The large dinosaur herbivores developed armor and … – RPP

(Agency, N+1 / Ekaterina Rusakova) The dinosaur herbivore Borealopelta markmitchelli, weighing around 1.3 tons, in addition to a shell, with studs in the rear, had a coloration protective. The researchers found traces of melamine in the organic layer thin, that covered the plates in the rear. The research was published in the journal Current Biology.

In 2011, in the sands oil, the canadian province of Alberta, workers discovered the remains of a dinosaur. It is preserved only the front part of the animal, but in excellent condition. In addition to the skeleton, the scientists found skin, shields with spikes that covered the back of the animal, and part of the soft tissues. Is retained even an organic film thin, which was formed from a layer of keratin covering the shell.

The researchers studied the organic layer that covers the back of the dinosaur, using the technique of mass spectrometry. In the film, they discovered organic molecules with nitrogen, sulphur and oxygen, which are products of disintegration of different forms of melanin.

The scientists point out that the borealopelta was larger than most mammals modern, that have a coloration shield. As is known, the most large mammalian herbivores that live up to today -the elephant and the rhinoceros – have «camouflage», because predators seldom attempt to hunt them.

About 110 million years ago, the situation was different. In Alberta and the northern united States also found footprints and fossils of large predatory dinosaurs, including Acrocanthosaurus giant. This was one of the larger predators that ever existed on Earth. The scientists estimate that their height could reach up to 10 metres, and the weight to six tons. He lived in the same period that the borealopelta, a few 125-109 million years ago. The authors point out that, given the size of the predators of the Cretaceous period, it is understandable why even the large herbivores of the time they had to use different defense strategies.

In may of this year, paleontologists discovered in Montana, USA. UU., a close relative of the nodosaurus – Ankylosaurus. The giant herbivore of six meters looked like Zuul from the movie «Ghostbusters». For this reason the new type of dinosaur was named in his honor – Zuul crurivastator.

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