Washington, March 19 (ANI): In a new research, scientists have proven that non-avian dinosaurs did not die off over a long period of time.
A detailed look at dinosaur bones, tracks and eggs located at 29 archaeological sites located in the Catalan Pyrenees reveals that there was a large diversity of dinosaur species living there just before the fatal K-T extinction event 65 million years ago, which many scientists believe was caused by several large meteors hitting Earth.
Dinosaurs thrived outside of this part of Spain as well before 65 million years ago, such as in North America, but this particular research focused on the Catalan region, a former dinosaur hotbed.
Sites at towns like Tremp and Aren are rich in dinosaur bones, while those in Vallcebre contain many dinosaur tracks.
Excavations at the town of Coll de Nargó have also unearthed many fossilized dinosaur eggs.
These date to the Maastrichtian, the last stage of the Cretaceous period.
The researchers could even see incredible dino diversification in the upper layers of the Maastrichtian, just before non-avian dinosaurs disappeared off the face of the planet.
The research also shows for the first time that the Sauropod titanosaurus (an herbivorous quadruped that grew to enormous sizes), as well as the nodosaurid dinosaurs (armoured herbivores), preferred swampy habitats, while other dinosaurs such as the dromaeosaurids (relatively small-sized carnivores, closely related to birds) lived in practically all types of environments.
For the Autonomous University of Barcelona's Violeta Riera, who worked on the project, studying dinosaurs in Catalonia is a privilege, given that "the dinosaurs found here are the last specimens that lived on Earth."
"The Pyrenees are the only place in Europe where quality research can be carried out on the period in which they became extinct," she affirmed.
No other European mountain range offers such rich sites since "at that time, Europe was a large archipelago with not much land for dinosaurs," she said. (ANI)