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New Species of Dinosaur Said to Be Found

May 31, 2003|Reuters

Two Chilean scientists said they had discovered a new species of dinosaur, a long-necked plant eater that roamed the region 70 million years ago. Paleontologists David Rubilar, 28, and Alexander Vargas, 26, named their find Domeykosaurus chilensis after 19th century scientist Ignacio Domeyko. They said it is unlike any other specimen found so far.

They have assembled about 40% of the skeleton from fossils a geologist stumbled upon several years ago in northern Chile.

The single skeleton belongs to a little-known family of dinosaurs called Titanosaurus, which have long tails and a long but inflexible neck. Titanosaurus fossils have been found in South America, Madagascar and India.

The animal, which lived near the end of the dinosaur age in the Late Cretaceous period, measured about 25 feet long, and its hips reached a height of about 6 1/2 feet. What sets the Chilean dinosaur apart from other species is that its extremities are slightly more elongated and thin, the scientists said.

Vargas and Rubilar said Domeykosaurus probably fed on araucaria, an evergreen tree.

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