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New dinosaur from Mexico offers insights into ancient life on West America
Date:2/12/2008

it known as the Cerro del Pueblo Formation, which dates to around 71.5 million to 72.5 million years ago. The skeleton was discovered in the early 1990s on the outskirts of a small town called Rincon Colorado, about 27 miles west of the city of Saltillo.

The skeleton was found by Martha Carolina Aguillon, and excavated over the course of several seasons by members of the Coordinacion de Paleontologia de la Secretaria de Educacion y Cultura de Coahuila under the direction of Jim Kirkland, of the Utah Geological Survey, and Rene Hernandez-Rivera, Instituto de Geologa, Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico. Much of the excavation work was completed by volunteers as a participant-funded research project organized by the Dinamation International Society and the staff of the Museo del Desierto.

On becoming Utahs state paleontologist, Kirkland encouraged Scott Sampson and his students to take over his role on the Coahuila Paleontological research project.

Then, in 2002, Sampson spearheaded the first of two paleontological expeditions to Coahuila, by securing funds from the University of Utah and National Geographic Society. The Utah Museum of Natural History crew, along with other researchers from Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., undertook the daunting task of completing the hadrosaur excavation, in addition to locating several other sites that contain new dinosaur species.

Armed with a jackhammer and shovels, the crew returned to the Rincon Colorado dig site, where they labored for two weeks through 12 feet of overburden, eventually uncovering the ancient skull. Upon its arrival at the Utah Museum of Natural History, the skull then required another two years of meticulous preparation by Jerry Golden, a skilled volunteer at the museum.

Based on the development of several bony features on the skull and skeleton, the scientists believe that this animal was still a youngster at the time of death. Nevertheless, although not yet fu
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Contact: Patti Carpenter
pcarpenter@umnh.utah.edu
801-910-6397
University of Utah
Source:Eurekalert  

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