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Scientists have unearthed a dinosaur ‘kindergarten’ where the creatures defied extinction and survived for millions of years more than anywhere else on earth.
Researchers found a cluster of small fossilised raptors in Siberia leading to theories the remains were washed down the Bolshoy Kemchug River to a dinosaur graveyard.
But the creatures were just 1.5 metres long including their tails – compared to the large predatory dinosaurs usually found in the area which are up to three metres tall.
It is thought that scientists have either unearthed a nursery where babies spent the first stage of their lives or that the raptors are actually a new species.
The researchers are now working on a theory that a ‘refugium’ existed close to the site where some Jurassic species survived for millions of years longer than elsewhere on the planet.
Palaeontologist Stepan Ivantsov of Tomsk State University told the Siberian Times : We have an assumption that in Early Cretaceous times in the southeast of Western Siberia there were some dominant species of large predatory dinosaurs like Allosaurus or large Dromaeosauridae, up to three metres tall.
I wanted to find the evidence of their existence, but this year we came across the remains of only small animals, up to one metre in height and 1.5 metres long with the tail.
“The reasons are not clear yet. Perhaps it was a kind of ‘kindergarten’ – an area where the babies appeared and spent the first stage of their life.
They also found a Stegosaurus spike and some teeth after previously uncovering carnivorous dinosaurs in the area – which is known as Bolshoy Kemchug-4.
Dr Ivantsov added: A feature of this family of herbivorous dinosaurs were the bony plates on its back and the two pairs of spikes on the tail.
At the site Bolshoy Kemchug-4 these animals were dominant, which is not typical for the Lower Cretaceous deposits of Western Siberia.
The dinosaur finds have been sent to the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg for further analysis.
News Source MirrorNews