New Herbivorous Dinosaur Remains Discovered in Antarctica
22.12.2011 - Flora & Fauna, Antarctic
With their recent discovery of advanced titanosaur remains in Antarctica, Dr. Ignacio Alejandro Cerda and his colleagues from the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) in Buenos Aires, Argentina have been able to show that this particular variety of dinosaurs were able to achieve global distribution by at least the Late Cretaceous (99.6 – 65.5 million years ago).
Their findings, published in the journal Naturwissenschaften – the Science of Nature, detail the incomplete middle-tail vertebra Dr. Cerda and his team recovered from James Ross Island in the James Ross Basin – an area where other important dinosaur discoveries have been made over the past 20 years. The size and morphology of the specimen led the researchers to conclude that it came from an advanced titanosaur. Titanosaurs were large-bodied herbivorous sauropoda, or quadraped dinosaurs with long necks and small heads. Advanced titanosaurs were distinctive in that they had no digits on their feet.
Sauropoda are the largest terrestrial vertebrates ever to have existed, and one of the most diverse group of dinosaurs, with some 150 recognized species. Remains of sauropoda have been unearthed on all other continents of the world.