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miércoles, abril 24, 2024
InicioConocimientoCienciacientíficos encuentran fósiles del 'dragón chino' del período Triásico

científicos encuentran fósiles del ‘dragón chino’ del período Triásico

Un fascinante hallazgo ha sido realizado por un equipo internacional de científicos al descubrir nuevos fósiles del Dinocephalosaurus orientalis, un reptil acuático conocido como el ‘dragón chino’ que vivió en la Tierra hace unos 240 millones de años durante el período Triásico.

Este reptil marino se caracterizaba por poseer un cuello extremadamente largo, con 32 vértebras cervicales separadas, similar al del Tanystropheus hydroides, otro reptil marino del Triásico Medio encontrado en Europa y China. Aunque compartían características craneales, como una dentición especializada para atrapar peces, el Dinocephalosaurus se distinguía por tener un mayor número de vértebras tanto en el cuello como en el torso, lo que le confería una apariencia serpentina o similar a la de los legendarios ‘dragones chinos’.

Adaptado al medio oceánico, este reptil marino contaba con extremidades con aletas y se alimentaba de peces, como lo evidencian los restos encontrados en su región estomacal. A pesar de las similitudes con los plesiosaurios de cuello largo que surgieron posteriormente, no están estrechamente relacionados evolutivamente.

En la provincia de Guizhou, al sur de China, se encontraron los fósiles, lo que llevó al Dr. Nick Fraser, conservador de Ciencias Naturales de los Museos Nacionales de Escocia, a declarar: “Este descubrimiento nos permite ver en su totalidad a este notable animal de cuello largo por primera vez. Es un ejemplo más del extraño y maravilloso mundo del Triásico que sigue desconcertando a los paleontólogos”.

Fraser añadió que este descubrimiento seguramente capturará la imaginación de muchas personas debido a la sorprendente apariencia de este reptil, que evoca la figura del mítico dragón chino.

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