Madrid, 13 (European Press)
The group of theropods, known as the fearsome dinosaurs, distinguished by their three-toed limbs, have added a new type of fossil in Brazil, with a beak and no teeth.
Found in the interior of Paraná between 2011 and 2014, Berthasaura leopoldinae is the first cataloged species to have no teeth during its youth, according to a new study now published in Nature.
According to Jovan Alves de Sousa, a doctoral student at the National Museum of Brazil and lead author of the article, although the specimen is well-preserved and with a large body part, the classification process was very complex, with the same family – the sauropods – very rare and fragmented. The skull of Berthasaura, for example, is one of the most complete examples of theropods not only in Brazil, but in the world.
One of the most important characteristics the researchers found is that the fossil describes a species without teeth. Souza explained that other theropods with these characteristics have already been found, but only in adulthood. The museum said in a statement that the Pertasaura was a small specimen, one meter in length and 80 centimeters in height, and weighing between 8 and 10 kilograms.
To confirm that there were no teeth in the collected material and to understand if it was indeed an animal case, and not a preservation problem, the team sent the fossil to the Nuclear Instrumentation Laboratory (LIN) of the Alberto Luis Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Engineering Research (COPE) where it underwent a series of image analyses.
Through computerized microscopy, it was possible to determine the absence of dental caries in the lower jaw and upper jaw, confirming that this peculiarity is unique in the new dinosaur. The images also showed signs and grooves indicating the presence of a horny beak similar to what occurs in birds today.