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Students discover possible dinosaur fossil


January 13, 2009 - 9:21 PM
By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico
A Mesalands Community College paleontology class has found a fossil that
could be of a new form of Triassic reptile at an eastern New Mexico dig

"I think that we have found a new form of aetosaurs," said Axel
Hungerbuehler, professor of Paleontology at Mesalands Community College.

The aetosaur, or eagle lizard, fossils were among numerous fossils excavated
at a site in the Redonda formation in Quay County.

Aetosaurs, a heavily armored plant-eater that lived in the Triassic period
an estimated 200 Million years ago, are identified by the armor plating on
their back and sides. Each of the plates has a distinct pattern and shape,
Hungerbuehler said.

"The analysis of the armor plates found at the dig site indicates that we
have found a new form of aetosaur," Hungerbuehler said.

In addition to the plates, they have identified bones of the internal
skeleton of an aetosaur, including parts of the hip and several leg bones.
So far, however, no complete articulated skeletons have been excavated from
the site, Hungerbuehler said.

Several more dinosaur-like elements ...

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