BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Scientists say fossils found in Argentina's Patagonia region provide the first evidence that a family of long-necked, whip-tailed dinosaurs survived beyond the Jurassic period, when they were thought to have gone extinct.
The find suggests Diplodocid Sauropods roamed South America during the early Cretaceous era. It also suggests they evolved from other dinosaurs before the Earth's continents split apart, which is earlier than previously thought.
Pablo Gallina and his team of Argentine paleontologists say the 19 vertebrae they recovered belong to a new species of Diplodocid they named "Leikupal laticauda."
That's a combination of native Mapuche words for "vanishing" and "family" and Latin for "wide" and "tail."
The team held a news conference in Buenos Aires Thursday after their conclusions were published in the PLOS ONE journal: http://tinyurl.com/lds49sr