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Fri Feb 27 06:05:48 SAST 2015

Crested duckbill dinosaur tail uncovered in Mexico

Sapa-AFP | 25 July, 2013 17:19
L. lambei restored in a half-crouch, based on the skeleton in the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

Paleontologists in northern Mexico have excavated a five-meter long fossilised dinosaur tail from a creature than lived more than 72 million years ago.

The tail, made up of about 50 vertebrae, belonged to one of the crested duckbill dinosaurs, likely a lambeosaurus, a statement from the National Institute of Anthropology and History said Monday.

"This is the only articulated tail of this type so far discovered in Mexico," the institute added, cautioning they need to extract more bones before confirming the exact species.

The tail, first discovered in the Guadalupe Alimitos desert in 2005, was buried in sedimentary rock.

Paleontologists have been carefully removing the stone in horizontal layers to preserve the fossil and its position as they extract it.

Other long bones and hip bones have also been found, and scientists believe the rest of the skeleton – which they estimate will measure a total of about 12 meters long - is buried there.

The institute said such a complete skeleton is a rare find.

The tail will be transferred to a specially conditioned laboratory in a nearby town for cleaning and identifying each bone. The lab will be open to people from nearby villages who wish to observe the work.

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