Paleontologists have unearthed the bones of 100 million-year-old non-Iguanodonian perinatal ornithopods (Cretaceous period) in the Griman Creek Formation in north-central New South Wales, Australia.
The fossils provide the first evidence of Australian perinatal dinosaurs and, more broadly, the first ideas about the high latitudinal reproduction preferences of non-iguanodonian ornithopods in Gondwana.
- The recently studied fossils are from small-body ornithopod dinosaur species similar to Waversaurus pobenii.
- To estimate the age of the people, the researchers used dinosaur bone growth rings similar to tree trunk rings.
- “Age is usually calculated by counting growth rings, but we couldn’t do it with our two younger samples that had lost their interior details,” said Justin Kitchener, University of the Environment and Rural PhD student at the New Science School England.
- “To avoid this, we have compared the size of these bones with the size of the growth rings of Victorian dinosaurs. This comparison puts them in a stage of confidence development, perhaps hatching before or around.
- About 100 million years ago, when these dinosaurs were born, Australia was closer to the South Pole.
- “Southeast Australia would have been between 60 ° S and 70 ° S, which is equivalent to modern Greenland,” the scientists explained.
- “Although the weather in these latitudes was relatively warm, compared to the current one, like some Antarctic penguins, these dinosaurs would have suffered long dark winters and would probably be buried or hibernated to survive.”
- “Because they are so fragile, eggshells and small bones rarely become fossils.”
“We have examples of dinosaurs shaped near the North Pole, but this is the first time we see this kind of thing anywhere in the southern hemisphere,” said Dr. Phil Bell, paleontologist at the Faculty of Environment and Rural Sciences. from the University of New England and “this is the first clue that we know where these animals reproduced and raised their young.”
The findings appear in the journal Scientific Reports.
Small fossils are first called baby dinosaurs from Australia
- The discovery suggests that dinosaurs reproduced near the South Pole. An artist inspired a mother to visit her nest that represents onitopod dinosaurs.
- A collection of small fossil bones of the thigh, only 2.5 centimeters in length, are the first remains of baby dinosaurs found in Australia.
- Discovered in the eastern states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the bones belonged to the flesh of a child small enough to sit in the palm of the hand.
- As Australia was much farther south than 100 million years ago, when these babies roamed their nests, they are also evidence that dinosaurs reproduced in the southern polar environment within the Antarctic Circle.
- The discovery provides evidence that “dinosaurs were remarkably weather tolerant, ranging from equatorial to polar latitudes,” the authors of a letter write in the scientific report.
- The fossils of New South Wales, from the city of Lightning Ridge, were so small that they could relate to embryonic dinosaurs that weighed 150 grams and were less than 20 cm in length from head to tail.
- The femur (thigh bone) of an ornithopod dinosaur the size of a Victoria brood compared to an Australian dollar coin. “They talked about eggs before or before hatching,” says co-author Phil Bell of the University of New England, Australia.
- The “hatching lines” in the internal structure of the bones of the legs of Dinosaur Cove off the coast of Victoria reveal a change in bone development after the eggs were released, indicating that these animals had a few months and weighed up to 230 grams. They were the ones.
- These children were young men of wallaby-shaped dinosaurs called ornithopods that walked on two legs and talked to cultivate.
- They can live in packs, and until scientists can be sure of what specific species these children belong to, they will be animals like Waversaurus from Lightning Ridge, or Beluvoresaurus or Galilenosaurus from Victoria, Bell says.
- At this time in the Cretaceous period, Victoria was well within the Antarctic Circle, and Greenland today is as equidistant from the South Pole as it is from the North Pole. Although the world was still warm, there were months of complete darkness and possible cold in winter.
- While many dinosaur fossils with feathers have been found, which could have been useful for polar isolation, so far there is little evidence of feathers in the group of ornithopods.
- According to Bell, these dinosaurs in particular were “probably with scaly skin, which means they were exposed to the elements.” “They were too young to emigrate and could not leave these polar places in the middle of winter, so we had to find another way to tolerate the conditions.”
- It is possible that eggs and babies have been kept in nests surrounded by flora that produces manure to generate heat, as we see today in crocodiles and some birds.
- They argue that another way in which these dinosaurs would have protected themselves was by trafficking in the heat of the hamburger, a behavior that we have evidence in North America.
- “We found the ornithopod skeletons and their young in their bastions, so it seems to be a viable way to deal with the harsh conditions of Australia,” Bell said. “
- Anthony Fiorillo, paleontologist at the Perrott Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, USA UU., Who studies Arctic dinosaurs, says it is ultimately exciting for Australian baby dinosaurs.
- “It is known that Australia has one of the best polar dinosaur records, but the question in the south has been very similar to the question in the answer: did those dinosaurs live in the polar region all year?” He says.
- Although some research has argued that Arctic dinosaurs migrate to warmer climates during the winter months like the Caribou today, the new findings from Australia add to a growing consensus that “dinosaurs in a wide variety of environments adapted. and some dinosaurs were cured. The most extreme environments of the highest latitudes, says Fitillo.
- It is a miracle that we have these fossils. Fact Bell’s team only found thigh bones, as they were the largest and strongest among children’s skeletons and, therefore, were more likely to be preserved as fossils.
- “The bones of these little animals around the world are incredibly rare because they are so small and fragile,” he says. “Many never become fossils, so this is a very unique view of this particular group of dinosaurs.”