New type of dinosaur unearthed in Antarctic
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) -- Fossils from a newly discovered
land-roving dinosaur adapted to a temperate climate have been unearthed
on an Antarctic island near the tip of South America in what experts are
calling a rare find.
The shin and splint bones and part of the thigh bone of a 12-foot
(four-meter) long biped herbivore were discovered in February on the
rocky beach of James Ross Island, 30 miles (50 km) south of Argentina's
Marambio Base at the tip of the Antarctic peninsula.
Uncertain of what they had found, two geologists from the Antarctic
Institute of Argentina showed the 74-million-year-old fossilized bones to
Fernando Novas, a paleontologist with the Argentine Museum of Natural
"This was a type of dinosaur as yet unknown. Now five species of
dinosaurs have been discovered in Antarctica," Novas told Reuters
The plant-eating member of the Iguanodon genus, a type of dinosaur first
discovered in Britain, had four limbs, a long tail, a short neck, stood upright
and lived in what was a temperate climate, he said.
The discovery shows dinosaurs may have been able to adapt to different
types of climates, such as the Antarctic climate of the time where average
water temperature ranged from 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 12
Celsius), Novas added.
Prior to this discovery, four different types of dinosaurs, the aquatic
mosasaur and land-roving hypsilophodon, ankylosaurus and hadrosaurus,
had been found in Antarctica.
Another expedition led by Jim Martin of the Museum of Geology in South
Dakota, found the remains of the duck-billed hadrosaur on the remote
Vega and Seymour Islands, also near the tip of South America in early
"Dinosaur fossils from this part of Antarctica will always be relatively
because the rocks were deposited in a shallow marine setting. Therefore,
the dinosaur remains are those that were washed out from shore,"
hadrosaur expedition leader Jim Martin, of the South Dakota museum, told
He said last year's hadrosaur find was the "first concrete proof" that
Argentina and Antarctica were connected during the age of dinosaurs.
"Certainly Antarctica was populated with dinosaurs but most of the
continent is covered in ice which makes it difficult to excavate," he said