Trove of new dinosaur fossils helps rewrite prehistory of the Mediterranean region

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A trove of new dinosaur skeletons discovered at a Palaeolithic site in Italy has helped reconstruct the history, geography and evolution of the ancient Mediterranean region.

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Until now, scientists believed that the region would have been difficult to map from about 230 to 66 million years ago because it was formed by countless small islands off the major mainlands of Europe, Africa and Asia and large animals such as dinosaurs. was unfit to maintain. ,

Scientists, including those from the University of Bologna in Italy, have now assessed several extraordinarily complete dinosaur skeletons from the Vilgio del Pescator site near Trieste in north-eastern Italy and published their findings in the journal. scientific report on Thursday.

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According to the study, the prehistoric sites and fossils date back to about 80 million years, belonging to the Cretaceous period and are about 10 million years older than previously thought.

These skeletons belong to the species tethyshadros insularis and represent the largest and most complete dinosaur fossils ever found in Italy.

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The Palaeolithic site of Vilgio del Pescator, in which the people of the ZOIC are working to extract fossils from this astonishing dinosaur trove.

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The Palaeolithic site of Vilgio del Pescator, in which the people of the ZOIC are working to extract fossils from this astonishing dinosaur trove.

Paleontologists also found fossil remains at the site, including prehistoric fish, crocodiles, flying reptiles and even small crustaceans, providing a vivid snapshot of the region’s ecosystem during this time.

The findings also question and rewrite many evolutionary hypotheses for the ancient Mediterranean interpretation.

Since this relatively small dinosaur skeleton was nicknamed “Antonio”, one of the first fossil discoveries in the region from prehistoric times, scientists thought it was a “dwarf” species and an example of so-called “island rule”. , where the lack of resources caused large animals to gradually shrink in an insular environment.

Based on this interpretation, geologists interpreted the fossil discovery site as part of an island in the middle of a “proto-Mediterranean” ocean called Tethys.

The skeleton of Bruno, an adult man from the dinosaur ‘Tethyshadros insularis’ described in this new study

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The skeleton of Bruno, an adult man from the dinosaur ‘Tethyshadros insularis’ described in this new study

However, scientists now report that “Antonio” may have been an immature individual of the species as a result of the discovery of new dinosaurs at the site.

This is due to the discovery of “Bruno”, who is large in size, and who represents a man who could grow even at the time of death.

New research shows that this part of Italy was on land adjacent to Western Europe and Asia and was facing a vast ocean.

“Earlier dating coincided with a time of less extensive fragmentation of the region, and higher connectivity with the wider, continental Asian domain is potentially indicative of higher biological exchange, if not with the Asian biogeographic province. ,” the scientists wrote. Study.

Scientists said the ancient Mediterranean consisted not only of islands, but also several migratory routes, such as land bridges, that dinosaurs used to travel across this part of Italy.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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