As might be suspected, paleontologists are excited about the future paleontological potential of this area.
I am amazed at how prolific this region is, Gates said of the amount of material waiting to be collected. Given the large number of fossils, the high quality preservation, and the great research team that is working this area, more spectacular discoveries are just around the corner.
Dinosaurs from this particular period are important because this is a time that is relatively poorly understood, said Don Brinkman, a project researcher from Canadas Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, who along with Aguillon, is studying the non-dinosaur vertebrates found at the site, including turtles, fish, and lizards. The locality in Mexico goes a long way to filling in a gap in our knowledge of the record of changes in dinosaur assemblages throughout the Late Cretaceous era.
Few dinosaurs from this time period are known in North America outside the Drumheller region of Alberta, which is where the Royal Tyrrell Museum is located. Brinkman explained that researchers now have two points of comparison to examine not only different dinosaurs, but also different ecologies.
Research teams want to find examples of plant life and smaller animals that co-existed with these dinosaurs. This information can be compared with collections made in other parts of North America to understand north-south variations in species and entire ecosystems.
Sampson added, Now that weve cracked open this amazing window into the world of dinosaurs, we look forward to future expeditions that will undoubtedly reveal more of Mexicos ancient past.
In addition to advancing the field of paleontology, the researchers hope that this project in Coahuila may encourage
|Contact: Patti Carpenter|
University of Utah