A research led by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin is offering a glimpse into dinosaur and hen range in Patagonia through the Late Cretaceous, simply earlier than the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct.
The fossils signify the primary report of theropods — a dinosaur group that features each fashionable birds and their closest non-avian dinosaur relations — from the Chilean portion of Patagonia. The researchers’ finds embody big megaraptors with massive sickle-like claws and birds from the group that additionally contains as we speak’s fashionable species.
“The fauna of Patagonia main as much as the mass extinction was actually numerous,” stated lead writer Sarah Davis. “You’ve got acquired your massive theropod carnivores and smaller carnivores in addition to these hen teams coexisting alongside different reptiles and small mammals.”
The U.S. National Science Foundation-supported research was revealed within the Journal of South American Earth Sciences. “This research signifies a necessity for a greater understanding of the worldwide fossil report for birds and different theropod dinosaurs, particularly from southern South America and Antarctica,” stated Mike Jackson, head of NSF’s Antarctic Sciences Part. “The fossil discoveries highlighted on this research are essential to precisely assessing world tendencies in dinosaur range.”
The researchers, led by Julia Clarke at UT Austin, recognized the theropods from small fossil fragments — the dinosaurs largely from enamel and toes, the birds from small bone items. Davis stated that the enamel glinting on the dinosaur enamel helped with recognizing them among the many rocky terrain.
Some researchers have recommended that the Southern Hemisphere confronted much less excessive or extra gradual climatic modifications than the Northern Hemisphere after the asteroid strike. This may occasionally have made Patagonia and different locations within the Southern Hemisphere a refuge for birds, mammals and different life that survived the extinction. The researchers stated the research can help in investigating this concept by increase a report of historic life earlier than and after the extinction occasion.