‘Jigsaw puzzle’ dinosaur Chilesaurus boasted weird mix of traits

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Scientists have unearthed fossils of a strange dinosaur in southern Chile that boasts a weird combination of traits. The Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, was relatively small, measuring about 10.5 feet (3.2

‘Jigsaw puzzle’ dinosaur Chilesaurus boasted weird mix of traits

Scientists have unearthed fossils of a strange dinosaur in southern Chile that boasts a weird combination of traits.

The Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, was relatively small, measuring about 10.5 feet (3.2 meters). Its skull and neck resembled those of primitive long-necked dinosaurs and had robust arms, but just two blunt fingers on each hand. It had wide, four-toed feet and a bird-like pelvis.

Palaeontologist Fernando Novas has called the creature an evolutionary “jigsaw puzzle,” described how the discovery came about.

SOUNDBITE: Palaeontologist Fernando Novas of the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum in Buenos Aires, saying (Spanish):

“Once we released the skeleton from the rock that had covered it for 150 million years, we were able to analyse every part of the skeleton. We were surprised to find, it was a totally new creature for science. That’s why we decided to baptize it, to honour Chile and its discoverer Diego Suarez. That’s why we call it Chilesaurus diegosuarezi. A strange dinosaur that ate plants and is the vegetarian cousin of the famous Tyrannosaurus rex.”

Diego Suarez recalls how he discovered the fossils.

SOUNDBITE: Diego Suarez, discoverer of the Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, saying (Spanish):

“I sat next to the creek, staring and suddenly I started hammering (the rocks) as hard as I could breaking the rock with each strike. I then suddenly hammered twice and two little things emerged, they were bones. They looked blueish, like the texture of animal bones, so I recognized, they were dinosaur bones. I showed them to my sister and then to my parents and they were amazed.”

Four nearly complete skeletons and dozens of bones from other individuals were found, making Chilesaurus one of the best understood Jurassic Southern Hemisphere dinosaurs.

The research appears in the journal Nature.

Tags : traits, Weird, Boasted, Chilesaurus, Dinosaur, Puzzle, Jigsaw

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