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Antarctic dinosaur fossil.

Antarctic dinosaur fossil

Scientists working with the Argentine Antarctic Institute report they are the first to discover a dinosaur fossil in Antarctica. Until now, paleontologists had found dinosaur remains on every continent except Antarctica, where conditions make it difficult to hunt for fossils. This find confirms the assumption that dinosaurs were distributed worldwide, says Nicholas Hotton at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. It also helps bolster the relatively small collection of fossils from the Southern Hemisphere.

According to an Argentine press release, the 70-million-year-old fossil fragments belonged to a small, armored herbivore of the order Ornithischia. The fossil shows that Antarctica was warmer when the animal lived than it is today, according to the Argentine scientists.

Bones, plates and a skull of the dinosaur were found on James Ross Island, which is near the tip of a peninsula that juts out toward South America. According to Hotton, the discovery may put some constraints on the location of Antarctica 70 million years ago: If the fossil is shown to be related to other dinosaurs that lived in South America at that time, it will support the idea that Antarctica and South America were once linked.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 22, 1986
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