Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of a new hadrosaur dinosaur that roamed Chile 72 million years ago.
The herbivorous creatures, called Gonkoken nanoi, can weigh up to a ton and grow up to 4 meters (13 feet) long, according to research published in Science Advances.
The discovery follows nearly a decade of investigations.
In 2013, an expedition led by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) discovered yellowish bone fragments at the bottom of a hillside near Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.
“Initially, we thought it belonged to the same group as other South American hadrosaurs, but as we studied it, we realized that was unprecedented,” said Jhonathan Alarcon, lead author of the study.
Researchers had to carefully extract more than 100 bones, taking care not to damage others in the process, he said.
After that, paleontologists have to make sure the remains belong to the same species and check with existing research to confirm it’s a new species. Dinosaur.
Another study author, Alexander Vargas, said: “[The] The Gonkoken nanoi are not advanced duck-billed dinosaurs, but rather an older transitional duck-billed lineage – an evolutionary link to the advanced form. “
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Extensive research has allowed the scientists to digitally reconstruct the skeleton – and they are now planning to make 3D prints for public display.
Gonkoken is a combination of two words in the language of the indigenous Aonikenk people, who lived in Patagonia until the end of the 19th century.
“Gon” means similar or similar, and “koken” means mallard or swan.
‘Nanoi’ honors Mario ‘nano’ Ulloa, a former rancher who supported the team during the first discovery.