Incredible 90 million-year-old dinosaur fossil discovered in Sao Paulo, Brazil
A recent and astonishing discovery made by paleontologists in Sao Paulo, Brazil has shed new light on the fascinating world of dinosaurs. The discovery took place in the small town of General Salgado, located approximately 600 kilometers from the state capital. Researchers from the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, the Universidade Federal de São Carlos, and the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade Federal do São Paulo were responsible for this groundbreaking find.
The discovery consists of at least ten remarkably well-preserved dinosaur skeletons that date back to the late Cretaceous period. This period, which occurred between 100 and 90 million years ago, was a time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. What is truly remarkable about this find is that it includes evidence of at least three distinct species groups, comprising both carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs.
Among the species groups identified by the researchers are the sauropods, large herbivorous dinosaurs that walked on four legs; the theropods, a group of carnivorous dinosaurs that walked on two legs and includes modern-day birds; and possibly the ornithopods, bipedal herbivorous dinosaurs. These intricate footprints, known as pegadas, provide invaluable insights into the behavior and characteristics of these extinct creatures.
The discovery of these fossilized footprints was not an easy task. The pegadas were found by zoology professor Ariovaldo Giaretta of the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, who had been searching for snake skeletons in the Triangular Basin region. It was by chance that he stumbled upon these intriguing footprints, which led to further investigations by the team of paleontologists.
Transporting the fossilized footprints proved to be a challenging and delicate process. The rocks containing the pegadas had to be carefully broken into three pieces before they could be transported to the Paleontology Laboratory at MZUSP. Each piece of rock weighed close to a hundred kilograms, highlighting the significance and size of this incredible find.
While the research team acknowledges the significance of the discovery, there are still some unanswered questions. One of the challenges lies in linking specific species to the footprints. Although fossilized teeth can be used to distinguish between different species, the researchers have not yet been able to definitively determine which species created each individual peg. This difficulty stems from the fact that the pegadas were found in the Bacia Bauru region, which encompasses multiple states and contains a mix of cretaceous rocks. Further analysis and research are required to unravel these mysteries.
The Bacia Bauru region is known for its rich paleontological heritage. Previous discoveries in the same basin have included skeletons of crocodiles, turtles, birds, snakes, and dinosaurs. However, the finding of well-preserved and intact pegadas is an unprecedented event. These footprints offer unique insights into the behavior and movements of these ancient creatures, which adds a new dimension to our understanding of the prehistoric world.
Currently, laboratory analysis is being conducted at MZUSP to extract as much information as possible from these fossilized footprints. Researchers hope that these analyses will reveal important environmental characteristics, such as the habitat in which these dinosaurs lived. It is speculated that some of the footprints may have been formed when the dinosaurs drank from rivers, offering tantalizing clues about their behavior and preferred locations.
The discovery of these 90 million-year-old dinosaur footprints in Sao Paulo, Brazil is truly groundbreaking. Not only does it add to our knowledge of the Cretaceous period, but it also provides new insights into the evolutionary history and behaviors of these ancient creatures. Further research and analysis will undoubtedly bring even more revelations, allowing us to further unlock the secrets of our planet’s remarkable past.