Apr 11, 2017 03:57 AM EDT
A bone bed located at the mountains of Montana have given rise to the theorized timeline of a dinosaur specie known as the Maiasaura. There are evidences to conclude that this particular specie of dinosaur, the possible ancestor of the alligator, lived in a situation of inevitable death. Scientists are trying to discover if this is caused by environmental factors or are caused by an issue within their anatomy.
According to the study by Montana State University, baby Maiasaura dinosaurs which are less than a year old faced an 89.9 percent mortality rate. If these baby dinosaurs do survive to adulthood, they will face a 44.4 percent mortality rate. This means that the Maiasaura dinosaur specie lived and died young, only enough the reach both sexual and skeletal maturity.
Scientists and paleohistologists are still figuring out why the Maiasaura specie's life span is short. According to a report from Western Digs, baby Maisaura dinosaurs grow at a rapid rate upon birth similar to that of modern birds. This provides the possibility that the Maisaura dinosaur is warm-blooded and they are now trying to figure out if such a scenario may have led to their early death.
There had been some ideas that contest the discovery made by the Montana study. There had been indications that the conclusion were derived only from the bones that were found in a single population within a certain region. There could have been factors in this area that has caused significant danger to both the baby and adult Maiasaura dinosaurs - it could be terror from larger predators, feeding conditions, and others.
New questions arise following this issue. Could the life of the Maiasaura dinosaur be longer in an environment free from death-attractive factors? The answer could still be a mystery as no other Maiasaura bones have been found in another location that could give a significant comparison with those found in the Montana site.
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