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Scientists Find "Perfect" Dino Fossil

| 13 Oct 2011 19:15
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A new fossil found in Germany may be "the most complete dinosaur ever found."

The fossil, which depicts a 135-million-year-old predatory theropod, has 98 percent of its skeleton intact. As a result, the fossil has an astounding level of detail and clarity.

So far, the find lacks crucial details, such as the creature's species and cause of death, though Oliver Rauhut, curator of Munich's Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Geology will likely reveal this information prior to the fossil's appearance in the Munich Mineral Show later this month.

While this is certainly an impressive find for the archaeologists, and a boon for the science in general, it does raise two important questions:

One, given the tremendous pressures exerted during fossilization and the harsh toll taken by 135 million years underground, how did this skeleton remain so intact? Barring "Kryptonian bones" as an explanation, if we can figure out why this skeleton remained whole, should we not also be able to find other, similarly robust skeletons in areas stricken by the same geological conditions as the Teutonic hole where we found this lil' guy?

Two, what the eff is that bone below its jaw? As far as I know dinosaurs were incapable of growing beards, much less beards that required skeletal support.

Ideas?

Source: New Scientist

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