A group of miners have discovered the remains of an unknown dinosaur species

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When a group of miners found an opal (mineral) in a deserted area of ​​Australia, they never imagined that their discovery would be a fossil fragment of an unknown dinosaur that, according to experts in paleontology, could have inhabited the planet 100 million years ago.

The bony rest that they discovered was the lower jaw of a prehistoric animal, that still conserved the intact teeth and was found in a field of opals located in Wee Warra, near Lightning Ridge, in New South Wales, Australia.

From the size of the fossil, specialists had already begun to reconstruct the animal’s appearance and pointed out that it could belong to the group of so-called ornithopods, a species of thin and biped herbivores.

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A group of scientists from the University of New England, in Australia, named this new species Weewarrasaurus and determined it was a type of dinosaur that inhabited the desert area of ​​that country during the Cretaceous period, when the area still had an abundant vegetation .

The authors of this study have indicated that about 100 million years ago in the vicinity of Wee Warra there was a sea that was drying, which caused the level of acidity of the sand to increase, causing the small rocks to let silica escape, one of the components of the sand.

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This process led to various gaps and spaces, including those where the bone remains were found, which in the end caused the level of acidity to decrease over the years, while the silica sediments hardened to form opals. They produced natural molds that accurately preserved the shape of dinosaur fossils.

Thanks to this research, paleontologists will be able to understand and analyze the prehistoric fauna of the place that, according to the recent study, was rich in small species of ornithopods that inhabited the vast Cretaceous vegetation.

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Andrei Santov

Andrei, a sociologist by profession, born in Russia but currently located in UK, covers mostly European and Russia-related news for The Talking Democrat.