Dinosaur fossils found in Chile said first of kind in South America

Nov. 25, 2013 at 6:51 PM
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SANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Duck-billed dinosaur fossils found in the far southern region of Patagonia mark the first time such fossils have shown up in South America, scientists say.

Known as hadrosaurs, the dinosaurs with duck-like beaks were large herbivores with more than 2,000 teeth for grinding food, but have usually been found in the Northern Hemisphere, Chilean scientists said.

"This type of findings, with high concentration of bones, is new in the country," Alexander Vargas, a paleontologist from the University of Chile, told China's Xinhua news agency.

The fossil remains of hadrosaurs, which could grow to 30 feet long, were discovered in the Chilean province of Magallanes at the southern tip of Patagonia hear the Chilean-Argentine border.

"This discovery constitutes a milestone in world paleontology that also opens the way to studying the evolution of flora and fauna between the extreme south of the Americas and the Antarctic," Marcelo Leppe, a paleobotanist from the Chilean Antarctic Institute, said.

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