Archeologists Discover Trove of 71 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Fossils in Antarctica
Science| | By Lauren Boudreau
It’s almost hard to believe creatures from 71 million years ago are still in the ground waiting to be discovered, but alas, they are.
A team of 12 scientists from the University of Queensland battled the harsh antarctic climate for five weeks on the Antarctic Peninsula in order to make the discovery. What they discovered was a trove of marine and dinosaur fossils dating back between 71 and 67 million years old on James Ross Island.
Steve Salisbury, one of the researchers from the mission, said in a press release, “[We found] things like plesiosaurs and mosasaurs — a type of marine lizard made famous by the recent film Jurassic World.”
However, it wasn’t just the fossils they were studying, Salisbury also said they mapped the area to determine what kind of environment these creatures lived in.
“We recorded the thickness of all the different rocks and information on the sorts of environments that they represent and how it comes together to create a picture of the environment down there at the time these animals existed,” he said.
In a video shared by Smithsonian Magazine, he also mentions how they chose that spot because of all the exposed rocks that “come from the end of the age of dinosaurs,” which sort of makes you wonder why everyone isn’t there studying them all time, but I digress.
All the fossils could take years for them to study, but Salisbury says that it’s not what they find that’s important.
“What we found or didn’t find isn’t as important as the fact that we were actually there, trying to do it,” he said in the release.
“If that inspires other people to get into the hunt for fossils, then I’ll be very excited.”