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News article on Antarctic landbridge



02:42 PM ET 02/04/98

Dinosaur find said to show Antarctica land bridge


            BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine and U.S. scientists have
found remains of a duck-billed dinosaur in Antarctica that could
confirm theories of an ancient land bridge to the Americas used
by migrating species, Argentine authorities said Wednesday.
            The team of scientists unearthed fossil remains of a
duck-billed dinosaur on Antarctica's Vega Island, as well as
part of the foot of a prehistoric bird, the director of
Argentina's National Antarctic Institute Brig. Gen. Jorge Edgard
Leal said in a statement.
            The duck-billed dinosaur remains, found in a layer of sand
believed to be almost 70 million years old, were the first
discovered outside the Americas, Leal said.
            ``This implies the existence of a connection by land between

South America and Antarctica in those times. This bridge was not
just used by the dinosaurs but also by marsupials, which
emigrated from the Americas to Australia via Antarctica,'' Leal
said.
            The team believes the 1.6 inch bird foot fragment may be the

oldest remnant of a bird ever found in Antarctica. It was found
in sediments 75 million years old.
            Among scientists on the dig are representatives from the
National Antarctic Institute and the La Plata Museum in
Argentina, as well as from the Smithsonian Institute and the
South Dakota School of Mines.
         ^REUTERS@