Paleontologists have found the first dinosaur footprints in North America to extinction

A single tooth of a dinosaur has helped paleontologists better understand what was the North America right before the flightless dinosaurs became extinct. Before a period of 66-68 million years ago horned dinosaurs migrated from western North America to the east. One of these animals died some time after the long journey, perhaps, a victim of the bloodthirsty Tyrannosaurus rex. Unfortunately, dinosaur body fell into the water and turned into a bay inflated floating carcass. Scavengers of all shapes and sizes feasted on the remains, leaving them only the inedible parts like teeth.

Paleontologists have found the first dinosaur footprints in North America to extinction

As time went on, flightless dinosaurs became extinct, and mammals up to the top of the terrestrial food chain. However, one horned dinosaur teeth remained intact for a long time, and not far from the place of death of the animal on the site of the modern Mississippi, so we found it.

George Phillips, curator of paleontology at the Department of Wildlife Mississippi, excavated formation Owl Creek in the northern part of the state when he noticed a tooth the size of a quarter of a meter. Of course, he did the same as any other in its place: Place the tooth picture to Facebook.

"Some of my colleagues, though not all, are using social media," explained Phillips. "I was pretty sure that one of them will connect to the conversation and share ideas about the owner of the tooth."

Of course, after 10 minutes, he was contacted by Andrew FARC, a paleontologist at the Paleontological Museum Raymond M. Alpha. FARC confirmed the suspicions of their mutual friend, Lynn Harrell of the University of Alabama: tooth belonged horned dinosaurs. Dinosaur looked like a triceratops, and perhaps it was. tooth description appeared in a paper in the Peer J and was the first direct evidence for the existence of horned dinosaur in eastern North America.

In addition, the location of the tooth and its origin suggests that the two halves of North America, who once shared a huge piece of the sea, were linked before the age of dinosaurs found its tragic end. Phillips explained that the tooth has a distinctive double root that is unique to the western North American horned dinosaurs known as ceratopsids.

Although paleontologists suspected that horned dinosaurs once lived on the site of modern Maryland and North Carolina, based on fossil fragments, those remains could belong to a primitive species that is likely to have lived in this area before it separated from western North America . FARC said that "highly unlikely" that the tooth belonged to the owner of a unique eastern evolutionary group.

Paleontologists have found the first dinosaur footprints in North America to extinction

Instead, scientists have assumed that the ancestors tritseratopsovogo dinosaur came from the western part of North America.

Western Interior Seaway, which once divided North America, was at the peak of 1, 2 km deep, 1,000 km wide and more than 3000 km. Such massive barrier is likely to let land animals - especially those that are poorly floated - swim through it.

Western Interior Sea is long gone, but exactly when it is gone - it's a mystery. Tooth dinosaur suggests that it should have to disappear before 66 million years ago, dinosaurs became extinct.

"Western Interior Seaway retreated from the continent or in the south or to the north due to the active growth of the mountains, which were more hills, when on earth dinosaurs roamed the past," Phillips says. Since our triceratops appeared in the Gulf of water - and not in the sea - after the death of a fossilized dinosaur tooth was found with the remains of aquatic life - ancient mollusks, crabs, fish and giant sea lizards. During the life of a dinosaur, these animals were in a large bay, which was about the size of today the Mobile Bay in Alabama.

Paleontologists have found the first dinosaur footprints in North America to extinction

the FARC and Phillips suspect that our horned dinosaur Tyrannosaurus or killed a large crocodile. The attack is likely to happen on the ground, before the tooth ceratopsids washed with water and covered with mud.

Horned dinosaur tooth, made such a noise, a reminder that once lived on earth many species of dinosaurs, including in North America. And they did it until 66 million years ago, when there were two incredible cataclysm.

Paleontologists have found the first dinosaur footprints in North America to extinction

was first impact of a meteorite or asteroid on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Blow burned everything within a certain radius around the epicenter. Then it spreads in the air suspension of dust and ash, which led to short-term, and then, perhaps, to long-term climate change.

The second disaster was presented lengthy and large-scale volcanic eruptions in India. Eruptions spewed toxic and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, exacerbating the situation of animals Affairs, who are lucky enough to survive the asteroid impact.

The two cataclysm wiped out 75% of all species inhabiting the Earth at the time, including Triceratops and other flightless dinosaurs.