Paleontologists have uncovered a remarkably well-preserved hadrosaur tail in the Mexican state of Coahuila, Reuters reports. The 16-foot tail is the first dinosaur tail fossil to be found in Mexico.
All 50 vertebrae of the tail were found intact after a team of professional paleontologists and students from Mexico’s National Institute for Anthropology and History and the National Autonomous University of Mexico spent 20 days in the desert, slowly lifting a rock which covered the dinosaurs’ remains. In addition to the tail, the team also discovered bones from the hadrosaur’s hip.
The tail is a huge find for dinosaur buffs. It is uncommon to come across any dinosaur tails, let alone a fully preserved specimen. The tail also offers a chance to learn more about duck-billed hadrosaurs, as well as the bone disorders, such as arthritis, that dinosaurs and humans have in common.
Coahuila and the surrounding areas of north central Mexico were actually coastal regions during the Cretaceous Period, when the hadrosaur lived, and thus offer fossils from a variety of both terrestrial and aquatic creatures of that era.