Another kind of Long-necked herbivorous dinosaur from the Jurassic period was found in the central plateau of Chubut, Argentine Patagonia, and allows “to provide answers on the period of volcanic global warming”.
This was explained by paleontologist Diego Pol, who led the multidisciplinary team that worked on the find.
The work was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of Royal Society B, who adopted the denomination of “Bagualia alba” with which local researchers they had named the new species of sauropod.
Pol, who led the find, explained that “so far there was about that space of time a great knowledge gap that we begin to fill with this issue. “
The Conicet specialist who works at the Egidio Feruglio Museum in Trelew, where the skull found along with other pieces in the middle of a volcanic bed was analyzed, assured in dialogue with Telam what “about 180 million years ago there was a series of volcanic events of enormous magnitude that affected a large part of the southern hemisphere. “
“The thing about Bagualia is because it was found in Cañadón Bagual and dawn by dawn, in reference to the early age of the deposits “, explained Pol.
The specialist explained that “the skull was in a very good state of preservation and that helped us a lot for the research that is very important because it sheds light on a period of which there was little knowledge and that we believe crucial for the evolution of dinosaurs. “
Publishing a scientific paper on the discovery of a dinosaur is only part of an investigation. The find may have been made several years earlier. The paper is the “presentation in society”.
Thus began the excavation of Bagualia alba: pic.twitter.com/iokQfPdaZD
– Federico Kukso (@fedkukso)
November 18, 2020
According to the researchers, 180 million years ago a series of volcanic events of enormous magnitude occurred that affected much of the southern hemisphere, in which many herbivores disappeared, of different size and aptitude, but not the sauropods that survived with the same morphology of the long neck although of different size.
To explain it, Pol himself compared it to the “Titanosaurus” also found in Chubut that “had a size equivalent to 12 elephants togetherWhile this would be about 2. The first with 40 meters long and 6 high and the Bagualia with 12 meters long and 3 and a half high “.
“Although they both have that same four-legged structure well-established on the ground and the long neck that allowed them to feed on conifers, something that other species could not do, and that is why they survived, “he revealed.
Bagualia alba would have lived around 180 million years ago. Researchers argue that a large volcanic event, which caused changes in fauna and flora, made it possible for sauropods to be the most successful herbivores for millions of years. pic.twitter.com/KJbkXMo2Ej
– Federico Kukso (@fedkukso)
November 18, 2020
Due to the deposits of volcanic material in which the last skull and skeleton were found, it is estimated that Bagualia lived 179 million years ago, right after these large volcanic eruptions and are the oldest record of a sauropod-dominated herbivore fauna.
Cañada “Bagual” is a formation located near the current course of the Chubut river, between Cerro Condor and Paso del Sapo, in the middle of the Chubut plateau, 400 kilometers northwest of Rawson, the provincial capital.
“Sauropods were not only giant herbivores, weighing more than 10 tons exceeding any other land animal in size, but they were the most successful herbivores for more than 100 million years, that is, during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods“, according to published work.
The most surprising thing about their success is that during all this time they changed their body appearance very little, which is quite atypical in the evolutionary process in which it is complex to be successful, for so long, and without changing too much.
“Sauropods, when they appeared, were not automatically the dominant herbivores of our planet, but rather were rare and coexisted for more than 30 million years with many other species of smaller herbivores, some were bipedal and had much more delicate teeth than sauropods, “Pol described.
While, sometime in the Jurassic period the situation changed completely “Because something is modified in ecosystems and sauropods become the most numerous, diverse and successful herbivores on all continents, unlike other species of minor herbivores that disappear,” said Pol.
One of the biggest problems in answering this question was the lack of fossils from the time that change occurred, a circumstance that gives value to “Bagualia alba”.
The discovery was in 2008, but field work began in 2010 with excursions to the site, almost 3 years in the rescue of the skull and hundreds of bones, at least 5 years in the laboratory and then the presentation to the scientific world that was crowned with the recent publication, as published Télam.