A 72 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Tail Unearthed In Mexico's Desert

23 July, 2013

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Follow us: - Paleontologists and students from the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) have discovered the fossilized remains of a 72 million-year-old dinosaur tail in a desert, near the small town of General Cepeda, in northern Mexico.

After 20 days of working in the desert of Coahuila, researchers uncovered 50 vertebrae believed to be a full dinosaur tail that resembles the remains of a hadrosaur or crested duckbill dinosaur.

Hadrosaurs dinosaurs of the family Hadrosauridae were herbivorous dinosaurs of the Upper Cretaceous Period.

Click on image to enlarge

Dinosaur's tail - remains - Photo Credits: INAH y la UNAM

Hadrosaurs were a very diverse group of bipedal herbivores and were the most important herbivore group during the Cretaceous. Credits: Ralph E. Taggart/

Additionally, there were also unearthed long bones and hip of the animal, which total length is calculated 12 meters.

It's the only complete articulated dinosaur tail so far been discovered in Mexico, according to Felisa Aguilar, the paleontologist INAH-Coahuila Center, who directed the excavation along with his colleague René Hernández UNAM.

Photo Credits: INAH y la UNAM

Photo Credits: INAH y la UNAM

Very slowly to not break what nature remained unchanged for 72 million years, paleontologists removed sedimentary rock covering the vertebrae of the animal and discovered the skeleton of a hadrosaur long tail that reaches five meters.

Click on image to enlarge

Photo Credits: INAH y la UNAM

Aguilar said that the recovery of this skeleton - reported by locals in June 2012 - is of great importance for the Mexican paleontology. It's indeed very rare to find this type of specimens with most of his bones together.

Click on image to enlarge

Photo Credits: INAH y la UNAM

"For the biological study of dinosaurs this finding is important because we will have a sequence that will reveal the characteristics of the vertebrae.

How they will be seen differentiating in size depending on their position in the spine," science teacher Angel Ramirez Velasco, paleontologists team member of this project, said.

Researchers believe that under the tail remains, there is also the rest of the specimen.

For now, it isn’t possible to confirm the identity of the dinosaur tail and further diggings are necessary at this paleontological site.

It is necessary to analyze the type of environment in which they found the hadrosaur, and review each material to rule out any natural event as the cause of his death, but by the characteristics analyzed so far consider that died of natural causes, Aguilar said.

See also:
Can Scientists Really Resurrect Dinosaurs, The Neanderthal Man And Other Extinct Species?

Fascinating Gigantic Creatures Today Totally Extinct 13,000 Years Ago Coexisted With Early Americans

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