Large, intact fossil dinosaur tail uncovered in Mexico

July 23, 2013 at 4:22 PM

GENERAL CEPEDA, Mexico, July 23 (UPI) -- Paleontologists say they have unearthed one of the world's largest intact dinosaur tail fossils in northern Mexico.

Researchers from Mexico's National Institute for Anthropology and History and the National Autonomous University of Mexico said more than two weeks of slowly removing sand and gravel at a dig in the Mexican state of Coahuila have uncovered a 16-foot tail with a record 50 connected vertebrae, CBS News reported Tuesday.

The exact species of the 72-million-year-old dinosaur fossil had not yet been determined although it is most likely a hadrosaur, a variety of duck-billed dinosaur, the researchers said.

"For the biological study of dinosaurs this finding is important because we will have a sequence that will reveal the characteristics of the vertebrae," paleontologist Angel Ramirez Velasco said.

The fossil was uncovered in a fossil-rich area of an arid desert that was much closer to the Gulf of Mexico coast during the Cretaceous Period, the researchers said.

Parts of the dinosaur's hips have also been uncovered and the rest of the fossilized body is likely buried deeper underground, they said.

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