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Researchers Discover Major Jurassic Fossil Site In Argentina (phys.org) 63

Paleontologists in Argentina have announced the discovery of a major Jurassic-era fossil site four years after it was first discovered. The site, which spans 23,000 square miles (60,000 square kilometers) in Patagonia, southern Argentina, came to light this week with the publication of a report in the journal Ameghiniana. "No other place in the world contains the same amount and diversity of Jurassic fossils," said geologist Juan Garcia Massini of the Regional Center for Scientific Research and Technology Transfer (CRILAR). The fossils are so well preserved, that researchers say each rock extracted from the site could possibly open the door to a new discovery.
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Researchers Discover Major Jurassic Fossil Site In Argentina

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    60,000 square kilometers is a huge amount of land to protect from vandalism and ignorant sight see-ers. I just hope they can hide the site in google earth to keep it protected for all of humanity.

    • by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @06:00AM (#51607259)

      Seems like the appropriate name for it.

      • Seems like the appropriate name for it.

        Even more exciting, I hear they were able to extract DNA form some of the bones they found there.

        Combined it with DNA from a pig, and implanted the resulting embryo.

        When the resulting pig/dinosaur was born, they knew they had Jurassic Pork.

        • by haruchai ( 17472 )

          While a slab of Brachio-bacon sounds tempting, I'm pretty sure that DNA manipulation isn't kosher.

          • While a slab of Brachio-bacon sounds tempting, I'm pretty sure that DNA manipulation isn't kosher.

            I'll bet the rebbes have discussed the kosherness of dna altered food.

    • Hopefully the site is big enough and remote enough that poaching will be minimal. It will be fascinating to see what they turn up.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I think we're ok with the poaching since these animals have been dead for a little while.
      • The joke within caving circles is applicable : "the site imposes it's own access restrictions."

        Patagonia is not a hotspot of tourist activity. By the time you get there, you'll be well aware that you've spent a good number of days getting there, and you'd better kill all witnesses if you think you're going to get away with vandalism.

    • The choices aren't: 'leave it alone' or 'real scientists can find it'.

      The choices are 'find it' or 'let it erode away'. Keeping amateurs out is senseless. Even if 99% are just taking home, the 1% are finds that would have been wasted otherwise.

      • The choices aren't: 'leave it alone' or 'real scientists can find it'. The choices are 'find it' or 'let it erode away'.

        Having just been reading the paper abstract [ameghiniana.org.ar] (it's in pre-print at the moment, and I don't have the paper. Hmmm, "Alan Channing", there's a name that rings a bell.), where do you get that information from?

        Since specifically, the abstract refers to examining microscopic and mesoscopic (hand specimen size or smaller) fossils in chert deposits, it is not going to be particularly susceptible

        • 60,000 square kilometers divided by how many 'qualified' researchers?

          At _any_ erosion rate the % of surface that can be examined by the qualified will by tiny.

          • Sir, you need to spend a few days doing "field walking". You may be surprised about how efficiently one can recognise "hand specimen" size fragments, but that is why geology students are required to examine thousands of specimens. "Earth Science" students, on the other hand, barely get into the hundreds.

            But hey, that's just my professional skill set. If you've got 30 years of fieldwork experience, please feel free to tell me better.

            (NB : this does not apply to microfossils. For that, there are established

            • I don't doubt you're much better at it than some amateur rockhound.

              60,000 square kilometers is too much to walk (How many football fields is that? Who let such fucked up units on /.?), much less search. Unless you have a large population of searchers.

              Lets say, for arguments sake, that you can scan 5 meters on ether side of you, that makes it a 100km walk per km^2. Assume you can do it a full speed hike, 30km/day. Using those values gets you to 20,000 man days per traverse.

              • Yes. It's not possible to comprehensively sample any site of any significant extent. In the 1980s IIRC some Canadian palaeontologists with a lot of student and volunteer searchers did a really detailed search of some transects below and up to the K-Pg boundary. They did a few hundreds of square metres (I think that's several football fields. Round or rugby ball I'm not sure. Not the football fields with the plastic men on rotating sticks.), but they achieved the desired result of assessing the abundance of
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They finally found the RNC headquarters?

  • Researchers Discover Major Jurassic Fossil Site In Argentina

    John McAfee? [wikipedia.org]

  • Is unavailable because it hasn't been published yet. The abstract is available online at http://www.ameghiniana.org.ar/... [ameghiniana.org.ar]

    Though the summary and article don't seem to grasp it, the fossil discoveries under discussion are actually "exceptionally well-preserved, in-situ and transported, tri-dimensionally silicified plants, animals and microorganisms," and "also contains vegetative and reproductive structures of fungi, oomycetes, cyanobacteria, algae, testate amoebas, ciliates and numerous remains of unresolv

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos