Friday , January 22 2021

Amazing dinosaur cemetery raises eyebrows in palaeontology

For some we find the century, but for others, it's not added up. At least nothing anyway.

A remarkable site discovered in North Dakota, in the United States, is said to be home to a treasure of fossils showing the effect of a meteor 66 million years ago that produced a tsunami wave in an inland sea that killed and buried fish, mammals. insects and dinosaurs.

The devastating cemetery event created its fossilized that has kept ancient animals and debris from the space rock that gives a glimpse of what was happening in the records and the hours after argue that this is the most important mass extinction event in the history of the Earth.

At least that's the theory.

The palaeontologist of Robert DePalma, a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, has been working on the site with his team since 2013. Although he has to simplify, the above theory is how he has come to understand the site he has changed his life.

He has believed after finding a diverse bed of fossils and thektites (size gravel bodies formed from terrestrial debris that are thrown during meteorite effects) he has discovered a site that represents us; The KT (or K-Pg) boundary is all important – the terrestrial layer separated by the Cretaceous Period and the Palaeogene period.

“This is the first mass collection of large organisms that anyone has found associated with the K-T border,” said Mr DePalma. Berkeley News.

“You can't find a collection of such a variety of species that represent different ages of organisms and different life stages, each of which died simultaneously on the same day.

According to him, that includes a number of dinosaur remains. That is, dinosaurs disappear almost because of an ecological collapse of asteroid effect.

What is designed to be one of the greatest palaeontology stories of the century, inspired by t New York the article “The Day the Dinosaurs Bied” filled with many amazing claims. But he preceded a published research paper National Academy of Sciences transactions (PNAS) was not completely alive to the hype prepared by the magazine.

Such digs are often funded by museums, universities and even governments, but because of the big bugs that may be at stake in rare fossil collections, there is also a private industry that exists around mining.

In this case, Mr DePalma has reached an undisclosed commercial agreement with a runner who owns the land around the site and has kept his discovery very close to his chest for the last five years.

Y New York This is so much a profile on Mr DePalma, who is 37 years old, as he is on the excavation site, and he's drawing the site of “the Holy Grail” and more; The world of palaeontology. But very few people have seen the sacred chalk, as it were, to speak.

Purdue University geophysicist and impact expert, Dr Jay Melosh, who was not part of the research but edited the PNAS paper, called “the century” for the field.

But many others have raised questions about why such claims have been published in the media, but not in academia.

Dr Stephen Brusatte, a palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh and author The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, among those who have questions about the remarkable allegations made by the team who, to date, have quietly presided over the site.

“This is an amazing site, but I don't see any evidence for a dinosaur cemetery! There's something strange, ”he wrote on Twitter.

In an email to, he said he was “very excited about this discovery” but noted that there was no idea of ​​a dinosaur cemetery mentioned in the media, let alone a single dinosaur hip bone. real evidence so far.

“Y New York an article about a dinosaur cemetery with bones said many types of dinosaurs, along with feathers, eggs, and even embryos, ”he said. “I'm afraid there is no evidence, other than a single partial bone, for me or other dinosaur palaeontologists to assess at the moment.” T

Dr Brusatte, 35, is widely recognized as one of the leading palaeontologists of his generation. He has written over 100 peer reviewed scientific papers during his decade of research in the field and has also named and described more than 10 new species of dinosaurs.

It 's strange that many of Mr DePalma' s claims submitted in the media had not been mentioned in PNAS magazine article.

Y New York dinosaur feathers are reports of long feathers found on the site of which DePalma is “convinced of it”, the remains of mammal bones that have a long association with primates and signs of what he believed to be an ancient piercing mammal.

“Lots of things in the New York an article is completely absent from the paper, ”added Dr Brusatte. “The geology is very credible but there is not yet enough evidence to assess the dinosaur aspect of the story.” T

Brian Switek is a science writer specializing in palaeontology and author My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Favorite Dinosaurs t.

It also finds it strange that such a secret level of confidentiality has been maintained around the site, while only some details have been included in the peer-reviewed magazine.

“I think it's strange if so much introductory work was done, and they are certainly in the New York an article is part of the same bone bed, those fossils didn't even mention when passing, ”he told

Palaeontologists usually produced “fauna lists” of species present at an excavation site, he explained, and was surprised that one was not provided in the paper.

Mr DePalma and his team have noted concerns about trampling for not opening the website to many other researchers – something is probably happening in the field. But Mr Switek said that such a debate is not "waterproof" in professional palaeontology.

“Information and details of the area should be shared with other professionals who wish to research, assist, or research this website in line with the basic ethics of science,” he said.

The hype around the site, produced mainly by the New York he has left “many people scratching their heads, especially because of the lack of matching of claims in the story against the evidence in the paper,” he added.

Mr DePalma was unable to get comments on him, but is said to say that there are more research papers relating to the site on the way.

At least one thing is certain, as said a thesis consultant Mr DePalma at the University of Kansas, the website will keep experts busy for at least half a century.

And as Dr Brusatte said at “It would be amazing if everything was true.”

Source link