'Super exciting' find: Researchers discover four species of dinosaurs, including a potentially new one
Scientists have made an amazing discovery. In an inhospitable valley in the Chilean Patagonia, they have come across the remains of four species of dinosaurs. The fossils which were discovered and transported to a laboratory in 2021, as per researchers, belong to species that have previously not been identified in the area.
Chilean Antarctic Institute (Inach), in collaboration with the University of Chile and the University of Texas, made this discovery on an expedition.
Talking to AFP, Marcelo Leppe, director of Inach, said, "It’s always super exciting in scientific terms to find something that has not previously been discovered or described."
Researchers have also found remains of two bird species, an Enantiornithe, believed to be the most plentiful birds of the Mesozoic era; and Ornithurinae, a group which can be directly linked to present-day birds.
The findings have been published in the Journal of South American Earth Sciences.
As per the findings, the dinosaur species, which includes a megaraptor, inhabited the area at the end of the Cretaceous period, between 66 and 75 million years ago.
Interestingly, the megaraptor belongs to the theropod family, of which the famous T-Rex is also a member. These carnivorous dinosaurs were at the top of the food chain and were equipped with raptor claws, small teeth for tearing their prey, and large upper limbs.
Researchers have also identified two specimens of what could very well be a whole new species of Unenlagiinae, a dinosaur closely related to velociraptors.
As per Jared Amudeo, a researcher with the University of Chile, the Unenlagiinae remains has a "novel evolutionary character, which would indicate that this is a new species of unenlagine or perhaps a representative of a different clade (group)."