A Well Preserved, 15-Foot Long Dinosaur Tail Is Being Dug Up in Mexico | Smart News | Smithsonian

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A Well Preserved, 15-Foot Long Dinosaur Tail Is Being Dug Up in Mexico

The 72 million-year-old tail finding is quite rare, and a hip and other bones have also been found nearby

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Paleontologists in Mexico are excitedly working to uncover a huge dinosaur tail, unearthed in Coahuila, which borders Texas. AP broke the story earlier this week, writing:

The National Institute of Anthropology and History says the tail is about 15 feet (5 meters) long and resembles that of a hadrosaur or crested duckbill dinosaur.

says it’s not yet possible to confirm the species, but it would be the first full tail of that kind in Mexico.

The 72 million-year-old tail finding is quite rare, Reuters reports. A hip and other bones have also been found nearby.

Scientists have been working to clear the 50 vertebrae of sediment for the past three weeks or so. The remains were actually found last summer, however, when locals stumbled upon them and contacted Mexico’s National Institute for Anthropology and History, writes Reuters.

If the tail does turn out to belong to a duckbilled dinosaur, then it would have comprised about half of the animal’s body length, which totaled around 30 to 35 feet, LiveScience reports.

Hadrosaurs, apparently, have a reputation for leaving around well-preserved skeletons. One hadrosaurus discovered in 1858 became the most complete skeleton ever found up until that time, according to New Jersey State, and it became the first dinosaur skeleton on display ten years later. Today, it’s New Jersey’s state dinosaur, though Mexico may be equally inclined to a slice of the hadrosaur fame after this newest fossil is unearthed.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Hadrosaurus Was Real After All 
A Paleontologist’s Long-Lost Lunchbox 

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