The remains of a previously-unknown herbivorous dinosaur were discovered in Chile, according to a newly released academic publication that was published on June 16.
The peer-reviewed study, published in the journal Science Advances, chronicles the findings of a duck-billed dinosaur which measured up to four meters in length and weighed a ton.
The dinosaur, now dubbed Gonkoken nanoi, inhabited the earth 72 million years ago in the Chilean Patagonia.
The name Gonkoken was taken from the Tehuelche language, the first inhabitants of the region, and means "similar to a wild duck or a swan."
"These were slender-looking dinosaurs, which could easily adopt a bipedal and quadrupedal posture to reach the vegetation at height and at ground level," said Alexander Vargas, director of the paleontological network of the University of Chile and one of the authors.
What does the discovery say about the Chilean Patagonia?
The findings prove that the Chilean Patagonia had once been home to ancient species of hadrosaurs, a species of dinosaur known for being mostly bipedal with a duckbill-like jaw that exclusively ate vegetation. This type of dinosaur was commonly found in North America, Asia and Europe during the Cretaceous period, from 145 to 66 million years ago.
Having been found in the remote region, scientists will now be tasked with understanding how the dinosaur arrived in the Patagonia, whether by migration or by constant habitation.
This find is the fifth new dinosaur species to be discovered in the region.