The discovery of eleven new fossils of a herbivore that lived 80 million years ago: we've discovered where dinosaurs lived in Italy
Thanks to fossils and remains, we know a lot about dinosaurs. We know their diet, some species, their evolution. Other things remain doubtful, for example why they became extinct: volcanoes or asteroids? There are many theories that deny each other.
There are areas of the world where it was very common to find fossils of the most different species of dinosaurs, because it is now established that dinosaurs were social animals, living in packs. Until recently.
The discovery of scientists
In Italy, dinosaur finds have always been single: we have never had a specific site rich in remains or fossils, as happens in the United States or in the African continent.
Recently, an international team of paleontologists, led by Italian Federico Fanti of the University of Bologna, published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports a discovery that changes everything we know about Italian dinosaurs.
The team has in fact discovered between seven and eleven new fossils near Trieste, in the Villaggio del Pescatore. One of these fossils, by the way, is virtually intact. It is Tethyshadros insularis, a herbivore that lived 80 million years ago and reached 5 meters in length, with a beak similar to that of the duck.
The first individual had been identified 30 years ago, and had been nicknamed Antonio. Even then it was a complete fossil, but again a single one. And it was not the only intact fossil found in Italy: recently in Sannio there was Ciro, a specimen of Scipionyx samniticus.
The area where the remains were found
The first archaeological site related to dinosaurs in Italy is therefore located near Trieste. It is a former limestone quarry. Of the new remains found, seven are definitely fossils, while some doubt remains about the last four. The complete one, Antonio's brother, has an Italian name: his name is Bruno.
Scientists also compared Antonio and Bruno, and found that the former is not a typical island dwarf species as imagined, but a young specimen.