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Early dinosaurs found in Argentina.

Early dinosaurs found in Argentina

Just what makes a dinosaur a dinosaur? Fifteen years ago, paleontologists thought they had a clear answer, but fossil finds since then have muddied the issue. One of the problems, says researcher Paul C. Sereno from the University of Chicago, is that scientists working in northwestern Argentina uncovered primitive dinosaur ancestors that had developed features thought to be unique to dinosaurs. Hoping to fill in the details about some of the earliest dinosaurs, Sereno traveled to Argentina earlier this year and excavated in the Ischigualasto formation near San Juan along with colleagues from Argentina and the University of Chicago.

Among other finds, the group discovered several important pieces of the primitive dinosaur Herrerasaurus. Previously, scientists had only some vertebrae, a pelvis and a hind limb from the animal. But this year's finds have filled in all the missing parts, Sereno says. "Within this information that we have found this year we will be able to know much more about the skeleton of these primitive dinosaurs. We will therefore be able to define what a dinosaur is more precisely."
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Author:Monastersky, Richard
Publication:Science News
Date:Oct 29, 1988
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