Thursday, August 14, 2014

This old dinosaur Venezuelan illuminates the history of ornithischians

This old dinosaur Venezuelan illuminates the history of ornithischians

There is no indication that the triceratops and stegosaurus dinosaur down we just discovered in Venezuela. But Laquintasaura venezuelae certainly had a common ancestor with them because it is a ornithischien. It sheds new light on the history of the first representatives of this great group of dinosaurs in particular suggesting that they lived in herds earlier than previously thought.

Marcelo S├ínchez, professor of paleontology at the University of Zurich, posing with a model Laquintasaura venezuelae.  The dinosaur is ornithischien to scale.  © Adrian Ritter / UZH

The dinosaurs appeared here about 230 million years ago, during the Triassic . They survive the mass extinction of the Triassic-Jurassic, or extinction TJ. This event, given the diversity of the biosphere halve and was accompanied by the disappearance of about 20% of species marine, ecological niches will be released which will permit the radiative explosion dinosaurs. It seems clear now that it was caused by climate change caused by the rapid emission of gases from major volcanic eruptions that accompanied the fracturing of Pangaea , the supercontinent of the time.

We are still far from knowing everything about the world of dinosaurs as shown in a recent publication in Proceedings of the Royal Society B . Paleontologists will announce, in fact, the discovery of the fossilized remains of a small old dinosaur about 200 million years in the geological formation of La Quinta, in the Venezuelan Andes, formerly close to the equator.

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