Diplodocus relative drowned in swamp found in Germany

(ORDO NEWS) — In the late Triassic period, many bipedal herbivorous dinosaurs roamed Europe, similar to the later diplodocus and brachiosaurs, but not closely related to them.

The direct ancestors of the late Mesozoic multi-ton colossus seem to have lived in places like Southwest Germany and moved on all fours.

In the southwest of Germany, numerous fossils of late Triassic dinosaurs have been found that lived from 211 to 203 million years ago, back in the 19th century.

However, due to poor preservation, the bones were almost never studied and “by default” they were attributed to plateosaurids , a large family of herbivorous lizards that roamed throughout Eurasia and South America.

Despite the outward resemblance to late sauropods (long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs, of which the most famous are diplodocus and brachiosaurus ), plateosaurids are not close relatives of these giants.

Relatives, and perhaps even ancestors, of sauropods were yet to be found, and not only in the ground, but also in museums, whose exhibits had to be carefully reviewed.

This is exactly what happened when paleontologists decided to re-examine the back half of the body of a fossil “plateosaurid” found back in 1922: it turned out that the shape of the bones of this dinosaur was very different from that of a typical plateosaurus.

In particular, he had fused sacral vertebrae, massive and wide hips and strong ankles, so that during his lifetime, the Tuebingosaurus maierfritzorum ; the lizard was named after the German city of Tübingem and two zoologists – Wolfgang Mayer and Uwe Fritz), probably moved on four paws.

Judging by the composition of the rocks surrounding the skeleton and the degree of its preservation, the lizard found its death in a swamp: it fell on its right side and could not get out, after which its left half remained under the sun and wind for several years.

Diplodocus relative drowned in swamp found in Germany 2
Found bones and the silhouette of an animal in comparison with modern man

Thus, the European dinosaurs of the late Triassic were much more diverse than previously thought, and both bipedal and quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaurs walked through ancient Europe.

Some of them died out during the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction , while the rest gave rise to sauropods – one of the most numerous and well-known groups of dinosaurs.


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