Paleontologists in Argentina have discovered a new species of Dinosaurs that lived some 140 million years ago.
The fossilized remains were discovered in Patagonia and suggested that Dinosaurs’ species had an astonishing backbone with extremely sharp and long spikes.
Named ‘Bajadasaurus pronuspinax’, the creature is thought to have lived 140 million years ago.
Researchers say that it exhibits the most extreme form of the backbone spikes.
The dinosaur was most likely a herbivore and roamed the Earth during the beginning of the Cretaceous period.
Experts argue that the dinosaur was covered by thick sheaths that gave the creature’s spikes a ‘horn-like functionality, that may have served both as an offensive and defensive feature, but as well as make male dinosaurs more sexually alluring.
Furthermore, the extension on the back of the dinosaur may have helped it regulate body temperature.
Scientist s further theorize that the massive spikes may have a fleshy hump between the spines that served to store reserves, just like in camels.
Speaking about the recently-discovered dinosaur, Pablo Gallina, a scientist from the National Scientific and Technical Research Council explained:
“These spines must have been covered by a keratin sheath similar to what happens in the horns of many mammals. We think that had they been just bare bone structures or covered only by skin, they could have been easily broken or fractured with a blow or when being attacked by other animals.”
Paleontologists argue that Bajadasaurus pronuspinax belonged to the family of wider sauropods group of dinosaurs which were characterized by long necks, small heads, and long tails.
A replica of the Bajadasaurus fossils is currently on display at the Cultural Science Centre in Buenos Aires.
Update November 2020; The Bajadasaurus pronuspinax were small, short-necked sauropods that walked the earth from the Early Jurassic until the Early Cretaceous period. These creatures sported bifurcated, extremely elongated neural spines that are thought to have extended from the neck vertebrae. Although their exact function remains debated, it is believed that these elongated spines–which resemble those of the closely related Amargasaurus–may have served as a kind of protective mechanism against predators.
The only specimen was discovered in 2010 by CONICET researchers at a site called Bajada Colorada, not far from the western banks of the Limay River in Patagonia.