Scientists in Chile's Atacama Desert, the driest in the world, have discovered the remains of a previously unknown type of dinosaur that lived millions of years ago amid greenery on what is now a barren surface covered with rocks and sand.
A team led by Chilean geologist Carlos Arevalo found the remains of the dinosaur Aracar Lisanante, meaning "atacama bones" in the Konza language, 75 km south of the desert city of Copiapo. The so-called Titanosaur had a small head, long neck and tail, as well as an unusually flat back compared to his ilk.
Recent fossil studies indicate that Arakar lived among flowering plants, ferns and palm trees during the Cretaceous period 66 to 80 million years ago. Conversely, parts of the Atacama Desert today have not seen rain in a hundred years. Thus, there is no mention of plant or animal life in it.
The discovery of titanosaurs on the western side of the Andes Mountains in South America is rare, although many species have been found in Argentina and Brazil to the east.
The remains of the dinosaur will be displayed in the Chilean Museum of Natural History, although it is currently closed as part of the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the Corona virus.