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Middle Jurassic diplodocoid in Asia alters diversified sauropod dinosaurs

Penelitian - The international team discovered the earliest remnants of diplodocoid ever found in east Asia. Chinese and British researchers report findings in Nature Communications where sauropods exist in Asia as a huge vegetarian dinosaur class, long neck and large body representing some of the largest animals ever to live on land.

Previous evidence shows millions of years ago that the continents are just one supercontinent named Pangea. Also dinosaurs live in Pangea, but scientists suspect the vast sea has cut out parts of what would then become east Asia. Evidence comes from the absence of diplodocids.

Penelitian Middle Jurassic diplodocoid in Asia alters diversified sauropod dinosaurs

Diplodocids are considered a super sauropod family representing some of the largest animals that ever lived on land and are classified as neosauropods because of the more recent evolutionary history compared to other sauropods. But their absence in eastern Asia shows there is something that prevents them from moving into the area.

Researchers working at the Lingwu site in China found some fossil bones. Testing shows originated from 174 million years ago and placed them in Middle Jurassic. The findings prove diplodocid has been present in East Asia or during the time before Pangea broke out. They must arrive at least 15 million years earlier than the previous theory. Middle Jurassic diplodocoid in Asia alters diversified sauropod dinosaurs

New dinosaurs have a length of 15 meters or smaller than others in the same period found elsewhere with a distinctive long neck and whip tail. The researchers suggest rethinking the history of sauropods, especially diplodocids, including the time of Pangea rupture in the evolution of sauropods and possibly other sauropods living in the same environment.

Journal : Xing Xu et al. A new Middle Jurassic diplodocoid suggests an earlier dispersal and diversification of sauropod dinosaurs, Nature Communications, 24 July 2018, DOI:10.1038/s41467-018-05128-1



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