Argentine scientist Ricardo Martinez next to a fossil of 220 million years in the Ischigualasto National Park, Argentina, April 8, 2019
A 220-million-year-old dinosaur cemetery has been discovered in western Argentina, with remains of a dozen animals, Argentine researchers said on Wednesday.
"There are almost ten different individuals, it is a mass of bones, there is practically no sediment, it is as if they had made a well and they filled it with It is very impressive," said Argentine paleontologist Ricardo Martinez.
According to the Institute's scientist and Museum of Natural Sciences (IMCN) at the University of San Juan (west), "these fossils belong to the Ischigualasto basin, which corresponds to 220 million years, a time of which we know little wildlife."
The cemetery was discovered in September 2018 in the province of San Juan (1,100 km west of Buenos Aires), said Cecília Apaldetti, also a researcher at IMCN and a member of the National Council of Science and Technology (Conicet). ).
This finding is doubly important because there are at least seven or eight individuals of dicinodonts, the ancestors of mammals, the size of an ox, and other archosaurs (reptiles) that we do not yet know. which may be dinosaurs or an ancestor of large crocodiles, "Martinez explained.
This "bony bed" is between one and two meters in diameter and the same depth.
To explain the causes of such a buildup of bones, scientists speculate that "there was a time of great drought and there was water, a small lake where herbivores came in droves to drink, and as water evaporated, animals weakened and died on the spot. "
Argentina has many fossils from three periods, the Mesozoic Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. They belong to animals different from those found in the northern hemisphere.
The most important fossil deposits of dinosaurs are found in Patagonia (south), in the regions of La Rioja and San Juan (west) and in the province of Salta (north).