Behind the results in this case are scientists from the University of Texas at Austin, who describe their achievements in the pages South American Journal of Geosciences. Significantly, the authors primarily considered fossils of theropods, dating from 66 to 75 million years ago.
For the most part, flightless dinosaurs were carnivores and were often at the top of the food chain. The analyzes performed indicate that there are two types of predators present in Patagonia simultaneously: Oninlagia And Megaraptor.
The dinosaurs studied in Patagonia date back to 66-75 million years ago
Representatives of the first were very diverse in size: some were similar in size to chickens, while others were more than 3 meters long. Their fossils, described in the mentioned publication, were found as far south as is recorded, and the animals themselves were probably covered with feathers. On the other hand, the second genus was one of the largest theropods found in South America in the late Cretaceous period.
Bird remains were also analyzed. These belong to two groups: ornithorae And Enantiornithes. The former include real birds, while representatives of the latter resemble, for example, sparrows, although their beaks were covered with teeth. For the first group, birds that lived in Patagonia millions of years ago could resemble geese or ducks, although additional analyzes are needed to confirm this.
One hypothesis is that the Southern Hemisphere – after our planet hit a space rock – was geared towards less extreme or less violent climate changes. Compared to the northern hemisphere of course. As a result, species from the north were able to migrate south, increasing their chances of survival. Perhaps in such conditions some animals survived and survive, in the course of evolution, to the present day.
We still need to know how life coped with this apocalyptic scenario and gave rise to our southern environments in South America, New Zealand and Australia. Here theropods still exist—no longer as impressive dinosaurs as Megaraptors—but as a diverse group of birds found in the forests, swamps, and wetlands of Patagonia, as well as Antarctica and Australia.
concludes Marcelo Lippi, director of the Antarctic Institute in Chile
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