QUAY COUNTY, N.M (KAMR/KCIT) — New fossils was recently discovered in Quay County by a Mesalands Community College professor, along with his field class students, according to an announcement from officials with the college on Monday.
Mesalands Paleontology Professor Axel Hungerbuehler and his students reportedly found the new fossils within the Quay County caprock including a femur that was believed to be from a late Triassic ancestral crocodile. In addition, a femur from an “undetermined dinosaur” was also discovered, noted officials.
Officials detailed that the bones were reconstructed this week after digging the fossils out over the summer.
Other fossils have been discovered in the Llano Estacado region, within the area that surrounds parts of eastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas, including large Crocodylomorph fossils, according to officials. Scientists have yet to determine if the fossils discovered in the Llano Estacado are an entirely new subspecies.
Officials further explained that programs, including the Mesalands Paleontology Department, continue to work to find an answer about certain species of ancestral crocodiles as evidence shows different patterns of existence. For instance, Rauisuchians and Popsaurids were thought to have been extinct, however, there is evidence that larger forms of ancestral crocodiles could have existed during this time period.
In addition, Mesalands students of the field class discovered a hip bone, three armor plates, and another femur bone while skull bones and two vertebrae, along with a limb bone, were found in North Carolina, according to officials.
Dr. Hungerbuehler noted in the release that even with these discoveries, it would take more than a century to put together a reasonable view of the specimen.
Officials said that a similar-sized relative, the Rauisuchian Postosuchus, can be seen at the Mesalands Dinosaur and Natural History Museum.
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