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Dinosaur den diggers discovered

March 22, 2007
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The fossil remains of small dinosaurs that burrowed into the ground have been found by scientists in Montana, US.
The 95-million-year-old bones are from an adult and two juveniles and were unearthed in a chamber at the end of a 2.1m-long sediment-filled tunnel.
The researchers say the discovery is the first definitive evidence that some dinosaurs dug dens and cared for their young in such structures.

The Montana dinosaurs have not been seen by palaeontologists before and have been given the scientific name Oryctodromeus cubicularis, meaning “digging runner of the lair”.
The team says the species’ snout, shoulder girdle and pelvis have features one would expect to see in an animal that dug into the ground.
What is left of the tunnel structure is sloping and has two sharp turns before ending in a chamber. The team says its architecture is similar to the dens of modern burrowers, such as the striped hyena, puffin and some rodents.
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