They found the ‘great ancestor’ of the giant Jurassic dinosaurs that lived in South America 230 million years ago


Feb 16 2022 20:41 GMT

Researchers have identified an incomplete skeleton found in Brazil as one of the ancestors of Diplodocus and Brontosaurus.

Paleontological excavations in Brazil made it possible to recover the remains of a possible “great ancestor” of Diplodocus and Brontosaurus, two genera of extinct Jurassic animals. The discovery dates back to an earlier period, the late Triassic period, when dinosaurs weren’t quite that large.

It is a partial, post-cranial skeleton belonging to an unknown species with “important evidence of a Premature increase in body size‘, as described by paleontologists Rodrigo Muller and Mauricio Garcia in published article Last Friday in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The fossil remains were discovered a year ago in the municipality of Ajudo, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Due to the lack of some bones, the experts She was unable to determine which species it belonged to, but was able to estimate the mass and size of the animal, which It can be around 21 kilograms It is about 2.20 meters long.

Despite his great measures, bone thinthe shape of the leg has a configuration Typical for running animals The muscle structures are the same as those found in the smallest dinosaurs. However, Muller, the lead author of the study, associates it with the largest representatives of the Jurassic fauna. “It is one of the ancestors of Diplodocus and Brontosaurus.”said the expert daily Mail.

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In addition, this new Brazilian link in the early development of sauropods Allows researchers to draw some Conclusions about the changes they have undergone.

Thus, 233 million years ago the animals of this class were much smaller, averaging 1.50 meters in length and weighing between 7 and 10 kilograms. Dinosaurs found in layers of sediment that accumulated about 225 million years ago could be up to four meters long and weigh more than 100 kilograms. This increase in size over the required eight million year period Various structural changes, which had to support more weight and keep the body in balance. It is estimated that the bones of the Agodo dinosaur are located in the middle and have about 230 million years.

This is not the first discovery made by Muller in the sediment layer corresponding to that period and in the same Brazilian region. At the beginning of 2020, male paleontologist She identified a rare species of prehistoric reptile, considered a relative of modern crocodiles. Specifically, these voracious predators now appear in the new study as potential natural enemies of the thin-bones dinosaur.

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