An Argentine-Swedish research team has discovered a bag 70 million years ago with fossilized bones and unique of an enigmatic dinosaur with bird shape in Patagonia.
“What makes the discovery unique are the two eggs preserved near the bones of the hind limb. It is the first time that eggs have been found near the bone remains of an Alvarezsauridae dinosaur”Says Dr. Martin Kundrát, an expert in dinosaurs from the group of Professor Per Erik Ahlberg, at Uppsala University.
- Dinosaur egg found in Patagonia
The first Argentine-Swedish expedition and collaboration, with Fernando Novas, F. Agnolin and J. Power from the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences and Martin Kundrát at the head, was trained in December 2010.
The dinosaur represents to the last survivor of this kind of Gondwana, the southern plate of the Mesozoic era. The creature belonged to one of the groups of dinosaurs more mysterious of the region, the Alvarezsauridae and is one of its members oldest of the family of 2'6 meters. It was discovered by Dr. Powell, but has been described and named Bonapartenykys in honor of Dr. José Bonaparte who discovered the first Alvarezsauridae in Patagonia in 1991.
“This shows that the Alvarezsaurids persisted in South America until the late Cretaceous times.”Says Martin Kundrát.
The two eggs found next to the bones during the expedition, they might have been within the uterine ducts of a female Bonapartenykus when the animal perished. In the numerous fragments of eggshells found, are shown the reabsorption of calcite inside the shell, suggesting that at least one of the eggs was incubated and contained embryos in a advanced stage of pregnancy.
- Representation of the dinosaur Alvarezsauridae
Martin Kundrát analyzed the eggshells and found that they do not belong to no known category of microstructure based on taxonomy. Then a new oviparous family, the rooted olithidae, was designated and named by the owner of the place where the specimen was, Alberto Arraigada. Kundrát has also made another discovery:
“During the inspection of the shell samples with the electron microscopic scanner, I observed an unusual fossilized object within the pneumatic conduit of the eggshell. It became the first evidence of fungal contamination in dinosaur eggs", He says.
About theropods alvarezsauridae.
They were little dinosaurs winged bipeds (0.5 - 2.5 meters) known in Asia, North and South America. They had a skull shaped bird, small teeth on the jaws, robust but with considerably short arms and even developed more phalanges, including a huge claw.
Source: Uppsala University
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