Buenos Aires, Argentina
A new Dinosaur species herbivore who lived 140 million years ago, endowed with defensive spines on the neck and back, was discovered in the Patagonia Argentina, a region known as the "Jurassic park"From the southern hemisphere.
The finding was published in the Scientific reports section of the journal Nature.
Christened Bajadasaurus pronuspinax, the dinosaur it belongs to the family of dicerosáuridos. The reproduction of his prickly neck was exhibited at the Cultural Center of Science of Buenos Aires.
"We believe that the long and pointed spines, extremely long and thin, on the neck and back of Bajadasaurus and Amargasaurus cazaui (another dicerosáurid) should serve to deter possible predators," said Pablo Gallina, acting researcher at the national research council of the state. Scientific and Technical (Conicet) and the Félix de Azara Foundation of Maimónides University.
The sauropods were four-legged friends who lived between the Late Triassic and the Late Cretaceous, characterized by their large size and the length of their neck and tail.
"We thought that if (the spines) were only bare bone structures or were only covered with skin, they could easily be broken or broken with a blow or if they were attacked by other animals," Gallina added.
Therefore, the paleontologist suggested that "these spines must be protected by a corneal keratin sheath similar to what happens in the horns of many mammals."
The Amargasaurus cazaui were located about 15 million years after the Bajadasaurus on the South American continent. Both species were found in the Neuquén province, 1800 km south-west of Buenos Aires.
In the area, the Giganotosaurus carolinii was found in 1993, considered to be the largest carnivorous dinosaur of all time. The Patagonian region is the scene of frequent paleontological findings.
– Sexual attraction –
"Some hypotheses indicate that thorns (out dicreosáuridos) served as a support for a kind of candle that controlled the body temperature of dinosaurs or formed an exhibition back that gave them a greater sexual attraction, "Conicet said in a statement.
The agency said that "for example, it was speculated that these species could have had a fleshy hump between the thorns that served to store reserves."
"Another suspicion is that the thorns were covered with horn heads that fulfilled a defensive function against possible attacks," the agency added.
The skull of Bajadasaurus it is the best preserved that is known from a dicerosáurido. "Their research suggested that these animals spent much of their time feeding earth plants while their eye sockets near the roof of the skull allowed them to control what was happening in their environment," Conicet said.
The name of the species is due to the fact that it was found in the town of Bajada Colorada, with the assistance of the Palaeontological Museum Ernesto Bachmann of Villa El Chocón.