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Latino Daily News

Sunday November 24, 2013

Paleontologists Discover America’s Southernmost Dinosaur Fossils in Chile

Paleontologists Discover America’s Southernmost Dinosaur Fossils in Chile

Photo: Remains found in Chile

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A group of paleontologists announced the discovery of dinosaur fossil remains in the Chilean region of Magallanes, which makes them the southernmost fossils ever found in the Americas.

“This discovery constitutes a milestone in world paleontology that also opens the way to studying the evolution of flora and fauna between the extreme south of the Americas and the Antarctic,” Marcelo Leppe, a paleobotanist from the Chilean Antarctic Institute, or INACH, said.

What particularly interests Leppe about the discovery is finding dinosaurs “in situ,” which “provides a great deal of information about the context in which they lived.”

Leppe, who led a team of experts that for three years has been working in Chilean Patagonia, presented the discovery at a press conference in Santiago, where he was joined by experts David Rubilar of the National Natural History Museum and Alexander Vargas of the University of Chile.

Rubilar said that remains have been found of what could be hadrosaurs and iguanodons, “or at least two different types of ornithopods.”

Another important milestone was the finding of the first Nothofagus leaves from the era of the dinosaurs.

These discoveries that have just been announced were made in February of this year by a team of 11 researchers near the Chilean-Argentine border.

The hadrosaurs, also known as duck-billed dinosaurs, were herbivores that grew to up to 9 metros (30 feet) long and 4 meters (13 feet) tall and had more than 2,000 teeth in their mouths.

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