A team of specialists from CONICET and the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) identified 23 fossilized footprints corresponding to sauropod dinosaurs who inhabited an old line of the coast of the Neuquén BasinA few ago 130,000,000 years.
As reported by those responsible for this valuable discovery to the Geological Society of London Special Publication. the strange fossilized patinas were found in the Rayoso Hill which is located to the east of the National Route No. 40between the cities of Chos Malal and Las Lajas and the next to neuquen river and correspond to sauropods, a very diverse group of dinosauryes herbivores that I became one of the largest terrestrial vertebrates ever to inhabit Earth and they dominated the terrestrial ecosystems during a period greater than 140,000,000 years, that is, almost the entire Mesozoic era.
“In this work we study in detail a surface with numerous traces, some in the form of half Moon and other elongated ones, which we have interpreted as sauropod dinosaur skates produced next to a tidal channel”, explained Arturo Herediaone of the main authors of the study.
“At that time, the sea reached territories that today are located in the province of Neuquen”, added the CONICET postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Andean Studies “Don Pablo Groeber” (IDEAN, UBA-CONICET).
Many of the fossilized footprints are elongatedwith a relationship between length and width of the track greater than two and with great much longer than widewhile the largest ones measure about 42 centimeters long and 18 centimeters wide.
“Most of the tracks were developed burrswhich are the ridges that are formed when the sediment moves to the sides of the foot of the footprint producer, in a similar way to the ridges that are formed when we walk on the mud”, said who also has a degree in Paleontology and a PhD in Sciences UBA geological
After carefully analyzing the fossilized footprints found, the team of scientists will determine that the sauropods trampled on a slippery surface covered by a microbial matwhat would have favored conservation of its traces through the passage of time.
“Interpreting the direction of the sedimentary structures visible in the rock where the fossilized sauropod footprints are distributed in an area immediately lateral to a tidal channel, we were able to determine how the water level in that area,” he said. Pablo Pazos, CONICET researcher at the “Don Pablo Groeber” Institute of Andean Studies (IDEAN).
“These surfaces are resistant thanks to the microbial coverage that allows them to support the weight of the animals very well. otherwise they would leave deeper tracks and are responsible for generating skids. All these evidences are window that allows us to capture precise moment in the life of these animals and their environment”, concluded another of the main authors of the finding.