The youngest dinosaur preserved in the fossil record before the catastrophic meteor impact 65 million years ago has been discovered in Montana.
Researchers from Yale University discovered the fossilized horn of a ceratopsian—likely a Triceratops, which are common to the area—in the Hell Creek formation in Montana last year. They found the fossil buried just five inches below the K-T boundary, the geological layer that marks the transition from the Cretaceous period to the Tertiary period at the time of the mass extinction that took place 65 million years ago.
While the team can’t determine the exact age of the dinosaur, graduate student Tyler Lyson says it likely lived tens of thousands to just a few thousand years before the impact. “This discovery provides some evidence that dinosaurs didn’t slowly die out before the meteor struck.”
Full story at Futurity.
(Photo credit: Mark Hallett/illustration, Tim Webster/photo)