Recently, scientists have presented a well-preserved limb of a dinosaur. The preserved part is with skin. And there is a series of these sorts of remarkable finds which are emerging from the Tanis fossils site in North Dakota, the state of the United States.
The condition of the limb is very good. The claim is that the Tanis creatures were killed and entombed on the very same day a giant asteroid struck the earth. The day is almost 66 million years ago during that time the dinosaur ended and the age of mammals started.
A little number of dinosaurs remained in the rocks and soon ended within a few thousand years. BBC has been working on a show at the Tanis. They have been shooting for the show for over three years now. The show will air on 15th April. The show is narrated by David Attenborough.
David will review the discoveries; many of them will be their very first for the public eyes. Apart from the leg, there are also fish that breathed in impact fragments as it rained down from the sky.
They have fossils of a turtle that was skewered by a wooden stake. There are various small mammals along with the burrow that they used to make. The skin of a horned triceratops; and an embryo of a flying pterosaur inside of an egg in their collection. There is also a fragment that appears to be a fragment of the asteroid itself.
Robert DePalma, a graduate student from the University of Manchester, UK, who leads the Tanis excavations said, ‘We’ve got so many details with this site that tells us what happened moment by moment, it’s almost like watching it play out in the movies. You look at the rock column, you look at the fossils there, and it brings you back to that day.
The impacted sites that have been identified by them are the Gulf of Mexico, off the Yucatan Peninsula. These places are almost three thousand kilometers away from Tanis. The North Dakota fossil site is in a chaotic situation. The several remains of animals and plants have rolled together into a deposit dump because of the river water. Various water organisms have mixed up with various land creatures.
Professor Phil Manning, who is Mr. DePalma’s Ph.D. supervisor at Manchester explained, ‘When we noticed there were inclusions within these little glass spherules, we chemically analyzed them at the Diamond X-ray synchrotron near Oxford’.
Adding more to this, ‘We were able to pull apart the chemistry and identify the composition of that material. All the evidence, all of the chemical data, from that study suggests strongly that we’re looking at a piece of the impactor; of the asteroid that ended it for the dinosaurs.’
When BBC wanted to make a show about these findings an outside consultant, in this case, Professor Paul Barret, who is from London’s Natural History Museum, looked at the limb and said, ‘It’s a Thescelosaurus’, confirming the claims.