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Spectacular skeleton: new species of dinosaur discovered in Brazil and named after a feminist


Berthasaura leopoldinae, or »Bertha« for short, was named after a feminist and belongs to the T-Rex family. However, the dinosaur fossil has no teeth. Experts puzzle.

Enlarge image

Dinosaur Berthasaura leopoldinae (drawing): Permit, Bertha

Photo: Maurilio Oliveira / Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

The dinosaur was only one meter long and lived 70 to 80 million years ago: In Brazil, experts discovered a previously unknown species.

The fossilized skeleton of Berthasaura leopoldinae was found during excavations on a country road in the southern state of Paraná.

"Bertha" was still quite young at the time of death, weighed about eight to ten kilograms and came to a height of about one meter.

The little dinosaur belongs to the group of theropods, which raises a number of questions, writes a specialist team in the specialist magazine "Nature".

Theropods were carnivores or omnivores - with teeth.

However, the newly discovered species only had a horny beak.

So how exactly did "Bertha" eat?

“That doesn't necessarily mean the dinosaur didn't eat meat.

Many birds use their beaks for this, ”said the paleontologist involved in the research, Geovane Alves Souza.

"Most likely he was an omnivore who lived in an inhospitable environment." The find is also special because the skeleton is almost completely intact.

Named after a researcher and feminist

"We have skulls and jaws, the spine, chest and pelvic girdles, and front and rear limbs, which makes Bertha one of the most complete dinosaurs ever found in the world," said Alexander Kellner, director of the Brazilian National Museum. "Bertha" also differs from all other fossils found in Brazil so far. "We never thought we would find a theropod with no teeth."

The two-legged theropods, which include Thyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor, were mostly carnivores with sharp teeth and small prongs.

Some were among the largest dinosaurs living on land, but most were small and quick on their feet.

Its large skull is characteristic.

In addition, they probably had - keyword »Jurassic Park« - a strong sense of smell and hearing.

The newly discovered dinosaur was named after Bertha Lutz, a Brazilian researcher and suffragette, as well as after the 19th century Brazilian empress and supporter of the natural sciences, Maria Leopoldine.

"Generic names in honor of women are extremely rare: Berthasaura is the first theropod with a woman's name," says the museum.

fww / AFP

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-11-19

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