Dinosaur fossils: Missouri dig site is home to at least 4 rare dinosaur species and possibly more

After comparing and matching the tailed vertebrates of these discoveries, paleontologists have described them as “relatively primitive” duck-billed dinosaurs.

Chronister curator Peter Makovicky said the Missouri state dinosaur specimen, named Parrosaurus missouriensis, was unearthed after a multi-year process that began in 2017. Makovicky is a professor of Earth and environmental sciences. school at the University of Minnesota.

“Whenever you find a locality in the Midwest or Eastern North America where you get multiple dinosaur skeletons from one location, it’s really a breeze with almost no disturbance,” he said. any similarity.

Fossils in Missouri are rare — the Chronister site, a few dozen acres of woodland near Bollinger County in Missouri, is the only place where fossils have been found in Missouri, according to Erika Woehlk, an archivist of visual materials at the Missouri State University. Missouri State Archives. Most of the dinosaurs in the United States have been found in the West.

“No one thinks there are any dinosaurs in Missouri,” said Abigail Kern, office manager of the Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center in Missouri. long in this part of the country”.

But this site is very rich.

The team had to work around wet clay to carefully unearth the fossil.

While exploring the dinosaur, Makovicky and his team found several turtle fossils, painting a more complete picture of the ancient ecosystem. Paleontologists have also found parts of at least four different dinosaurs, Makovicky said, including a baby dinosaur of the same species found in the early 2000s.

The largest dinosaur mass – 2,500 pounds (1,134 kg) – was excavated with crane assistance on October 15. The fossil will be moved to Chicago’s Field Museum for preparation and study.

A fossil site for decades formed

Fossils found in the 1940s were sent to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The site remained dormant until the 1980s, when a renewed interest in fossils led Missouri paleontologist Bruce Stinchcomb to purchase the property from the Chronisters.

Scientists have debated the genus of this fossil for decades. In 2018, paleontologists landed on the original genus, Parrosaurus, which was coined in 1945. The dinosaur has been reclassified four different times, but Woehlk said the reclassification did not must be unusual.

Makovicky said the wet clay at the excavation site, and the pandemic, complicated and lasted four years. He’s used to excavating fossils from harder rock, so the team had to work slowly around the softer clay.

The excavation team saw the largest dinosaur block - 2,500 pounds - removed with the assistance of a crane on October 15.

With site observations and findings, paleontologists can better understand ancient environments – and evaluate areas for further study and excavation.

Makovicky said they are still determining the exact ages of these fossils and learning more about the distribution of dinosaurs across North America.

“There’s just so much left to learn about these ancient environments and how they relate to our knowledge of ecology and evolution,” he said.

The Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center is home to the juvenile specimen and its laboratory is accessible to the public. Starting in December, museum visitors will be able to watch paleontologists and other scientists prepare fossils, according to Kern.

Since fossils are so hard to find in the Midwest, Kern hopes these rare discoveries will get kids interested in archeology and geology.

“We’re a very small town in rural Missouri, so we’re really excited to be able to bring this level of scientific discovery to our town and help spread it to all communities. and schools around us,” Kern said.


Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button