Paleontologist with dinosaur vertebra in boulder

Paleontologist with dinosaur vertebra in boulder


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Field paleontology: a scientist trying to split a beach boulder, in which is contained a fossilized vertebra of a dinosaur (Osmosaurus sp.). This fossil dates from the Malm epoch of the Jurassic period, about 150 million years before present. Osmosaurus was a herbivore which, like the related Stegosaurus, had a row of plates protruding from its spine. The function of these is not clear. One theory states that the plates were simply for defence, whilst another postulates that the plates acted as 'cooling fins' like radiators. This photograph was taken at Porto Novo, Portugal.

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