Unearthing Ancient Wonders: Remarkable 90 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Fossil Uncovered in Sao Paulo, Brazil


An incredible dinosaur fossil dating back 90 million years has been discovered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, revealing new evidence of at least three distinct species groups, including both carnivores and herbivores. This groundbreaking find was made by paleontologists in the small city of General Salgado, approximately 600 kilometers from the state capital. The discovery includes the remains of ten dinosaur skeletons from the late Cretaceous period, a time between 100 and 90 million years ago.

The research leading to this remarkable find was conducted by teams from the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, the Universidade Federal de São Carlos, and the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade Federal do São Paulo. These experts successfully identified various types of carnivorous and herbivorous individuals within the discovery. The team was led by Bruno Navarro, a paleontologist and doctoral student at the USP Museum of Zoology. He described the find as an “unprecedented discovery since other footprints of the same basin that have already been described are done so differently, for example, in the state of Paraná, and with a different age.”

Transporting the fossils proved to be a challenge as the rocks housing the dinosaur remains had to be broken into three pieces, each weighing close to a hundred kilograms, before they could be safely transported to the Paleontology Laboratory at MZUSP. The pegadas, or footprints, were accidentally discovered by Ariovaldo Giaretta, a zoology professor at the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, who was originally searching for snake skeletons in the Triangular Basin region.

Research suggests that the found dinosaur bones belonged to a sauropod, a large herbivorous dinosaur walking on four legs, a theropod, a group of bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs which includes birds, and possibly an ornithopod, a bipedal herbivorous dinosaur. Marcelo Adorna, a paleontologist and expert on trace fossils known as icnofossils, explained that fossilized teeth play a crucial role in distinguishing between different species due to the unique deformations they leave in the rock.

However, it is currently impossible to determine which specific species was responsible for each foot impression. Navarro explained, “We haven’t been able to associate a particular species with the footprints. Since most of us mainly study the fossils and not the footprints, we have managed to identify three distinct patterns of ties.”

The footprints were discovered in sedimentary layers located in the Bacia Bauru region, which spans the interior states of Paraná, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and a part of Mato Grosso do Sul. Previously, the same basin had yielded skeletons of crocodiles, turtles, birds, snakes, and dinosaurs. However, the discovery of well-preserved footprints is regarded as a groundbreaking first.

Currently, a comprehensive laboratory analysis is underway at MZUSP to reveal more information about the environmental characteristics surrounding the footprints. One hypothesis is that the footprints may have formed when the dinosaurs drank from a river. It is hoped that this analysis will shed light on the behaviors and habits of these ancient creatures and provide further insights into the ecosystems of the late Cretaceous period.

This discovery represents a significant contribution to the field of paleontology and highlights the diversity and complexity of dinosaur species in Brazil during the late Cretaceous period. It also underscores the importance of continuous research and exploration in uncovering new secrets about our planet’s ancient history.