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Did dinos burrow to survive harsh climate?

ATLANTA, July 12 (UPI) -- Dinosaurs of different species in different hemispheres -- millions of years apart -- burrowed, perhaps to survive, an Emory University paleontologist says.

Anthony Martin, the paleontologist, and other researchers had discovered 95-million-year-old skeletal remains of dinosaurs in a fossilized burrow in southwestern Montana in 2006.

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The researchers said the find suggested burrowing may have allowed some dinosaurs to survive extreme environments, in contrast to some theories about how they became extinct.

Now, Martin has found evidence of more dinosaur burrows, on the other side of the world, in Victoria, Australia, findings to be published this month in Cretaceous Research say.

"This research helps us to better understand long-term geologic change and how organisms may have adapted as the Earth has undergone periods of global cooling and warming," said Martin, a senior lecturer in environmental studies at Emory and an honorary research associate at Monash University in Melbourne.

The Victoria fossils are about 110-million-years-old, dating to one of the last times Earth experienced global warming.

Earlier researchers had theorized small dinosaurs in the region survived harsh weather by sheltering beneath large tree roots or in hollows. Martin's find suggests they may have dug into the soft banks of rivers flowing out of the rift valley.

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