103-million-year-old dinosaur fossil found in Oregon

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A new dinosaur fossil has been found in the state of Oregon.

Excavators discovered a fossilized dinosaur vertebra and they believe it is roughly 103 million years old, according to The Times-Journal. 

The remarkable find reportedly took place on June 24 and came from a fossil dig that’s been sponsored by the University of Oregon.

Researchers found the vertebra on soil that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, an environmental agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

Prior to the dig, the University of Oregon’s Professor of Earth Sciences Greg Retallack and a team of paleontological researchers found a dinosaur toe bone in 2015. The find was a first of its kind for the Beaver State, Fox News reported when the story broke in 2018.

Both fossils are estimated to be around the same age and come from an ornithopod – a plant-eating dinosaur species that were bipedal and lived in North America, according to Britannica.

The original toe bone was found near Mitchell, a small city in eastern Oregon, while the newly excavated vertebra led by fossil dig foreman Greg Carr was reportedly found four miles northwest of Mitchell. At this time, it is not clear whether the two fossils come from the same dinosaur.

Representatives at the University of Oregon did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.

The latest ornithopod fossil is said to have been dug up by a family member of Carr’s, who stopped by to visit the site and was tasked with moving loose dirt, The Time-Journal reports.

ANCIENT CEREMONIAL CHARIOT EXCAVATED IN POMPEII: ‘EXTRAORDINARY FIND’ 

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    Illustration of what ornithopod may have looked like 103 million years ago. (University of Oregon)

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    University of Oregon scientists said they found a dinosaur fossil in 2015, which they believe to be a toe bone that belonged to a long extinct ornithopod. (University of Oregon)

While research is still underway for the long-extinct dinosaur, ornithopods are believed to have lived from the late Triassic to late Cretaceous periods. These two eras notably overlapped with carnivorous species such as Eoraptor and Tyrannosaurus, according to London’s Natural History Museum.

Moreover, a University of Oregon spokesperson told Fox 12 in 2018 that its first ornithopod fossil was an interesting find since the U.S. state was believed to be underwater for most of the dinosaur age.

Fox News’ Robert Gearty contributed to this report.

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