Scientists Discover Dinosaur Fossils Estimated to Be 70 Million Years Old in Antarctica
An illustration of a plesiosaurs on land by Henrich Harder. (Credit: Wikicommons)
A team of scientists discovered over a ton of remains, including those of plesiosaurs and mosasaurs, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports. The find was made on James Ross Island.
Scientists now hope that analysis of their massive haul of bones will help reveal more details about how the creatures went extinct.
The expedition took place on the James Ross Island, hundreds of miles south of Chile, and lasted from February to March.
‘We found a lot of really great fossils,’ said University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences researcher Dr Steve Salisbury.
‘The rocks that we were focusing on come from the end of the age of dinosaurs, so most of them are between 71 million and 67 million years old.
‘They were all shallow marine rocks, so the majority of things we found lived in the ocean.
They also discovered the fossils, including early ducks that lived at the end of the Cretaceous period.
The researchers ventured to the Antarctica Peninsula, as that is one of the few parts of Antarctica where rocks are exposed during summer. Those rocks are known to come from the age of dinosaurs.
They set up quadrats of 50 by 100 metres and slowly made their way through sections of earth looking at every rock.
Dr Salisbury said if their expedition inspired other people to also get into the hunt for fossils, they would be “very excited”.
The team camped for almost five weeks between February and March on the heavily glaciated Vega Island, and had to hike 10 kilometres each day through mountainous terrain to reach their main field site, Sandwich Bluff.