitan was discovered in the Bajada Colorada Formation, southeast of Neuquen, in 2014, When technician Jonatan Aroca found “a very complete shoulder for this animal and there we noticed that it was a very important discovery and we prepared everything to continue working the next year in that layer,” according to Dr. Joan Ignacio Canal. , Researcher at Villa El Chocón Municipal Museum and Conicet.

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In the next campaign, they appeared Three vertebrae and some of the bones in her hind legs. Part of the femur and what will be the splinter “, Canal specified.

“A priori, given the age of this material, 140 million years, it can be assumed that it was an earlier form of the origin of titanosaurs, because in Patagonia only titanosaurs are known less than 120 million years ago from the present,” said Dr. José Luis Carbaledo, researcher at the Egidio Feruglio Museum and Conicet,

But the study revealed that “Ninjatitan zapatai was a titanosaur, That is why it happened to be the oldest in the world, separated by tens of millions of years. “ Added.

Ninjatitan joins titanosaurs in Patagonia: In 2017 the world’s largest titanosaur was revealed, Patagotitan Mayor, a native of Chubu. Another species can be found on Neuquén even in size.

His name was introduced in tribute to the Argentine scholar Sebastian Apistaguia, who has been nicknamed “the ninja” from his early paleontological beginnings. The specific name of the species – zapatai – is dedicated to Rogelio Zapata, an artist at the Villa El Chocon Museum since the mid-1990s and a participant in all fieldwork carried out in Bajada Colorada since 2010.

In Bajada Colorada, you can see the beginning of the Cretaceous, a moment in evolutionary history for which there are not many records, CTyS-UNLaM adds.

For this reason, the researchers working there assert that everything new it finds is brand new. “There, we also found various groups of carnivorous dinosaurs and other groups of herbivorous dinosaurs,” said the researcher from the Azara and Conicet Foundation.

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Lovell Loxley

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