Colombian Dinosaur Discovered
What started as a routine pipe installation in the town of Villa De Leyva, Colombia turned into an amazing discovery of a Colombian Dinosaur. In this municipality in Boyacá Department, known for its marine species fossils, scientists from the Universidad Nacional of Colombia identified a plesiosaur fossil approximately 125,000,000 years old.
Palaeontologist Maria Paramo said: "This animal lived approximately 130 million years ago. At that time, almost half of Colombia had a gradual marine flooding that lasted, in the west, until the end of the Cretaceous Period."
The plesiosaur measured eight metres (26ft). Similar fossils have been found in Australia, North America, northern Europe and Antarctica.
Colombian Dinosaur is a Plesiosaur
Plesiosaurs were predators that hunted fish. They could grow up to 15 metres in length and had flat broad bodies with a small tail. Their limbs evolved to have four long flippers powered by strong muscles.
They lived from around 204 million years ago and became very common during the Jurassic Period but were wiped out 66 million years ago during the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction.
Plesiosaurs were among the first dinosaur fossils discovered by palaeontologists. Since the early 19th century more than 100 specimens have been discovered. This discovery is the first Colombian Dinosaur.
To find out more about plesiosaurs see: Plesiosauria Wikipedia Page