Chucarosaurus: how was the giant dinosaur that was needed in Río Negro

The Argentina was the habitat of hundreds of giant dinosaurs millions of years ago. Recently, a team of paleontologists from the Conicet discovered in Black river fossil remains of a new species, which they named chucarosauruswhich can now be visited by the public.

The animal was a giant herbivorous dinosaur long-necked, which inhabited the current national territory ago 90 million yearsin it Upper Cretaceousthe last of the eras before the mass extinction.

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The remains were found by scientists from the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences, Conicet and the National University of Cuyo, who described this new species of dinosaur as part of the group of colossaurus.

This animal was also a relative of other large known animals, such as the Argentinosaurus, the Puertasaurus, Patagotitan, and Futalognkosaurusamong others, which have been found in other provinces of the argentine patagonialike Neuquén, Santa Cruz and Chubut.

Fossil remains of the Chucarosaurus found in Rio Negro.

What was the Chucarosaurus like?

the dinosaur had 30 meters long and ate exclusively on plants. “The size of this animal is striking. The femur bone, which is what articulates the hip with the foot, measures over 1.90 tallsaid a Reuters Matias Motta, paleontologist from the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences and Conicet researcher.

“The longest bone that the body of a terrestrial vertebra has, which is the femur, was divided into three and each part could not be lifted by one person or two, I used to lift it by three,” he added, and said that each bone weighed more than 100 kilos.

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But unlike other large plant-eating dinosaurs, the bones of Chucarosaurus are “notably more gracile, which suggests that it should be quite slimmer than other giants“, explained Federico Agnolín, first author of the work.

In addition, the investigator indicated that the remains were found by residents of the area. And he added: “Although still we can’t find the teethit is very likely that it was herbivorous.”

Chucarosaurus, the dinosaur found in Río Negro 20230518
The Chucarosaurus femur weighed more than 100 kilos.

The discovery of the Chucarosaurus

They were identified various bones of the Chucarosaurusamong them the humerus, the ischium of the hip and the femur, belonging to two different individuals, which were discovered about 25 kilometers south of Villa Chocón.

In that locality they had previously found a large amount of fuelsincluding those belonging to huge carnivores, such as Taurovenator violantei, Aoniraptor libertatem, and Tralkasaurus cuyi, and other small ones such as Overoraptor chimentoi.

Chucarosaurus, the dinosaur found in Río Negro 20230518
The team of paleontologists from the Laboratory of Comparative Anatomy and Evolution of Vertebrates.

In addition, remains of other reptiles who lived at that time, in the shadow of giant dinosaurs, such as crocodiles, turtles and tuataras. However, so far no herbivorous dinosaurs had been found.

The discovery occurred within the framework of a campaign by the paleontological team of the Laboratory of Comparative Anatomy and Evolution of Vertebrates (LACEV), of the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences “Bernardino Rivadavia”. While the details of the study were published in the paleontology journal Cretaceous research.

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These discoveries allow paleontologists to better understand What was the ecosystem of the north of Rio Negro like? about 90 million years ago, analyzing its species and its vegetation, which was found covered by araucaria forests and a great diversity of other plants.

Although the remains were found at end of 2019from now on they can be visited by the public at the Carlos Ameghino Provincial MuseumLocated in the Rio Negro city of Cipolletti.


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