The Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC) is investigating new specimens of the Venezuelan dinosaur Laquintasaura, which were found in the state of Tachira in the 1980s.
Since its discovery, “Venezuelan researchers have continued research work to recover more fossil materials of the animal,” explained Omar Somoza, a professional associated with the research and member of IVIC’s Organismal Biology Laboratory.
Somoza recently presented the results of his paleontological discoveries at the First Research Symposium on Archeology and Paleontology in Venezuela.
He added that thanks to the research, more than 30 individual elements, complete and fragmentary, were obtained, and I was able to “add new material that was not known as part of the Laquintosaurus skeleton.”
Among the elements added are the femur, tibia, metatarsal, vertebrae, ribs, teeth, and skull structure.
“The new anatomical details of these specimens provide additional information that allows us to better understand the evolutionary relationship between Laquintosaurus and other basal ornithischians and contribute to our overall view on the origin and evolution of this important group,” says the researcher.
Laquintasaura venezuelae was the first dinosaur identified in national territory, specifically in the sector adjacent to the city of La Grita, in the state of Táchira.
It is currently considered the oldest known ornithischian, as there are no unambiguous records of other ornithischians during the Triassic.
Ornithischia are known as flying-hipped dinosaurs (Ornithischia, Greek for “bird-hipped”).
The origin of this species gives remarkable importance to the Ornithischia group in the context of its origin and early evolution.
Press release from The Ministry of Science and Technology
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