Chilean Patagonia: A Significant Fossil Deposit
Researchers recently found fossils of four species of dinosaurs, including a Megaraptor (a genus of large theropod dinosaur that used to live in the ages of the Late Cretaceous) in an abandoned valley in Chilean Patagonia. According to researchers, this is one of the most important discoveries in the last few decades.
In fact, the fossils were found at Cerro Guido in the Las Chinas Valley in southern Chile, near the border with Argentina, in 2021. Later, those were taken to a laboratory. After a long examination, the researchers have confirmed that these fossils belong to four species of extinct dinosaurs. At the same time, they have claimed that the fossils are not expected to be found in Chile.
On January 12, 2023, Dr Marcelo Leppe, the National Director of the Antarctic Institute of Chile (INACH), said: “It’s always super exciting in scientific terms to find something that has not previously been discovered or described in the Las Chinas valley, where we have become used to finding new fossil remains.” He thanked the University of Chile and the University of Texas for collaborating with INACH on this expedition, stressing that the remains, including teeth and postcranial bone pieces, were of four species of dinosaur, including the megaraptor, which belonged to the Theropod Family.
Dr Leppe explained that these carnivorous dinosaurs had raptor claws, small teeth for tearing, and large upper limbs that put them at the top of the food chain in the region. These dinosaurs inhabited the region between 66 and 75 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period.
For his part, Jared Amudeo, a researcher with the University of Chile, stated: “One of the characteristics that allowed us to identify with great confidence that they belong to Megaratorids are, first of all, that the teeth are very curved towards the back.” He added: “Researchers also identified two specimens of Unenlagiinae, closely related to Velociraptors and which have a novel evolutionary character, which would indicate that this is a new species of unenlagine or perhaps a representative of a different clade (group).“
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