A new species of crested dinosaur, which lived 72 or 73 million years ago, It was identified by Mexican paleontologists in the state of Coahuila, north of the country, educational institutions reported this Thursday
Specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) indicated in a statement that “a colossal herbivorous dinosaur that he died in what must have been a body of water abundant in sediments “, which was preserved, was recovered and studied until it was determined that his remains belonged to a new species: Tlatolophus galores.
The finding, published in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research, derives from a multidisciplinary project that in 2013 announced the rsuccessful retrieval of a dinosaur’s jointed tail in the community of Guadalupe Alamitos, municipality of General Cepeda, in the aforementioned entity.
The experts said that although the initial priority was “to rescue the skeleton promptly but rigorously, since some vertebrae protruded from the surface and they were exposed to rain and erosion, the tracks were given “,
“Despite the fact that we had lost hope of finding the upper part of the specimen, once we recovered the tail we continued digging below where it was located. The surprise was that we began to find bones such as the femur, the scapula and other elements “, explained the researcher from the Geology Institute of UNAM, Ángel Alejandro Ramírez Velasco.
The specialist, who is a co-author of the academic article along with five other researchers, reported that among the first bones they found appeared one very elongated and shaped like a drop who first believed that it was part of the pelvis, although later they realized that it was the head of the animal.
However, it was not until the subsequent collection, cleaning and analysis of 34 other bone fragments that the pieces fit together.
By then paleontologists had the crest of the dinosaur, 1.32 meters long, in addition to other parts of the skull: lower and upper jaws, palate and even the segment known as the neurocranium, where the brain was housed.
High preservation percentage
In addition, the experts pointed out that given the exceptional conditions of conservation of the skull, it is preserved almost 80% of the bone structure, they were able to compare the specimen with other hadrosaur species known in the region, such as Velafrons coahuilensis.
“Examination showed that the crest and nose were distinct from the Velafrons and more similar to what is seen in another tribe of hadrosaurs: the parasaurophins “, noted Felisa Aguilar Arellano, researcher at the INAH Coahuila Center,
He added that the differences did not stop there: the crest of the specimen, shaped like a drop, was even opposed to the tubular crest of Parasaurolophus, the best known species of the Parasaurolophins, which inhabited the current territories of New Mexico and Utah. United States, as well as Alberta, Canada, and that has been portrayed in movies like Jurassic Park.
“After all these findings, we were convinced that we were facing a new genre and a species of crested dinosaur, said Aguilar Arellano.
An exceptional case
“This fossil, which is still under investigation, is an exceptional case in Mexican paleontology, since highly favorable events had to occur millions of years ago, when Coahuila was a tropical region, like a great coastal plain, so that it would be preserved in the conditions in which we found it, “said the paleontologist.
The name of Tlatolophus galorum is a multiple homage given by the researchers. On the one hand, the genus Tlatolophus derives from the Nahua voice tlahtolli (word) and from the Greek lophus (crest), so its translation is word crest.