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After 121 years, identification of 'grave robber' fossil solves a paleontological enigma
Date:11/19/2012

a century of scientific thought on the effects of the Late Cretaceous extinction event in South America, and shows how scientific thought is constantly changing based on new evidence. For example, because the paleontological landscape is much better understood in North America and Eurasia, extinction models on those continents were assumed to apply to all continents. Rougier points out, We cant do that anymore. This story is more complex, a very distinct picture. Were just getting there with South America.

Carnegie Museum paleontologist Matt Lamanna, who has conducted expeditions to Patagonia since 1998, agrees that South America is a hotbed for new paleontological discoveries. A lot of what we think we know about the CretaceousTertiary extinction comes specifically from western North America, he confirms. As the fossil record in other regions of the world continues to grow, our understanding of that extinction will undoubtedly continue to change.

The research team is looking forward to filling in the 45-million-year gap between Necrolestes and its nearest known relatives, applying that knowledge to other related species that crossed the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction boundarya seemingly South American phenomenon.
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Contact: Leigh Kish
KishL@carnegiemnh.org
412-622-3361
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert  

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After 121 years, identification of 'grave robber' fossil solves a paleontological enigma
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