Dinosaur discovery in France


Atsinganosaurus velauciensis

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant:

75-million-years-old dinosaur unearthed in France

Edited by: Elke De Pourcq – 25/08/12, 19:24

Paleontologists in the southern French village Velaux, near Aix-en-Provence, have excavated the skeleton of a dinosaur. The age of the fossil is estimated at 75 million years. The excavation was a collaboration between the University of Poitiers and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

The research in Velaux started in 2002 and proceeded without publicity to protect the site from being looted.

The excavated skeleton is attributed to the Atsinganosaurus velauciensis, a dinosaur species known since 2010. The genus name is derived from “atsinganos”, the Greek word for wanderer, a reference to the supposed migration of the species.

Skull missing

More than 70 percent of the skeleton was recovered, but not the skull. The researchers now want to make a reconstruction, as accurately as possible.

According to the initial findings the animal, a herbivore, was probably about a dozen meters long and petite. It lived about 75 million years ago during the Upper Cretaceous.

Before the fossil will go to the museum of Velaux, it will be analyzed in Poitiers and Brussels.

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