Published On: Sun, Feb 10th, 2019

Argentina: Dinosaur Discovered With Huge Spines

Should the spikes fend off predators, regulate body temperature or invite to sex? Paleontologists are at odds.

Dinosaur With Huge Spines

A meter-long neck, huge spines, herbivores, Argentines: The paleontologist Pablo Gallina and his team found remains of a previously unknown dinosaur that lived in the region of Patagonia some 140 million years ago. His name: Bajadasaurus pronuspinax, in reference to the locality Bajada Colorada in the province of Neuquen. The dinosaur belongs to the family of Dicraeosauridae.

The function of the spines is controversial among paleontologists. With the discovery of the Bajadasaurus, the researchers hope to be able to answer open questions of this kind. “We believe Bajadasaurus’ long, sharp spikes on the neck and back should deter potential predators,” says Gallina. So far, there have been hypotheses that the spines regulate the body temperature of the dinosaurs or make them sexually attractive.

The skull found was the best preserved of a Dicraeosauridae. The researchers around Gallina believe that the animals spent a lot of time eating ground plants. Meanwhile, the eyes high up on the skull allowed them to watch the action around them.

Since 2010, the research team has been stationed in the region around Bajada Colorada. Argentina is considered an Eldorado of dinosaur researchers. Paleontologists make here again and again spectacular finds. The latest results are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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