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The dinosaur unearthed in the province of Chubut, the Asphaltovenator vialitadi, casts new light on the evolution of carnivores in the Jurassic.
In the Middle Jurassic , about 175 million years ago, groups of dinosaurs emerged, which later came to dominate all the Earth's ecosystems. It was a stage of sudden changes and a key moment in evolution. However, fossil records are few and fragmentary. Especially the carnivorous dinosaur group.
A finding of one of the fossils of the tetanur theropod group changes everything. Discovered in the Cañadón Asphalto Formation (Chubut), they are the oldest and most complete fossils known to today . The new species was named Aspaltovenator Vialitadi, in tribute to the place where the discovery occurred. But also in appreciation of the assistance provided by the Directorate of National Vialidad and the province of Chubut.
The study of the skeleton (skull, full jaw, arms and part of the legs) revealed something novel. A very unusual combination of characters that mixes peculiarities of different families of the tetanur group.
Today we know that the tetanurus group is the most diverse of theropod dinosaurs. This means that among its descendants it includes modern birds. Another significant conclusion comes from phylogenetic analysis. The inclusion of the new species significantly changes the evolutionary trees . According to Diego Pol, “he leads us to repostulate the existence of the large group of carnosaurs.”
Asphaltovenator is a large theropod whose size is comparable to that of Allosaurus in North America. It has an estimated body length of eight meters and its skull is between seventy and eighty centimeters long. He is also the first representative of the allosauroid superfamily found in South America.
In addition to Diego Pol, the German paleontologist Oliver W. M. Rauhut of the University of Munich participated in this work. The extraction of the gypsum bochón containing the remains of the dinosaur was thanks to the collaboration of state agencies. The Provincial Royway Administration of Chubut and the National Gendarmerie. The rock block weighed about five tons. It took five years to prepare the fossil in the MEF laboratories in the city of Trelew.
Publication Date: 22/02/2020
Vivir en nuestra provincia es gozar de una gigantesca naturaleza y la proporcionada inteligencia de nuestros científicos. Cada vez más feliz de llamarme chubutense.
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Como chubutense comparto tus palabras y tu sentir Horacio. Gracias por participar.
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Gracias Oscar por tu participación. Tendremos en cuenta tu inquietud en futuros artículos.
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