Duckbill dinosaur fossils found on ‘wrong’ continent –

Duckbill dinosaur fossils found on ‘wrong’ continent

The final chapter in the history of dinosaurs is a story spanning two different worlds, each dominated by a vast supercontinent, its own unique mix of predators and herbivores.

The remains of one plant eater common to one of the two major land masses, unexpectedly unearthed in rocks belonging to the other, prompted paleontologists to ask how it managed to make such a leap .

“It was completely out of place, like finding a kangaroo in Scotland,” says University of Bath paleontologist Nicholas Longrich, who recently led a study on the discovery.

This out-of-the-place ‘kangaroo’ was actually a new hierarchical type of crazed duckbuild browser known as hadrosaurid (a lambessoraine variety to be exact).

Some 66 million years ago, when the Cretaceous period was approaching a cataclysm, Hadosaurus of several different varieties were among the most common dinosaurs.

At least, this was the case on the supercontinent Lauresia – a mass that later split to give us North America, Europe and most of Asia’s continents.

In the far seas, a separate land mass known as Gondwana was ruled by long-necked, loring sauropods.

The remains of these giants are commonly found in places like Africa, India, Australia and South America.

Where Hollywood could fit the two groups together, broad sections of water between continents and prolonged isolation meant that the late Cretaceous, duck-billed and long-necked could potentially only segregate territories. Mingle, as if Europe is today

This newest member of the Hadosaurid family may be just a new exception.

Extracted from a phosphate mine in Morocco based on a few jaw pieces and a handful of teeth, this is evidence that at least one of these animals would have wandered away suspiciously from Lauresia.

Ajnabia TeethAjnabia jaw and tooth fossils. (Longrich et al., Cretaceous Research, 2020)

Well, maybe don’t wander, so padded.

“It was impossible to walk to Africa,” Longrich says.

“These dinosaurs split into continents after continental drift, and we have no evidence of land bridges. Geology tells us that Africa was isolated by the oceans. If so, the only way to get there is by water is.”

distrib Hadros AfricaLate Cretaceous Hudsar was discovered in Europe and Africa with Ajnabia at number 6. (Anderich, et al., Cretaceous Research, 2020).

This idea is not as far-reaching as it may seem at first. Hadrosaurs seem quite at home near aquatic environments and come in all shapes and sizes. Some have measured up to 15 meters (45 ft) in length, with large tails and powerful legs that make them capable swimmers.

More than 3 meters (9 ft) long, this accident could have a bit more difficulty in marathons that could involve hundreds of kilometers of open water.

But small animal theories are rapidly crossing oceans on floating rafts of vegetative rafts – why not relatively small dinosaurs?

“Once in a century events are likely to occur multiple times. Ocean crossings are needed to explain how lemurs and hippos arrived in Madagascar or how monkeys and rodents traveled from Africa and South America,” says Longrich.

Scientists have dubbed the Hadoosa, combining the Arabic word for foreign with the name of the famous Greek seafarer Ajnabia Odysseus.

The same conference Ajnabia Jaws has left the bones of a rare few other dinosaurs, including the Gondwana staples of Titanosaurus and a meat-eating theropod called Abelisaurus.

This may not be enough to re-shorten the division between Cretaceous supercontinents in the moments before an asteroid changes everything. But this would give us enough stagnation to claim that an ocean would be an obstructionist.

“As far as I know, we are the first to suggest ocean crossings for dinosaurs,” Longrich says.

This research was published in Cretaceous Research.


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