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Researchers look a dinosaur in its remarkably preserved face - Ars Technica

Researchers look a dinosaur in its remarkably preserved face - Ars Technica

Researchers look a dinosaur in its remarkably preserved face - Ars Technica
Jan 25, 2023 54 secs

Beyond its remarkable preservation, this dinosaur is an important key to understanding aspects of Early Cretaceous ecology, and it shows how this species may have lived within its environment.

Since its remains were discovered, scientists have studied its anatomy, its armor, and even what it ate in its last days, uncovering new and unexpected insight into an animal that went extinct approximately 100 million years ago.

Scientists suspect its carcass may have been carried from a river to the sea in a flooding event; it may have bobbed at the surface upside-down for a few days before sinking into the ocean depths.

Modeling done by Henderson indicates its heavy armor would have rolled it onto its back, a position he suspects may have prevented ocean predators from scavenging its carcass.

He also told Ars that this environment probably also discouraged scavenging, saying, “It was probably a region where [long-necked] plesiosaurs and big fish didn’t like to go.

Henderson and Darren Tanke, also from the Royal Tyrrell Museum, walked onto the site fully anticipating that they would excavate an ancient marine reptile.

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