Right at the so-called Ischigualasto Park, in the northern part of Argentina’s province of San Juan, the Argentine scientists made a shocking discovery. There, they found a 200-million-year-old animal cemetery, filled with the fossils, primarily skulls and dismembered parts, of about eight specimens, although there might be more.
“It is a mass of almost bone against bone, there are no sediments; it is as if they had made a well and filled it with bones,” reported Dr. Ricardo Martínez from the Institute and Museum of Natural Sciences of the University of San Juan (IMCN) for CTyS-UNLaM Agency. While the Argentine scientists found another bonebed in 2014, “this is something impressive – it’s as if, here, the carnivores had a well and were pulling the bones after the meal,” as said Ricardo Martínez.
This 200-million-year-old animal cemetery is the second one found near San Juan, the first being the so-called Balde de Leyes cemetery, unearthed by Argentine researchers in 2014. “What we find now is a true accumulation of bones, glued together, with skulls, jaws, of at least ten different animals disarticulated, piled bone on bone,” said Dr. Martínez referring to the new discovery in comparison with 2014 one.
A 200-million-year-old animal cemetery found in San Juan, in a shocking discovery made by Argentine scientists
The 200-million-year-old animal cemetery features a bonebed of about two meters, as scientists reported, but it might be much more profound, as the Argentine scientists only dug 50 centimeters in depth. “So far, we have managed to dig about 50 centimeters, and it continues down so that it could have a depth of a meter or two, we do not know, but, with what we have seen so far, it is already impressive,” said Ricardo Martínez.
Dr. Cecilia Apaldetti, a scientist at IMCN and CONICET, explained the importance of the discovery. She said that the 200-million-year-old animal cemetery has bones belonging to the fauna of Los Colorados during which an abundance of herbivorous dinosaurs, especially Sauropodomorphs were present.
“Our theory is that it could have been a time of great drought and there was a body of water, a small lake for example, in which the herbivores were piled up to drink and, as the water evaporated, they were weakening and they were dying in the place,” researchers said.
“Many of the predators also died on the spot, either because of the scarcity of water or because this site became a kind of trap for them. This is how we thought that this great accumulation of bones would have taken place that we do not yet know the depth and the extension that it has,” Martínez added.
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