A team of archaeologists has discovered the fossil remains of a 72-million-year-old dinosaur tail in a desert in northern Mexico, in what has been heralded as an exceptional find.
The “unusually well preserved” tail more than a meter long was the first discovery in Mexico, according to Francisco Aguilar, director of that country’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).
The team, made up of archaeologists and students from INAH and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, identified the fossil as a feathered dinosaur tail.
The “unusually well-preserved” tail fossil, measuring more than a meter long, was the first find in Mexico. It is 72 million years old.
The tail, found near the small town of General Cepeda, in the state of Coahuila, probably measured up to half the length of the dinosaur, Aguilar said.
Archaeologists found all 50 tail vertebrae completely intact after spending 20 days carefully excavating a layer of sedimentary rock that covered the carnivore’s skeleton.
Stromberg shed more light on the fossils, including one of the dinosaur’s teeth, according to the INAH.
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From Mexico’s rich paleontological heritage, this is the first dinosaur tail found in the country.
Investigations around the tail found bones, including one of the dinosaur’s teeth, according to the INAH.
Scientists have already determined that dinosaurs suffered from tumors and arthritis, for example.
The hadrosaur remains were found by locals in June 2012. After initial inspections, excavations began earlier this month. The remains of the tail will be transferred to General Cepeda for cleaning and future investigations.
An artist’s rendering provided by the National Geographic Society shows what the hadrosaur would have looked like. Most dinosaurs, except hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, were in decline during the last 40 million years of the Cretaceous.