Washington: Archaeologists have unearthed well-preserved fossilised remains of a 72 million-year-old dinosaur tail, measuring an enormous five metres, in northern Mexico.
Scientists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), identified the fossil, found near the town of General Cepeda, as a hadrosaur or duck-billed dinosaur.
They found the 50 intact vertebrae of the tail after 20 days of working in the desert of Coahuila.
Paleontologists carefully removed sedimentary rocks covering the vertebrae of the animal to unearth the skeleton.
Besides the tail, scientists also excavated other bones of the dinosaur, including a hip bone, according to a statement by INAH.
Investigators work on uncovering the tail of a dinosaur at a paleontological dig site near the town of General Cepeda in northern Mexico. - AP
Paleontologist Felisa Aguilar, from INAH who directed the excavation along with his colleague Rene Hernandez from UNAM, explained that the tail must have comprised nearly half of the dinosaur's total length - estimated to be around 12 metres.
He noted that the discovery of this skeleton is of great importance for the Mexican paleontology as it is very rare to find this type of specimen with most of its bones intact.
The skeleton was found by Jose and Rodolfo Lopez Espinoza, in early 2005. In June 2012, the findings were reported to INAH, and after initial inspections, excavations started early this month.
The specimen will be transferred, in parts to avoid any fracture, to a laboratory in General Cepeda.