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Palaeontology

Well preserved dinosaur leg may be from the actual day of the asteroid strike

April 15, 2022 | Comment icon 9 comments



The fossil leg is remarkably well preserved. Image Credit: BBC
Palaeontologists believe that they may have found one of the victims of the extinction event that ended the dinosaurs.
The fossilized leg, which was found at an excavation site in North Dakota, is so well preserved that it still has skin attached to it.

Dating back to the very end of the Cretaceous, it has been speculated that this particular animal might have been killed by the very asteroid strike that ended the reign of the dinosaurs.

It belonged to a species of herbivorous dinosaur known as Thescelosaurus.

"It's from a group that we didn't have any previous record of what its skin looked like, and it shows very conclusively that these animals were very scaly like lizards," said researcher Paul Barrett from London's Natural History Museum.

"They weren't feathered like their meat-eating contemporaries."
There does still remain some question over the exact circumstances under which this particular specimen died. Some experts have played down the suggestion that it died at the time of the extinction and instead maintain that it could have died days, months, or even years earlier.

As things stand, research is still ongoing, but whatever the story behind the fossil, it still remains one of the best preserved specimens palaeontologists have ever seen.

"It's a cool fossil, if it's what it looks like," said Kirk Johnson, the Sant Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

"I don't think we've ever seen a mummy of a Thescelosaurus before."



Source: Live Science | Comments (9)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Carnoferox 1 month ago
https://scicolloq.gsfc.nasa.gov/DePalma_2022.html
Comment icon #2 Posted by Autochthon1990 1 month ago
"Alright, so we were going to do an open showing so the public could have a look at this, but when crowds showed up with barbecue sauce, napkins, and bibs with the Jurassic park logo on it, we decided it was time to send it off to the Smithsonian"
Comment icon #3 Posted by Still Waters 1 month ago
From the OP's link: The BBC has spent three years filming at Tanis fora show to be broadcast on 15 April, narrated by Sir David Attenborough. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0016djt Great! I'll look out for that.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Jon the frog 1 month ago
Oldest BBQ ever !
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 1 month ago
Something I find very amazing is that apparently if the dinosaurs did not "disappear" humans would not even exist because they would have eaten all the progenitors of the human race. They (the carnivore variety) apparently we're the apex predators of their time with a voracious appetite. God bless the asteroid.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Susanc241 1 month ago
Watched the above mentioned documentary last night. Very interesting and with CGI brought it all to life.
Comment icon #7 Posted by fred_mc 1 month ago
Fascinating find, although I'm sceptical to the claim that it would be from the day of the asteroid impact.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Still Waters 1 month ago
I watched it too and really enjoyed it. Lots of interesting information, quite fascinating really. I recommend it to anyone who's able to watch it.
Comment icon #9 Posted by NCC1701 1 month ago
Day of impact plus or minus 10^6 years.


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