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First diplodocid sauropod discovered in South America.

Washington, May 15 ( ANI ): Researchers have discovered a new sauropod dinosaur species, Leinkupal laticauda, in Argentina which may be the first record of a diplodocid from South America and the youngest record of Diplodocidae in the world.

Diplodocids are part of a group of sauropod dinosaurs known for their large bodies, as well as extremely long necks and tails.

Pablo Gallina and colleagues from the Fundacion Azara (Universidad Maimonides), and Museo E. Bachmann, in Argentina have identified the new diplodocid sauropod from the early Cretaceous period in Patagonia, Argentina.

Though the bones are fragmentary, scientists found differences between this species and other diplodocid species from North American and Africa in the vertebrae where the tail connects to the body.

These differences suggest to the authors that it may warrant a new species name, Leinkupal laticauda.

Additionally, since Leinkupal laticauda apparently lived much later than its North American and African cousins, its existence suggests that the supposed extinction of the Diplodocidae around the end of the Jurassic or beginning of the Cretaceous period didn't occur globally, but that the clade survived in South America at least during part of the Early Cretaceous.

The results are published in the open access journal PLOS ONE. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:30SOU
Date:May 15, 2014
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