In the next sequel to Jurassic Park, there are two more dinosaur species directors will have to squeeze into the reel!
The scene is Antarctica, millions of years ago, when it was much warmer and buzzing with life. Big life. Dinosaur life. Recently, fossils of two new species of dinosaurs who lived on that land were discovered in separate sites, thousands of miles apart, all in the space of a week.
The first was a carnivore that walked on two feet like a bird. Standing at about six feet, this smaller cousin of the Tyrannosaur went about his business just seventy million years ago.
The second was a sauropod. A four-legged plant eater that lived one hundred eighty million years ago, back when the mountain-top it was found on was just a muddy riverbed.
So what do these discoveries mean? Judd Case, one of the discoverers and Dean of Science at St. Mary's College in California, explains.
Case: "We're interested in the distribution of dinosaurs worldwide. We know much less about what's happened south of the equator and those continents that were once a land mass called Gondwana. Antarctica was sort of that key in that it was connected to all of these southern continents, so that if we're talking about migration of dinosaurs or dispersal of dinosaurs from one continent to the next, they really would have had to go through Antarctica."
What a cool discovery. I'm Eric Phillips.
"Imagine That!" covers projects funded by the U.S. government's National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research -- brought to you by you! Learn more at nsf.gov.