Dino of Peace
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In the 1940s, paleontologists discovered a peculiar dinosaur vertebra in Colombia’s Serranía del Perijá mountains.
Then for decades, researchers were unable to return to the site because of a long-lasting civil war that plagued the South American country only until recently, the Washington Post reported.
Following the 2016 peace deal between the government and rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), scientists returned, confirming that the vertebra belonged to a newly identified dinosaur species – a long-necked sauropod, which they dubbed Perijasaurus lapaz after the mountainous region and the Spanish word for “peace,” the researchers wrote.
“Without the security conditions provided in the area today, it would have been difficult to return to the field,” co-author Aldo Rincón Burbano said in a United Nations news release. “This is due to the peace agreement.”
The extinct creature lived in the region about 175 million years ago. Growing in length up to 39 feet, it resembled other, smaller sauropod species found elsewhere in the world, including India, Europe and southern South America.
The team explained that Perijasaurus’ presence in the area provides further evidence that long-necked dinosaurs dispersed geographically and became more diverse after a major Jurassic-era extinction event.
That event saw oxygen levels plummet in some oceans and alterations in the environment.