‘Exclusively preserved’ skull of tube-cross dinosaur found in New Mexico


Scientists have found an ‘exaggeratedly preserved’ skull of a vegetarian dinosaur species in New Mexico, known for its strange head adornment.

The skull is that of the iconic tube-crossed dinosaur Parasiralophus, which lived during the Late Cretaceous period, about 75.5 million to 73 million years ago.

Parasaurolophus were vegetarian reptiles that sported trumpet-like nasal passages that they blew into the air through a so-called tube over their heads.

This particular skull belonged to a particular species of the genus Parasaurolophus – Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus.

The recently exposed specimen will be about 20 feet long (6.1 m) and about 7.5 feet longer than the hip (2.3 m) in its day.

Despite its extreme morphology, the specimen’s description suggests that the crest is much like the peaks of other, related duckbuild dinosaurs.

Life reconstruction of the head of Parasrolophus cirrotocristatus based on newly discovered organisms

‘TUBE-CRESTED’ DINOSAURS

The tube-crested dinosaur known as Parasaurolophus lived around 76.5 million to 73 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period.

The giant vegetarian reptiles sported a trumpet-like nasal passage, which they blew into the air through a so-called tube over their heads.

Parasaurolophus lived in lush, subtropical floodplains in one of two ancient landmasses, which once included North America, separated by a 2,000-mile-long water stretch.

It lived with other, crestless duckbuild dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs, and early persecutors, as well as many emerging modern groups of crocodiles, turtles, and plants.

Parasaurolophus lived in lush, subtropical floodplains in one of two ancient landmasses, which once included North America, separated by a 2,000-mile-long water stretch.

It lived with other, crestless duckbuild dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs, and early persecutors, as well as many emerging modern groups of crocodiles, turtles, and plants.

“My jaw dropped when I first saw the fossil,” said Professor Terry Gates, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University.

‘I have been waiting for nearly 20 years to see a sample of this quality.

Imagine having your nose three feet behind your face, turning your face upwards.

‘Parasorolophus breathed through an eight-foot pipe before oxygen ever reached the head.’

The skull was partially discovered by Erin Spear of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in 2017, while it was exploring the islands of northwestern New Mexico, but is now being described only by scientists.

Situated deep in the Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness of New Mexico, a small section of the skull was visible on a sandstone slope.

“The preservation of this new skull ultimately reveals in detail the bones that make up the crest of this amazing dinosaur known by almost every dinosaur child,” said Joe Sertyk, curator of dinosaurs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. .

Originally exposed in areas of New Mexico as the new skull of Parasaurolophus.  The 'exquisite' preservation of the new skull gives paleontologists the first opportunity to definitively identify how such a bizarre structure occurred on this dinosaur?

Originally exposed in areas of New Mexico as the new skull of Parasaurolophus. The ‘exquisite’ preservation of the new skull gives paleontologists the first opportunity to definitively identify how such a bizarre structure occurred on this dinosaur?

The Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a 45,000-acre (18,000 hectare) wilderness area located in San Juan County in the US state of New Mexico.

The Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a 45,000-acre (18,000 hectare) wilderness area located in San Juan County in the US state of New Mexico.

‘This only reinforces the importance of protecting our public lands for scientific discoveries.’

Museum volunteers led by Sertich were surprised to see Akshun Shikha as he looked carefully at the specimen from the sandstone.

Among the most commonly identified dinosaurs, Parasrolophus had a long, tube-like crest on its head, with an internal network of airways.

“Over the past 100 years, ideas for the purpose of exaggerated tube crest have ranged from snorkel to super sniffers,” said David Evans, Temperary Chair at Vertebrate Paleontology and vice president of natural history at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Life of a Parasrolophus group reconstructed by a persecutor in the subtropical forests of New Mexico 75 million years ago

Life of a Parasrolophus group reconstructed by a persecutor in the subtropical forests of New Mexico 75 million years ago

‘But after decades of study, we now think that these forests mainly use sound resonators and visual displays used to communicate within their species.’

Abundant bone fragments at the site indicated that the skeleton may have once been preserved on an ancient sand bar, but only a partial skull, part of the lower jaw, and a handful of ribs remain from erosion.

“This specimen is indeed remarkable in its conservation,” said Evans, who has worked on Parasaurolophus dinosaurs for nearly two decades.

‘This has long answered questions about how the shikha is manufactured and about the validity of this particular species. To me, this fossil is very exciting. ‘

Today, the barren areas of northwestern New Mexico are dry and rich in vegetation, a dramatic contrast to the lush lowland floods preserved in their reefs that would have been Parsaurolophus natural habitats.

Five million years ago, when the Parsaurolophus lived in the area, North America was divided into two landmines by the Western Interior Seaway.

This shallow stretch of water ran through the Gulf of Mexico through the Arctic Ocean and divided the continent into two million – East America, or Appalachia, and West America, or Larimedia – for several million years.

The construction of the sea produced a long, thin landmass known as larimia in the west and broad, more rectangular Appalachia in the east

The construction of the sea produced a long, thin landmass known as larimia in the west and broad, more rectangular Appalachia in the east

Larimia (to the west) extends from present-day Alaska to central Mexico, hosting several episodes of mountain building in the early stages of today’s Rocky Mountains construction.

These mountain-building events helped preserve the diverse ecosystems of dinosaurs along their eastern edges, which are the most preserved and most sustained anywhere on Earth.

Due to various fossils found, three species of Parasarolophus are currently identified, ranging from 77 million to 73.5 million years old.

New skull p. Is that of Sirtocristatus, the first famous American fossil hunter H. Known by Sternberg from a specimen collected in 1923 in the same area of ​​New Mexico.

The other two recognized species of Parasrolophus are. P. Walkery (whose remains were found in Alberta in Canada) and p. There are tubicans (remnants of small rocks in New Mexico).

Professor Gates said, “The original species of Parasirolophus, P. walkeri, dates from 1921.”

‘Our Parasolophus [P. cyrtocristatus] There is a different species, which was originally described in 1960 (but found several years before the name was given).

‘So it was the first p found and described in 60 years. Is Sciortocristatus. ‘

P. Cyrtocristatus was the smallest of the three species – overall, the newly described specimen found in 1921, the original P. Walkery is about 75 percent of its size.

P. Cyrtocristatus also has a curved crest. The other two species had long forests with only slight curvature.

According to the researchers, p. The shorter, more curved crest of Sciratocristatus may be related to its immaturity.

For decades, the family tree of Parasrolophus has separated the two long, straight-wooded species (P. walkeri and P. from Alberta) as the longest related, despite being separated by 1,000 miles (1,600 km and over 2.5 million). Tubiocaine) kept. Years.

This new analysis, together with information on other Parasorolophus finds from southern Utah, suggests for the first time that all southern species from New Mexico and Utah may be more closely related than their northern cousins.

This fits the pattern observed in other dinosaur groups of the same age, including horned dinosaurs.

‘This specimen is a wonderful example of amazing creatures evolved from single ancestors,’ Sertich said.

The sample is further detailed in a paper published in the PeerJ Journal.

North South DIVOSAURS DIVOSA

During the Late Cretaceous period, dinosaurs from southern Larimedia (southern Utah, New Mexico and Texas) were isolated from their relatives in the northern part of the continent (Montana and Alberta).

A clear estimate of Arvinachelys and other species of turtles for southern Larimedia fits into the same pattern.

It remains a mystery that the northern and southern populations are kept separate from each other.

The climate of the Earth was in a beaver state in which high temperatures did not differ much from the equator to the poles as they do today.

‘There has always been the assumption that Joshua Lively at Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum said that the creatures would be able to range over a wide area.

The combination of rising sea levels and frequent changes in climate have created barriers to dispersal during the Cretaceous period.

Lively states that understanding ancient animals coping with changing climates will help scientists understand that modern animals and ecosystems are likely to respond to present-day and future climate change.

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