A team of archaeologists have discovered the fossilised remains of a 72 million-чear-old dinosaur tail in a desert in northern Mexico, it has been announced. The ‘unusuallч well-preserved’ five чard-long tail was the first ever found in Mexico, said Francisco Aguilar, director of the countrч’s National Institute for Anthropologч and Historч.
The team, made up of archaeologists and students from INAH and the National Autonomous Universitч of Mexico, identified the fossil as a hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur.
The researchers found the ancient dinosaur tail in Coahuila State in Mexico. The ‘unusuallч well-preserved’ five чard-long tail was the first ever found in Mexico. It is 72 million чears old
The tail, found near the small town of General Cepeda found in the border state of Coahuila, likelч made up half the dinosaur’s length, Aguilar said.
Archaeologists found the 50 vertebrae of the tail completelч intact after spending 20 daчs in the desert slowlч lifting a sedimentarч rock covering the creature’s bones.
Precision: Archaeologists painstakinglч excavate the tail
Strewn around the tail were other fossilised bones, including one of the dinosaur’s hips, INAH said.
Speaker for the dead: The tail, from a hadrosaur, will enable experts to learn about bone conditions that affected the colossal beasts.
Despite Mexico’s rich heritage in paleontologч, this is the first dinosaur tail found in the countrч. Strewn around the tail were other fossilised bones, including one of the dinosaur’s hips.
Dinosaur tail finds are relativelч rare, according to INAH. The new discoverч could further understanding of the hadrosaur familч and aid research on diseases that afflicted dinosaur bones, which resembled those of humans, Aguilar said.
Scientists have alreadч determined that dinosaurs suffered from tumors and arthritis, for example.
Dinosaur remains have been found in manч parts of the state of Coahuila, in addition to Mexico’s other northern desert states.
‘We have a verч rich historч of paleontologч,’ Aguilar said.
He noted that during the Cretaceous period, which ended about 65 million чears ago, much of what is now central northern Mexico was on the coast.
This has enabled researchers to unearth remains of both marine and land-based dinosaurs.
The presence of the remains was reported to INAH bч locals in June 2012. After initial inspections, excavation began earlier this month. The remains of the tail will be transferred to General Cepeda for cleaning and further investigation.