Newly-Discovered Dinosaur "Sidersaura marae" Rewrites Late Cretaceous History

  • 12 Jan 2024

In a groundbreaking discovery, scientists have unearthed the remains of a previously unknown dinosaur, Sidersaura marae, that roamed what is now Argentina during the Late Cretaceous epoch, approximately 96 to 93 million years ago.

Key Points

  • Argentinian Dinosaur Discovery: Scientists uncover fossilized remains of Sidersaura marae, a colossal dinosaur that inhabited present-day Argentina during the Late Cretaceous epoch, around 96 to 93 million years ago.
  • Gigantic Proportions and Unique Features: Sidersaura marae, reaching lengths of up to 20 meters and weighing around 15 tons, stood out with distinctive teeth, some equipped with tooth batteries similar to other dinosaur groups.
  • Rebbachisauridae Family Connection: Belonging to the Rebbachisauridae family, known across South America, Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia, these dinosaurs faced extinction around 90 million years ago.
  • Last of Its Kind: Sidersaura marae, among the final rebbachisaurids, surprises researchers by belonging to an ancient lineage, highlighting the complexity of the group's evolutionary history.
  • Paleontological Puzzle in Patagonia: Fossilized bones of Sidersaura marae were recovered from the Huincul Formation in Neuquén province, Patagonia, providing insights into the anatomy of this newly discovered sauropod dinosaur.
  • Distinctive Characteristics: The star-shaped hemal arches in its tail bones and robust skull bones set Sidersaura marae apart from its dinosaur relatives, challenging previous assumptions about the evolutionary history of Rebbachisauridae.
  • Complex Evolutionary History: The presence of this early species close to the group's extinction implies a more intricate evolutionary history for Rebbachisauridae than previously thought, challenging scientific understanding of these ancient creatures.