A new species of Late Cretaceous mammal, 72 to 74 million years old, has been discovered in Chilean Patagonia, the Chilean Antarctic Institute (Inach) announced on Wednesday. Scientists were able to extract a jawbone with five consecutive teeth.
This new species, named “Orretherium tzen”, was found at Cerro Guido, in the southern region of Magallanes, about 2,700 kilometers south of Santiago. The find was made at a site considered to be one of the largest reservoirs of dinosaur fossils in the region.
According to the researchers, this area was inhabited by prehistoric species from America and Antarctica that migrated millions of years ago through portions of land that were under the sea and that emerged after falling temperatures. . The specimen was related to other mammals found in Argentine Patagonia.
An area with great potential for scientists
The good state of conservation of the remains “is essential to know this new Mesozoic species and to extrapolate its information to other mammals found in Argentina and the rest of Gondwana (former southern continental block)”, said the Argentinian paleontologist Agustin Martinelli, who participated in the research.
The discovery area has great potential, scientists say. Because “the evolution of mammals in the era of dinosaurs is still very little known and each discovery of a new species is a breakthrough that attracts the attention of the whole world,” said paleontologist Alexander Vargas, one of the project coordinators.