A new long-spined dinosaur from Patagonia

A newly discovered long-spined dinosaur from Patagonia enlighten on sauropod defense system.

Argentinian Paleontologists have discovered a dinosaur that lived some 140 million years ago, unlike anything ever seen before.

The newly discovered sauropod had forward-pointing spikes running along their backs.

Above, artist’s impression of Bajadasaurus pronuspinax.  Credit Jorge A. González

“A new dicraeosaurid sauropod, Bajadasaurus pronuspinax gen. et sp. nov., from Patagonia preserving the most complete skull of the group and has extremely elongate bifid cervical neural spines that point permanently forward, irrespective of the neck position.”

Dicraeosaurids are a group of sauropod dinosaurs, present in an extreme fashion in the South American form Amargasaurus cazaui.

A new long spined dinosaur from Patagonia 2

Lead author Pablo Gallina.  Credit Secretariat of Science

This distinctive morphology has been interpreted as a support structure for a thermoregulatory sail, a padded crest for display, a dorsal hump acting as fat reservoir, and even as inner cores for dorsal horns. Other inferred functions (if any) of this structure were related to sexual display and/or defense strategies.

The new research published this week in Scientific Reports

via phys.org