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Duckbill Dino Odyssey Ended in Africa

by Scientific American
November 24th 2020
A duckbill dinosaur jawbone found in Morocco means that dinosaurs crossed a large body of water to reach Africa.  
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Nick Long rich but duck bills had never been found in Africa so long. Rich did a double take when he was visiting the Natural History Museum of Marrakech and Morocco and came across the 66 million year old jawbone of a previously undocumented Duck bill species. I instantly knew what it waas and I just couldn't figure out what it was doing there. Its presence in North Africa was problematic because during the late Cretaceous period the planet was warmer, which means sea levels were higher. Africa was isolated from all the other continents by water, and there didn't seem to be any way that they could get there unless perhaps duck bills swim hundreds of miles across open ocean from what is now Europe. It's not as far fetched as it might sound. In fact, paleontologists once thought duck billed dinosaurs were aquatic, but that theory eventually fell out of favor. Nonetheless, there's evidence that duck bills were well adapted for swimming. They had these really big, powerful hind

limbs, great big feet. They've got a long, deep tail they could have used for sculling, so they might have been pretty good. Swimmers, plus other animal species, have been known to cross oceans, albeit rarely. Elephants, monkeys and even hippos, for example, have all colonized new places after swimming or floating there. It's incredibly improbable, but over millions of years, these once a million year events will happen on average once every million years. To better understand the migrations of duck billed dinosaurs, long, rich and his colleagues reconstructed their evolutionary tree. The duck bill seemed originate North America. They migrate across the land, Bridge into Asia, jump over into Europe. And then, finally, this European lineage. One branch of that evolutionary tree jumps into Africa. Long riches team dubbed the new species AJ Nabiha Odysseus. Some duck bills were 50 ft long, but AJ Nabiha was perhaps the smallest of these Cretaceous vegetarians about the size of a pony. And while North American

duct bills were being hunted down by hungry T. Rex in Africa, AJ Nabiha likely had to contend with fearsome Abella sores, which were smaller but similar to T. Rex. The studies in the journal Cretaceous Research Insights into Ash Nabiha could help answer questions about the end of the age of the dinosaurs. This is just before the asteroid hit. So we're getting a snapshot of the dinosaurs and their final moments, that sort of twilight of the dinosaurs, along with things like T Rex and Triceratops. These were the last dinosaurs on earth. Thanks for listening for scientific Americans. 60 seconds. Science. I'm Suzanne barred

Duckbill Dino Odyssey Ended in Africa
Duckbill Dino Odyssey Ended in Africa
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