A study published by Brazilians in the international journal Papers in Palaeontology describes the first species of dromeosaurid, a carnivorous dinosaur that is said to be the closest relative of birds. Denominated Ypupiara lopai, this dinosaur was found in Peirópolis, in the Triângulo Mineiro, between the 40s and 60s.
Having as its most famous representative Velociraptor, which were found mainly in the United States and Asia, dromeosaurids lived during the Cretaceous period, something between 65 and 145 million years ago.
According to the National Museum, one of the four Brazilian scientific institutions responsible for the study, the material is important for the analysis of Brazil’s geological past, as well as for providing relevant data on the evolution of South American dromaeosaurids and their distribution pattern. .
“The work is based on two bones: a maxilla, with three implanted teeth, and a tooth that, unfortunately, was lost in the 2018 fire. These animals most likely fed on fish and small animals such as amphibians and lizards, which matches the scenario of the Triângulo Mineiro between approximately 72-66 million years, near the end of the Cretaceous, which marks the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs ”, informs the National Museum.
The research estimates the Ypupiara was 2.5 to 3 meters long (from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail), “which means to be a medium to large pattern for a raptor.”
As disclosed by the Museu Nacional, the distribution patterns over geological time for the unenlagíneos indicate that, initially, they were distributed in the region of what is now Argentina, which was separated from Brazil by an extensive desert, the Cauiá.
This happened about 100 million years ago. Later, with the increase in humidity, the group would have dispersed to Brazil, which partially explains its presence here between approximately 66 and 83 million years ago.
The study was coordinated by the researcher from the Museu Nacional Arthur Souza Brum, in partnership with researchers from the Museu da Amazônia; from the Federal University of ABC; and the Museum of Earth Sciences, which is linked to the Geological Survey of Brazil.
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