USA: dinosaurs found further west than ever

This video is called Tribute to Deinonychus (a dromaeosaur).

Associated Press reports:

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 1, 2006


Associated Press Writer

Nevada’s state fossil, the giant ocean-roaming fish-reptile known as the ichthyosaur, will have to share the scientific stage after researchers this week unveiled the first fossils of land-based dinosaurs ever found in Nevada.

The discovery expands the known range of the prehistoric beasts and offers a new understanding of life in the state some 100 million years ago.

Put on display for the first time Thursday were the femur of the raptor, dromaeosaur, the teeth of a sauropod, a tyrannosauroid and an iguanodont and unidentified dinosaur eggshell fragments.

The remnants, found at secret excavation sites in southern Nevada, pushed the known range of the ancient reptiles about 250 miles farther west, said Joshua Bonde, a graduate earth science student at Montana State University who is leading the dig.

“Most of these groups of dinosaurs are known from other places in the United States,” he said.

“What we’re able to do is push the ranges of these animals all the way up to Nevada now, where previously the farthest west they’ve been is east-central Utah.”

The find was presented in a tent on the site of a future state museum where they will be housed.

It marked a breakthrough in a state that had only turned up marine fossils until now, said Eugene Hattori, the state’s curator of anthropology.

The state was largely underwater or nonexistent when the ichthyosaur swam the seas more than 200 million years ago.

While the seas receded and the area became land about 145 million years ago, evidence of ancient land-based animals in Nevada previously did not exist.

“We were getting seashells, ammonites and crinoids and that sort of thing, and ichthyosaurs, the big fish, but we have not had the terrestrial fossils until Josh did his work,” Hattori said.

See also here.

USA: studying emus to learn about bipedal dinosaurs: here.

Sale of smuggled dinosaur eggs: here.

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