Saturday, May 29, 2010

Island-hopping dinosaur found out in Europe

Paleontologists have discovered  Fossils in Europe that comes from a Dinosaur Species previously thought to live only in North America and Asia. How did the dinosaur get there? Island hopping, of course! Between 100 million and 65 million years before, researchers think the species was able to migrate off the Asian continent by making its way across an archipelago that now constitutes Europe. This may force a rethinking of the biogeography researchers have build up to this point, but the big picture may still be incomplete.

Scientists have assumed for a extensive time that ceratopsians, or horned Dinosaurs, occupied only the North American and Asian sides of the supercontinent Laurasia, and not the Europe section in the middle. When the supercontinent split in the Late Cretaceous, paleontologists assumed the fauna had split too; generally they have not discovered much overlap between the inhabitants of Europe and its former supercontinent brethren.

However, a innovative fossil that researchers have dug up in Hungary suggests the situation may have been more complicated. The bones are that of a ceratopsian, point out that ceratopsians did, at one point, live in Europe. The fossil is mostly alike to the Asian varieties of ceratopsians, so researchers are surmising that it, or its family, originated there.

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