Chile: Remains of dinosaur with duck's beak discovered

Scientists in Chile have for the first time discovered the remains of a species of dinosaur with a duck's beak – the «Gonkoken nanoi».

According to Alexander Vargas, study author and director of the University of Chile's palaeontological network, these are slender-looking dinosaurs that could stand on both two and four legs to reach vegetation at height and on the ground.

In addition, the dinosaur could apparently grow four meters long and weigh a tonne and lived 72 million years ago in the extreme south of what is now the Chilean region of Patagonia. Until now, the distribution of «hadrosaurs», dinosaur species with duck bills, during the Cretaceous period was only known in North America, Asia and Europe. The fact that they apparently also occurred in the southern hemisphere surprised the scientists. They now want to find out «how their ancestors got there,» says Vargas.

«Resembling a duck or a swan»

The remains of the «Gonkoken nanoi» had already been discovered in 2013, followed by years of research. It is the fifth dinosaur species discovered in Chile. The name «Gonkoken» means «resembling a duck or a swan» in the language of the former indigenous people of the region.

Written by: sda

Illustration: Francisco Hueichaleo

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